Remedy: Fusion wellness

Straight backs and healthy minds. Pilates, yoga and 'body work' studio Remedy is Berlin's answer to Macbook back. The cafe is darn good, too.

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Photo by Dagmar Kolatschny

Remedy is a little hub of fusion wellness tucked away at the Mauerpark end of Schwedter Straße. Here, Berliners can treat themselves to a personalised regimen of pilates, yoga and ‘body work’… or simply a comforting combo of homemade cake and coffee.

After all, you’ve got to “demystify it”, in the words of Ami Garmon, the multitasking hands-and-brain of the studio since last march. A full-fledged pilates instructor, professional dancer and choreographer versed in spoken word and literature, the Virginia-born owner is one of those ridiculously multi-talented über-creative beings who populate Berlin.

Her partner in business is one of her former pilates students, a film producer; her teaching staff are mostly fellow dancers, as is the café’s baker. Of course the studio is fully equipped with a video beamer and a sound system (for those ‘special events’!). The lingua francas are English, French, Spanish and German.

“We deal with many computer heads,” says Garmon, referring to the poorly postured Macbook class. But whether you’re suffering from a crooked spine, muscle pain or stress-related bodily ailments, Garmon professes a case-by-case approach, with tailor-made rehab programmes. Treatments might include rolfing (no relation to Mr. Eden), craniosacral therapy or acupuncture thanks to a network of in-house and on-call hand-picked specialists.

The studio is spacious, light and inviting, with one large hall for mat training and open classes and a smaller ‘pilates chamber’ for single sessions, fitted with plenty of intimidating machinery – like the ‘Cadillac’, resembling a cross between a massage and torture table, and the emblematic ‘reformer’ and ‘Wonda chair’ – invented half a century ago by German-born Joseph Pilates to help us build core strength (our abdominal “powerhouse”) for well-functioning bodies and minds.

After your sweat session – or instead of it – drop into the pleasant cafe to flush out your liver with a glass of celery-apple-lemon-ginger juice with mint. Or perhaps something more comforting? Garmon didn’t live in Paris for 12 years for nothing 
– she’s also a shameless epicurean. Which means Venezuelean cafe manager Jorge also serves beer and wine, great sandwiches and wraps, French-style quiches, tortillas with homemade pico de gallo and polenta Bolognese.

All of these organic veggie wonders are prepared by cook Alexander Agricole (of W imbiss reputation) in a nearby Brunnenstraße ashram. Desserts include velvety brownies, creamy NY cheesecake, frosted carrot muffins, lemon bars with a delicious crumbly base – all unashamedly un-vegan and totally tasty. “Coffee cake can’t taste like a coffee table,” insists Garmon over a slice of extra-moist banana bread. In short, our kind of remedy!