Best places to get your zen on in Amsterdam
The grind of the city can get to even the most urban Amsterdammer now and then. So when the hustle and bustle get to you, it’s high time to destress and reconnect with yourself. From lakeside yoga classes to floating in saltwater pods to meditating in a Mongolian yurt, here’s where to go to get your zen on in Amsterdam.
Sweat it out in the sauna
What better way to let go of your worries than to let them evaporate as the sauna steam courses around you? Sauna Deco is ideally suited to relieve pressure from busy city-goers. Step into the Finnish or Infra-red sauna or take a steam bath before relaxing on the patio garden or dipping in the cold-water pool. There are plenty of wellness procedures, from a shiatsu massage to a revitalising feet reflexology massage.
Effortlessly float in a saltwater-filled pod
Mimic what a swim in the Dead Sea would feel like at Koan Float, where they offer sessions in relaxing flotation tanks. Filled with body-temperature water and Epsom salts, these tanks will at least partially reduce your temperature fluctuations as well as auditory and visual stimuli. The benefits of such treatment include relaxation, stress relief, improved sleep and even pain reduction.
Soak in a hot tub on a boat
We’re sure you’ve never seen anything like Odessa in all of Amsterdam. This community boat, docked at the Eastern Docklands, is a bohemian space for artistic types looking for an alcohol-free dance space. Make use of their cosy wooden hot tub and sauna located on the open-air deck of the boat - even during the winter! You’ll be able to make use of the facilities if you sign up for their Ecstatic Dance sessions every Saturday evening.
Go for a walk in the forest
The immense 1,000 hectares of Amsterdamse Bos provides a luscious green retreat that’s sprinkled with farms, ponds, lakes and restaurants. Go on a peaceful walk through the thick, cool forests and breathe in the fresh earthy air. If you’re pining to get even closer to the trees, make a beeline for the Fun Forest, where you can climb the canopy with ropes, ladders, bridges and zip lines.
Practice yoga by the IJmeer
Take a breather by the water and head to Naar Zee Yoga for a yoga session. Their gorgeous yoga studio overlooks the still IJmeer, which brings a sense of calm to your yoga practice. This zen spot offers solo or group yoga classes in different styles such as Iyengar, Kundalini, prenatal and Hatha. Book a massage, craniosacral therapy or holistic pulsing if you want to loosen up even further.
Meditate in a Mongolian yurt
Dubbed as an “urban sanctuary”, Mahara Holistic Lifestyle, in the middle of the busy De Clercqstraat, offers many ways to disconnect from the stresses of life and reconnect to yourself. There are massages, vegan fare, loads of raw cacao, as well as soulful events such a spoken word and live music. Located in the garden is a traditional yurt, where you can find your centre and meditate independently. Look out for special events in the yurt, such as Sacred Circles, Cacao Ceremonies and Women’s Circles.
Wander the garden paths of the Hortus Botanicus
Step into the famed botanical gardens of Amsterdam to gain a sense of peace and calmness under the Ginkgo Biloba tree and Wollemi pine. Even though you are in the centre of the city, the worries are sure to melt away after a stroll by the rhododendron-surrounded pond. If you wish to be utterly transported, the raised canopy walk of the greenhouse will show you the way into the tropics and total relaxation.
Let go of control with goat yoga
This one is definitely a challenge for the senses and the mind. Goat yoga is all about embracing imperfection and surrendering to the situation. You will be accompanied by goats all through the class as they walk, nuzzle and even climb onto you during your hay-covered yoga poses. Zen might prove unattainable, but that’s rather the point: to let go of control and just be in the moment.