Yoga in Amsterdam: a local teacher’s guide
by Birgit Reizevoort
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Quick, what comes to mind when I say ‘Amsterdam’? You probably didn’t just scream ‘yoga’, did you? Most people travel to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, because of its flowers, cheese, red light district, museums and ‘coffee shops’. But don’t be mistaken. If you are looking to expand, Amsterdam has something else to offer alongside herbs: yoga is becoming more popular every day (in the entire country of the Netherlands, actually). As a local yoga teacher that has been living in Amsterdam for over a decade, I can assure you: Amsterdam has a lot to offer to yoginis. Especially to those of the traveling kind.
Why you should keep doing yoga when you’re traveling
For me, maintaining a steady self-practice when I’m on the road actually enhances my experience. Because it keeps me grounded. It makes me aware of the space between me and my mind. Plus, it allows me to be more receptive to everything around me. So do you find it hard to stick to your daily routine when on the road? Do you find dorm rooms hardly ever offer the space or the privacy you need for your asanas? Do you notice your mind becoming too restless to sit still? Do you feel the pull of all the exciting external stuff around you? Then why not take a nice and relaxing class somewhere? I’m happy to share my favorite yoga spots with you.
Amsterdam is yoga heaven
In Amsterdam, all styles of yoga can be practiced daily, throughout the city. Is your Dutch is a little rusty? No need to worry; virtually everybody in the Netherlands speaks decent English. Especially in Amsterdam, where many yoga studios focus on an international audience, so there’s no need to fire up your DuoLingo. Plus, as Amsterdam is not a very big city, all yoga studio’s are very well connected to local bus and tram. Alternatively, you could walk or rent a bicycle and pedal to your class. Biking through Amsterdam’s hustle and bustle while feeling that after-yoga buzz is an experience in itself (be careful, though).
My 5 favorite yoga spots in Amsterdam
I always try and find a yoga class or two where-ever I go. No matter how long you’ve been practicing yoga, sometimes it’s just helpful to have an instructor lead your practice and adjust your poses. A yoga class is also a great way to meet locals an travelers that are into yoga, just like you. Don’t miss my 5 all-time favorite yoga studios. As I love them all equally, they are mentioned in no particular order.
Sint Antoniesbreestraat 102, 1011 HB Amsterdam
Do you love slow, meditative yoga and chanting classes? Be sure to visit this authentic yoga studio just off Nieuwmarkt. Opened some 15 years ago, I received my yoga teacher training in this studio. And although I tried many styles and studios, this is the place that I keep coming back to. Here, I take my weekly classes when I’m back home. Sai Mithra means ‘everybody is welcome’, and this is exactly what you feel when you enter the space. All classes are suitable for all levels and no pre-registration is needed.
Trial class: € 10
Korte Prinsengracht 12, 1013 GS Amsterdam
Run by Roos, who has lived and taught all over Africa and Europe, uBuntu Yoga offers deep yoga classes that will open your heart and ground your feet. The style of yoga is similar to Sai Mithra’s, as the 2 studios are closely related. uBuntu has just opened its doors and works with young, talented teachers that I happen to know personally. All of them have traveled, so they know exactly what it takes to easy a traveler’s mind. Prepare for a deep dive into yourself. You will not regret it! All classes are suitable for all levels and no pre-registration is needed.
Trial class: € 10
Various locations in Amsterdam
From 3 locations throughout the city, Delight Yoga offers every style you can imagine (okay, apart from hot yoga). Clean, professional studio that regularly puts international teachers on stage. Delight is also known to organize the annual Yoga Festival, bringing a plethora of seminars, workshops, and classes to the Netherlands. Classes are available in many styles, anything from Vinyasa and Ashtanga to Yin and Restorative, and for all levels. Be sure to check the schedule on their website and don’t forget to pre-register online.
Drop-in class € 15
Laurierstraat 109, 1016 PL Amsterdam
De Nieuwe Yogaschool offers more than yoga and meditation. Satsangs, meditations, in-depth yoga weekends… There’s lots of choice for who feels like deepening their practice. De Nieuwe Yogaschool is also an excellent place to connect with fellow yoginis, both from the Netherlands and abroad: there’s a sunny garden, with a cute little restaurant that sells fresh juices and a delicious healthy menu that serves as a community space. Classes are available in many styles and for all levels, check the schedule on their website. And don’t forget to pre-register online.
Drop-in class € 15
Hidden gem: Goat Yoga Amsterdam
Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve, Nieuwe Meerlaan 4, 1182 DB Amstelveen
Bringing yoga wisdom, nature, and playfulness into everyday life from a family-owned ecological farm, just outside of Amsterdam. Fun fact: the yoga teacher is the farmer’s niece. Public transportation only gets you so far in this case, so it’s best to rent a bicycle (it’s an enjoyable ride through the Amsterdam Forest, which was entirely man-made as an employment project during the crisis in the 1920’s) and start your Sunday with a relaxing yoga class. Afterward, you enjoy your organic breakfast at the restaurant. Highly recommended and well worth the money! All levels are welcome. Don’t forget to pre-register via [email protected]
1 class including homemade nutcake and coffee € 25
1 class including ecological farmer’s breakfast with homemade goat’s curd and granola, fresh fruit, an egg from the barn, a rice cracker, homemade goat’s cheese and coffee/tea € 29