Category Archives: News

Summer is here!

sunsalutesolstice16We had the most wonderful summer solstice evening last night in Osnabrück, celebrated with sun saluations during the outdoor event in honor of International Yoga Day. The Piesberger Gesellschaftshaus offered the perfect venue at the old coal station at the foot of the Piesberg. It was a very special evening because we were doing yoga together with millions of people all over the globe as it was the second year since the United Nations had declared  21 June to World Yoga Day. On top of that we were having a full moon on this summer’s longest day, which only happens once every 70 years. We were fortunate enough to have a dry spell for the 1.5 hours this session took. Even though the full moon was hidden by the clouds, we could feel the good vibes through nature’s wonderful expressions both in sound (bird song  abound) and sights (trees overhead and a natural stone wall to feel secure).20160621_194425

The goal of this free event on this summer solstice evening was to give people the chance to get familiar with YOGA or to celebrate YOGA and its benefits for health and the balancing of body and mind. The session was given in a mix of German and English to underline its international character.

The thought for the night was to be mindful of how we can practice non-violence towards others and ourselves, one of the underpinning principles of yoga. Non-violence can begin with wishing other people what you would want for yourself, and in the sense that you aren’t too critical of well-intended attempts of doing well. This also goes for your attitude towards yourself, you can only try your best and have as positive an outlook on life as you can.

With special thanks to the Osnabrücker Dampflockfreunde and the Piesberger Gesellschaftshaus for their cooperation in Osnabück’s first celebration of International YOGA Day.

Namaste 🙂

PS If you want to join the regular yoga sessions from Yoga & English by Christina, you are very welcome to join on Tuesdays at 6 pm or Saturdays at 10 am. Give us a shout at Tel. 0541 120 8888 or 0162 437 4604, or email or


Yoga & English now ‘Yenglisch’

The creativity of the journalists at the local newspaper this Easter weekend made me smile today 🙂

Have a look at the article they placed to announce the extra Tuesday evening yoga class at the Piesberger Gesellschaftshaus at 6 pm:


Come and join the group. The more the merrier 🙂


A very Happy New Year to all my dear blog readers

Did you make any new year’s resolutions (sich etwas gutes vornehmen)for 2011?
Are you going to start a diet, stop smoking, learn a new skill (Fähigkeit) like English 😉 or maybe do something green?

This year I would like to buy as many organic (bio) products as possible. I have already been doing so for a long time but this year I want to see if I can go completely green!

With the dioxin scandal in Germany this month I think it is the only way to prevent (verhindern) poisoning (vergiften) yourself through food.

Wikipedia gives some interesting facts about Dioxin:

“The most toxic (giftig) dioxin, (TCDD), became well known as a contaminant (Verunreinigung) of Agent Orange, a herbicide (Unkrautvertilgungsmittel) used in the Vietnam War.

In 1963, a dioxin cloud escaped after an explosion in a Philips-Duphar plant (now Solvay Group) near Amsterdam. The plant was so polluted with dioxin after the accident that it had to be dismantled (demontieren), embedded (einbetten) in concrete (beton), and dumped (loswerden) into the ocean.

More recently, dioxins have been in the news with the poisoning of President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine in 2004, the Naples Mozzarella Crisis, the Irish pork crisis of 2008, and today’s German feed crisis (pork and poultry) (schweinefleisch und geflügel) of 2011. See also a video about the latter on:

Some of the symptoms (krankheitszeichen) of dioxin poisoining are:

Nausea (Übelkeit), vomiting (erbrechen), stomach pains (bauchschmerzen) and loss of appetite (Appetitverlust).“

Well, I must admit that I have been nauseous for the past two weeks, so I do hope that I haven’t been poisoned through eating eggs. You don’t hear any warnings for not eating cakes and here in Germany ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ after a nice walk through the woods, is the most popular Sunday pastime (Zeitvertreib).

I wish you all lots of success with learning English this year and being environmentally friendly (Umweltfreundlich) before we poison ourselves.

What a difference six months can make

By JulietteH – October 21, 2010,

“Six months. It’s been six months since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico took fire, blew and sank, causing the biggest accidental oil spill in history.

It certainly feels like longer. Was it really six months ago that BP was claiming that any day now, the leak would be plugged? Even less than six months ago that everyone was Googling hopefully for “top kill”? Six months ago that Obama called for a moratorium on deepwater drilling? Six months ago that everyone was making promises to do more, better, faster to end our dependency on dirty oil?

And yet, in six months, while people all over the world were claiming for better fuel economy, for renewable energy and electric cars, politicians all over the world did nothing. In fact, polticians did worse than nothing: they lifted the moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, authorised more deepwater drilling in pristine and threatened places, they refused to put a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the North East Atlantic, and kept subsidising oil companies to keep us addicted to dirty energy.

In the meantime, scientists on board the Arctic Sunrise, the Greenpeace ship currently in the Gulf of Mexico, are still finding oil on the bottom of the sea.

So what difference can six months make? Well, a lot in that special place known as politician-world.

