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Yoga for shedding Covid pounds: ‘Sport im Park’ Bonn attracts huge number of participants

Yoga for shedding Covid pounds : ‘Sport im Park’ Bonn attracts huge number of participants

After a delay of six weeks, the Bonn fitness program available to everyone, ‘Sport im Park’ got underway this week. Popular with young and old, a huge group showed up for the first session this week.

Yoga alone at home, yeah, but only if it has to be. And it had to be during the lockdown. But it became crystal clear this week that this was not people’s preference in the long run: There were around 100 in the yoga class on the banks of the Rhine in Beuel who did their "sun salutation", "downward dog" and the “tree" under the guidance of Bernd Lier of Swimming and Sports Friends of Bonn (SSF). ‘Sport im Park’ (Sports in the Park) started up again after a six-week delay due to Covid-19. Many had obviously been waiting for this day.

At least that is how Sandra Horschel from the Bonn City Sports Association (SSB) interpreted the huge draw, and not only for the yoga class. The SSB counted a similar number of participants at the start of a fitness class on the Hofgarten grounds, where the university sports department offered "Fit & Flex". At the gymnastics and weight training club in Duisdorf, there were a good 30 participants, and at the Godesberg gymnastics club in the Kurpark, around 50. "After coronavirus, people want to do sports again, outdoors and with others," Horschel concluded.

The "urge to get outside" was also felt by Svenja from Bonn and Danie from Königswinter, who have been coming to the Beuel riverside near the SSF headquarters every Monday for several years to do yoga with Lier and lots of other people. "This is finally something that is up and running normally again," said Danie. Compared to doing it at home, outdoor sports in a group offers "more incentive because you're not alone," she said. The class that takes place on the Beuel promenade is "like a vacation on the Rhine" and is definitely better than the corona alternative location at the opera last year. And they also like the fitness instructor. "That makes a big difference," said Svenja.

Program runs until September 17

Doreen from Bonn and Michelle from Beuel took part in a class for the first time. Doreen had never done yoga before and was persuaded by her friend to give it a try. Michelle had already had some ‘Sport im Park' experience with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Zumba and found the outdoor factor particularly appealing. For her, it was "her first (time doing) sports after the second vaccination." Doreen found it exhilarating to do her work-out in a large group. "It's totally motivating.”

Lier instructed them all on Monday on how to work away “traces of rust from corona days." It was not only the official start of summer but also World Yoga Day. “It's a nice feeling to be able to do this again and see a lot of familiar faces”, he said beforehand. Kerstin Freudenhammer of the SSF was pleased that this “gathering of familiar faces" was possible again. "We didn't think it would be on the table with such short notice.”

The SSB and its partners, Bonner Stadtwerke, Barmer, the City of Bonn and, for the first time, Volksbank Köln Bonn, will be offering a variety of sports classes at four locations in Bonn every weekday evening from 6:30 p.m. The program is expected to run until September 17. This week, aqua jogging and yoga will be added in the mornings at the Römerbad pool, and next week aqua fitness will be added at Hardtbergbad pool. Horschel pointed out that the number of participants could be limited to 40 due to the pandemic.

Information about the locations and the fitness program is available at www.ssb-bonn.de and on flyers that are available in many places.

(Orig. text: Stefan Knopp; Translation: ck)