A couple of years ago I was blessed by winning a competition with Flixbus. This is one of the major bus companies in Europe and they are still expanding. I won a free Europe Trip by bus! This was amazing to see as I got 5 bus tickets for two people. This had a total value of 200 Euros. The great thing about this package was that you could make a round trip by bus in a month. Sadly, I didn’t have the time to travel for a whole month and we went to five different locations in one week. (Small note, I don’t recommend doing this at all :D)
At this time I was already a yoga teacher for a couple of years, and I didn’t go a lot to other yoga classes anymore as I was always teaching or making sure that I was preparing a class during my home practice. For me, this was the ideal moment into getting some inspiration (and to relax) by doing yoga in some foreign countries. First of all, I installed the MindBody app to make sure that I could see some cool places to do some yoga, which I will take about later on.
Creating Your Own Yoga Retreat
At that time I didn’t have a lot of money left as the trip was after the holidays. So I didn’t have the time to go on a full-blast yoga retreat. The friend that I took along on our trip also wasn’t the richest person, so we decided to travel on a budget. The budget wasn’t that tight, but we decided to cut costs on as many things as we could.
Opening that budget meant that I could do a couple of yoga classes within the week that we would be visiting four different locations. Therefore, I could manage to have my own personal retreat, while exploring some great European cities.
The first stop on my personal yoga retreat:
Alright, so we left Brussels on a night bus to the capital of the Czech Republic. I always wanted to visit Prague as I’ve got some friends in the Czech Republic who all seemed very nice. So there we went. We decided to go on as many night busses as possible as that would mean that we would have to book one night in our accommodation less.
I do have to say that I think we went a bit wrong with that. We were mid-twenties and we thought we would be able to sleep just anywhere or that it wouldn’t matter at all if we would lose a night. Wrong were we! The busses of Flixbus are quite comfortable, but sleeping on public transport isn’t just that easy.
The next morning we arrived, and we actually could only check-in around noon, which was horrible as we were completely sleep-deprived and exhausted walking with our backpacks. We did manage somehow, although we didn’t do a lot that day. We had some breakfast, we already went sight-seeing a little and that’s about it.
During our stay, we went to the Discounts Prague Hostel, and I do have to say that traveling cheap isn’t always traveling comfortably. This hotel was probably the worst hostel that I’ve ever been to, but what can you expect for 6 euros per night per person? Not that much I guess.
It’s been a couple of years, so I hope they upgraded their facilities a little and that they fixed some small things. The breakfast was cheap, but also not worth it. The shared bathroom was horrible as they had shower curtains that were not hanging properly. I think I even went to the women’s bathroom a couple of times because the toilets there were a lot cleaner.
Anyway, the next day I had my first yoga class on my trip. I was excited about it as the studio itself was looking amazing on the website. And the website was even in English! So I figured that this one would be a good one to go to Studio Hvēzda. And indeed it was. The studio itself was looking stunning. I was the only guy so I had the whole changing room to myself. There was even a shower in there! And lockers to store away my belongings safely.
I talked to the receptionist and she gladly invited me into the room. She had a great smile and she was very welcoming. Then she said something in Czech to the yoga teacher (I decided to go for a yin class as I was still a bit tired from the trip), and I could see on her face that she wasn’t very amused.
She didn’t speak English at all, so I must have been a pain in the ass for her. Luckily, I was there for me, and not for the yoga teacher. I kind of happened to do my own thing during the class and after that, I was quite relaxed. But that said, next time I’d go there, I would definitely call or email first to hear if they have some English-speaking teachers. As a yoga teacher, you know the poses and the alignment, but I can see that a person who doesn’t know what to do, might have gotten lost in there.
The next day it was time to move on to Berlin, luckily, just a four-hour drive by bus during the day!
The capital of Germany, Berlin, was amazing to go to. And we traveled very cheaply as well as I got acquainted with someone in this beautiful city on my trip to India. She was so kind to let us crash in her place, as it were only two nights that we would be there.
I didn’t book any class while we were in the city as that friend of mine where we stayed was also a yoga teacher. She was my classmate during our yoga teacher training in Rishikesh and it felt good to see how we’ve grown during the years.
Berlin itself was quite cheap as well to go out for dinner and such. I was even surprised that there was almost on every corner of an organic supermarket! In this magnificent city, it was quite easy to go and have a vegetarian dinner. Which wasn’t that easy while we were in Prague.
A couple of days later our trip continued to Copenhagen. For this 8-hour bus ride, we decided to take a night bus again.
After a night on the bus again we arrived in Copenhagen. This time we decided to stay in the Urban House Hostel, which was probably the best location that we had! It was also the most expensive one as we decided to book a private room with a private bedroom. But then it was still only 40 euros per person. And if you’ve ever been to Denmark, everything is quite expensive there.
The hostel itself was looking really clean and had a lot of facilities! There was a lot of life in the hostel as well. The staff was really friendly and helped us out wherever we needed help. The breakfast was quite expensive for what it was, but we were hungry and we didn’t want to stroll around in the city. We hung around the sofas for quite a while as yet again we didn’t have a lot of sleep!
We did do some sight-seeing, but we probably choose a couple of wrong spots as they were closed for the winter. And besides that, my friend wen on her Erasmus there, which meant that she also wanted to see some old friends.
Which for me was an amazing opportunity to do some yoga classes! The first one I did in the hostel. Yes, another amazing thing to discover, that they had yoga classes! The second one I did when my friend had to go to the suburbs. I tagged along with her, but while she was having tea with her friend I went to Hjerte Yoga. I already learned from my mistake before and decided that I would call first before assuming that they would speak English.
Luckily she did and off I went! I loved this yoga class as well. And I was quite surprised because it wasn’t that intensive, but yet I was sweating a lot. Well, to be honest, there wasn’t a lot of sleep during the week and a lot of walking as well, so it’s no surprise that my body wasn’t coping with more activity!
After something more than an hour finally Savasana came. I had to make sure that I wasn’t going to fall asleep. Not because of the yoga teacher, she was amazing! Very kind and friendly and she even challenged herself by explaining everything in two languages. The yoga itself was in the comfort of her own home. She has props and mats available if you’d like to use them. So even here you didn’t have to take anything with you!
After that, it was time to hop on the bus again and it was already time to head back home again. We had a two-hour layover at The Hague, but that wasn’t enough to fit in a yoga class. And besides that, after 12 hours on a bus without sleep, we were exhausted and we just wanted to go to bed.
So for this Europe Yoga Retreat, I have to say that I wasn’t that relaxed when I came back. It was probably the cheapest trip that I’ve ever made though. Everything in total we didn’t pass 500 euros altogether! Which is quite impressive to do. This is really everything together, trip, accommodation, food, souvenirs, and yoga classes.
So, it is possible to travel cheap and do some cheap yoga classes as well as a lot of studios offer a discount for first-time students. You do have to keep in mind that traveling cheap as we did, also comes with some disadvantages, like we spent more than 24 hours on busses.
Anyway, if this would be something for you, I’d say, go for it, start planning your trip! And please let me know in the comment section below what your dream holiday would be!