Apparently, it causes amnesia, because I can’t believe if they could really remember Deepwater Horizon, they would be doing all this. They’d be putting their money on renewable energy and more efficient cars.

Otherwise, to be this irrational, they’d have to be dishonest and/or paid off by oil companies. But surely, that can’t be the case.”

The poster girl of the gulf clean-up

Isn’t it refreshing to have a girl like Olivia come forward in this dire drama of oil destroying all life around the Gulf of Mexico?

Nature on this coast of the US isn’t likely to recover from this disaster for decades to come and what better way to keep the world focused on it than with the crayon drawings of this remarkable girl.

Maybe there’s hope for the future when initiatives like these by Olivia’s family are still emerging in this world where greed and short term profits still rule.

 Read all about it in below article from The Independent online newspaper:



Olivia Bouler, an 11-year-old from Long Island, is the one good news story to emerge from the Gulf spill

When Olivia Bouler saw birds coated in oil she began selling her art to save them. $180,000 later, David Usborne meets her. Saturday, 17 July 2010

Only two things are holding back Olivia Bouler, an 11-year-old from Long Island with a passion for birds and a talent for drawing them.

While she can finish a picture, she says, in “seven to five minutes”, her wrist gets tired after a while and she has to rest. And then there are all the pesky media intrusions.

This week has been the maddest, with a two-day trip to Washington DC with her family where she cast a vote for her local congressman on the floor of the House of Representatives and had face-time with the Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, to discuss oil and how America can stop drinking it.

But the project that has really consumed her and her family since late April has been selling her art to raise money for the Gulf clean-up effort.

Her parents are clear this was all her idea. She saw the first images of the BP blowout and spill on television and was immediately gripped with worry for the birds in the Gulf. Maybe if she drew a few pictures someone would give her money and she could donate it. And so, as any little girl with lots of initiative would do, she wrote to the National Audubon Society and asked if they would be interested.

On Thursday night, Olivia was in the trendy Meatpacking District of Manhattan for a rooftop party at the red-hot fashion shop Ports 1961.

Sitting at a quiet corner table before the throngs arrived to offer silent bids on three of her original drawings, a composed Olivia insisted that when she embarked on this she was hardly thinking six figures in terms of what she could raise. “A hundred dollars would have been over the roof,” she said. “I think about now I am going to Pluto.”

Well, why shouldn’t she? All these weeks later Olivia’s artwork has raised nearly $180,000, all going to Audubon, which has taken the lead in the Gulf rescuing birds that have become coated in oil.

Olivia says it is the birds that interest her first – she sees ornithology in her future – and the art second. So far, roughly a hundred different species have been represented in her drawings, some black and white but mostly in crayon colours. “I have to look up some of the birds now in a book,” she concedes.

The drawing seems to come naturally to her. (Some at Ports unkindly speculate that the lines on her pelicans and herons especially seem a little too expert for someone so young. If the media have seized on Olivia, it is because hers is also the only positive story to emerge from the BP mess. Ten days ago, she was ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. She has appeared on Larry King Live on CNN (she managed to produce nine pictures while on the air), the Today Show with NBC and news bulletins for CBS, CBC of Canada and the BBC. “There is word of Jay Leno,” her mother, Nadine, whispers a little conspiratorially. “But we will see where that goes.”

After Audubon agreed to accept donations in exchange for Olivia’s pictures, local media on the Gulf Coast got wind of what she was doing and everything else followed. She has a Facebook page with 29,000 followers. AOL created an Olivia page on its artists’ profiles section and as of yesterday morning it had received 142 million different hits. That is a lot.

As the Boulers arrived at Ports they learnt that BP had managed for the first time to stem its leak. “Finally,” was Olivia’s first response. “I was afraid that somehow the whole well would collapse in on itself and everything would spew out and there would be no way to stop it.”

The plugging of the well did not mean the end of the battle, she noted. “It’s ultimately good but what we have to do now is the cleanup and restoration.” And if we “can go off topic”, she also wants to underscore “to get off oil”. This, she confirms, is what she wanted to tell Mr Salazar. The problem, she says, is that Americans are afraid to quit oil “because it’s off their routine”.

Olivia herself discloses that her father, James, is an architect who specialises in green buildings, so her inspiration is not altogether her own. Her parents are a little shy about being depicted as having pushed their daughter into the spotlight. That said, Nadine admits that she wouldn’t mind doing a publishing deal with the Audubon Society on behalf of her daughter for an ornithology book for youngsters.

It seems a plausible dream. The Audubon Society, after all, could hardly be more delighted to have met the young girl. “This is new. To have this kind of … response, it’s very unique,” spokesman Delta Willis said. “I’ve never seen an outpouring like this. It’s a beautiful gesture.”

With only six weeks of the summer holidays left – she starts a new school in September – Olivia meanwhile has lots of work to do. Of the 500 original drawings that were promised to donors she has done just 200. Perhaps better she skips Leno and the fancy Manhattan parties and gets out her crayons.