Other posts from the On a visit to.. series:
- On a visit to… Katie aka The travelling light, Brisbane (Australia)
- On a visit to… Krystal Lynn, Albuquerque (NM, USA)
- On a visit to… Ali Kamenova LA (California, USA)
We met Felix last year when visiting Berlin in November. A good friend of ours introduced us to him and we had a great talk all together over a coffee at a cozy Berliner place My goodness in Mitte, right before our flight back home. Here is what he has to share with you about his home city and his colorful yoga mat project – Matilicious.
How do you imagine the perfect “om trip”?
For me, it would be a mix of interesting places to see and time to really wind down and relax, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Ideally somewhere close to nature.
Is it possible to take an “om trip” to Berlin?
Since I am living in Berlin, my om trips would actually take me out of the city into nature. But that’s not to say that a trip to Berlin can’t have some ‘om’ to it. There are plenty of spaces to retreat away from the busy streets.
Three things which we absolutely have to take with us when traveling to Berlin?
Make sure you don’t pack your fanciest clothes if you don’t want to stand out and feel massively overdressed in the streets of Berlin.
What should we absolutely try when we’re in Berlin?
There’s amazing nightlife, that has something to offer for absolutely everybody. And I mean everybody. It’s something to try.
Where would you take us for a cup of coffee/or tea?
I’m more of a coffee than a tea person and there is so much good coffee in Berlin. I find the best coffee at either Bonanza Coffee Heroes or Five Elephant Coffee. Both of them have locations in Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg areas as well as Kreuzberg.
A special place in Berlin you’d like to share with us.
A very special place for me is the Tajik tea house. You enter a normal building and suddenly find yourself sipping tea from a samovar while sitting on thick carpets, along with low tables surrounded by finely carved wooden pillars. It’s like a short trip to Tashkent.
Which book do you think will be most suitable for our trip to Berlin?
This is a difficult question for somebody who lives in Berlin. It’s the typical problem of the residents that don’t have a travel guide for their own city. Because of this question I’m changing that and looking forward to receiving my copy of this one.
When did you start practicing yoga? What did you find more tempting in this practice at the very beginning?
I started really practicing early in 2016 when I stopped working too much. What I found most interesting is that each and every pose really changed every time when I started really using my awareness during practice. I was fascinated by how they changed in subtle ways, with different muscles being active, different areas being tighter or more open. What started as a very static exercise turned into an exploration every time I stepped on the mat.
Where would you take us for a yoga practice in Berlin? Where can we practice yoga outdoors?
If you come during summer, Berlin offers plenty of parks for practicing yoga outdoors. When there is no wind, I like Tempelhofer Feld, which is actually an old airfield that has been opened to the public. It’s a vast open space with lots of grass to practice on. Gleisdreieck Park is also a beautiful location and then there is, of course, Volkspark Friedrichshain in the North which also often has a lot of slackliners that are always open to let you try their lines.
You have created your own company for yoga mats called Matilicious. How did you take the courage to start this project? What is the story behind it?
A few years ago I quit a job that was no longer making me happy and started looking for something that aligned more with the things that I loved. I had started practicing yoga and I always loved beautiful things. Things that were designed carefully, with attention to detail, and with purpose. During a retreat in Sri Lanka, I came across the idea of making beautiful yoga mats.
Why did you choose to go exactly with yoga mats?
I see my mat as a very crucial part of the practice. It is the space in which my practice happens when I step on it, I also step into a different space. Therefore to me, it makes sense to use one that lives up to that significance. It is also something that represents a large canvas for an artist or designer, just as much as it opens a space to the yogi.
The best yoga mat for you is…?
One that I never want to roll up and put away, one that makes me feel proud about when I roll it out or step onto, one that reminds me that my practice is unique and one that works well during practice and that is also really comfy during savasana.
Do you practice yoga while you travel? Tell us about your healthy routines on the road.
I practice yoga especially when I travel. It’s best to prepare for a long flight or bus ride, and the best way to start moving again after one. It’s also a great way to connect with a new place. I like going to a local yoga class when I visit a new place.
Where should we go after visiting Berlin?
If you are looking for a place that is easy to reach from Berlin, I can highly recommend Dresden and the so-called ‘Sächsische Schweiz’. The area is famous for its spectacular vistas of the Elbe river valley and offers great hiking, cycling, and rock-climbing all within a 2-3 hours train ride from Berlin.
Who is Felix?
Felix is a Berlin-based yogi and founder of Matilicious Yoga Mats where he connects his passion for yoga and his love for beautiful things. Due to his former endeavors, he is well connected in the Berlin startup scene and still dives into startup life as an advisor from time to time.
P.S. All pictures are kindly provided by Felix.