5 ways to get your zen on in Amsterdam
Rest, retreat and reconnect without ever having to leave the city.
The grind of the city can get to even the most urban Amsterdammer every now and then. So when the pulse of the hustle and bustle gets too much to bear, use this list as inspiration to get out of your comfort zone to destress and reconnect. 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.
Go for a walk in the forest
Visit: Amsterdamse Bos
The immense 1,000 hectares of Amsterdamse Bos provides a luscious green retreat that’s sprinkled with farms, ponds, lakes and restaurants. Although the park was built in the early 1900’s, Amsterdamse Bos is as wild as it gets in Amsterdam. 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.
Photo: StanTheCaddy (Flickr)
Practice yoga by the IJmeer
Visit: Naar Zee Yoga
Take a breather by the water and head over 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. Offered at this zen spot are solo or group yoga classes in different styles such as Iyengar, Kundalini, prenatal and hatha. If you’re looking to loosen up even further, book a massage or holistic session such as cranio sacral therapy or holistic pulsing.
Photo: Naar Zee Yoga
Meditate in a Mongolian yurt
Visit: Mahara Holistic Lifestyle
Dubbed as an “urban sanctuary”, Mahara Holistic Lifestyle, in the middle of the busy De Clercqstraat, offers a plethora of 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 on your own. Look out for special events in the yurt too, such as Sacred Circles, Cacao Ceremonies and Women’s Circles.
Photo: Mahara Holistic Lifestyle
Effortlessly float in a saltwater-filled pod
Visit: Koan Float
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 a treatment include relaxation, stress-relief, improved sleep and even pain reduction.
Photo: Koan Float
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 a substance-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 Thursday and Saturday evening.