Frankfurt is full of small businesses run by incredible, strong and dynamic women!  Today we introduce you to Solveig, founder and owner of English Yoga Meetup.  Although who we kidding, you probably all well aware of this vivacious woman and the incredible service she provides!!  For those of you who aren’t and are looking for a safe and welcoming yoga meetup, keep reading!

To quote BKS Iyengar – Yoga does not change the way we see things, it transforms the person who see’s.  So without further a do, meet Solveig!

1.  Tell us about yourself. What is your background?

Hi, I am Solveig. I am a sidepreneur and founder of English Yoga Meetup, Frankfurt’s biggest international community. I am German, although people tend to say that my first name doesn’t sound so German (it’s Norwegian actually) and I have a weird accent, when I speak English.  Originally, I am from Thuringia, close to Erfurt. I have lived, travelled and studied abroad quite a bit, but Frankfurt has become my hub within the last years.

2. When did you start English Yoga Meetups?

I launched the community in May 2017, after coming back from my 5 months sabbatical in Australia, where I did my teacher training. Initially I launched the group on the Meetup app, which was quite a thing at this time, but has become a bit outdated today.

3.  What inspired you to start English Yoga Meetups?

I had also used the meetup app to meet some Australians, while living Down Under and liked the app to join some local events.  However, I got bored by the other backpackers because it was always kind of the same conversation: “Where do you come from? What do you do? Where do you go next?” And then silence.  Because it didn’t go beyond the small talk level. I used the app and joined some yoga in the park sessions in Adelaide.  It was fun.  And in the local yoga studio I met some friends and we had a good time together.

After my trip I went back to Frankfurt. I tried a few yoga studios, but it was all very clique-style. So everyone knows each other and they just speak with each other, but it was hard to get into their circle. I felt like, it matters what kind of outfit I wear, what kind of yoga mat I have and if I manage to do the split and handstand. To put it in a nutshell, I didn’t feel comfortable. This was not my type of people I wanted to hang out with. I wanted to create a yoga space where everyone feels welcome.

My mission was and still is to make yoga affordable and accessible to foreigners in Frankfurt. German is hard enough to learn and sometimes you don’t really get what the yoga teacher is telling you, if you can’t follow the language. That’s why all our classes are in English.

4. What has been the most rewarding thing about this group?

The people I have met along the way. Your vibe attracts your tribe. So I have a met a lot of other amazing women, who share the same passion for a healthy lifestyle, travels and mindfulness. I am also proud, that we were always able to spend some part of our profits to (local) non-profit organisations.

5. What does self-care mean to you?

Taking time off for myself. Sometimes it’s such a luxury when your smartphone battery dies and you are offline the whole day and spend it outside in nature.

6. For those who would like to practice more self-care, what advice do you have?

It’s all about the little things. You don’t have to travel to Bali and find enlightment (although I did and it didn’t work haha). You have to change your daily routine first.

Start with small healthy habits, that you integrate into your life, e.g. journaling, tongue scraping, oil pulling, 20min of movement everyday.

7. If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? Why?

Good question. I love to collaborate with local brands and locations. I like when it’s all coming together: great spot, great music vibes, yoga, healthy buffet in an urban setting. I love the idea to spend one exciting day with our community and go on a mini yoga retreat for a day. 25hours hotel, Gerbermühle and Ooosten are still on my list of preferred collaboration partners.

8. Many internationals come to your meetups, what advice do you have for newcomers to Frankfurt?

I think, it’s really hard to arrive in Frankfurt now. First of all it’s winter, so there is less going on and we have the corona situation. So meeting up with others is definitely a challenge. I think, it’s a time, where you can feel isolated very quickly. Nevertheless, it’s still important to have kind of a social life. Maybe check with your German language school if they offer side activities so that you can meet others. Or check some groups on Facebook and start a conversation over there. Let yourself guide you by your interests.

9. What do you love about Frankfurt?

It’s quite compact so that I can go almost anywhere by bike and can skip public transport. I also like that it’s getting more and more international.

10. What is your favourite place in Frankfurt?

Definitely Holzhausenpark. Love it for picnic.

11. What do you wish Frankfurt had? What is it missing?

Frankfurt is missing space. Not just living space, but also space that you can easily rent for events without getting broken at the same time.