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Best weaponised wellness

A mindfulness class you (probably) haven't tried yet: intuitive meditative archery in Kreuzberg

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Photo by Jenny Browne

Combining the measured practise of yoga with the martial discipline of The Hunger Games, Berlin’s latest mindfulness craze is “intuitive meditative archery”, as taught by Latifa Rothacker of Bogenwege. Every other Friday at Kottbusser Damm’s Berlin Aikido studio, the 50-year-old Ludwigsburg-born holistic therapist and martial artist hosts open sessions for up to 14 would-be archers of all ages. After starting with 20 minutes of meditation, you are guided through the essentials – how to string and hold the bow and arrow, and how to choose a stance. The lightweight robinia or ash bows are shipped over from Hungary; the arrows are made by Rothacker herself, from spruce and turkey feathers. It doesn’t take long to declutter the mind as you focus and pull your arrow back, expelling your inner demons in a single breath when you re. The class includes exercises to improve your aim, but it doesn’t matter if you miss the target – you just persevere and do better next time. The satisfaction is enormous, and it’s a real eye-opener for people who don’t know their own strength. For some it might be a way of releasing anger, but Rothacker’s sincere guidance makes you feel totally at ease, and you believe her when she tells you, “With the bow, you can be at one with yourself.” Alongside the Friday classes (€25/150min), she runs both individual and couple tuition sessions (€90/150 for 100min) as well as three-day therapeutic archery training courses and outdoor retreats for those who really want to unleash their inner Katniss Everdeen.

Every second Friday, Kottbusser Damm 25/26, 19:50-22:30, more info at bogenwege-berlin.de