This Summer of 2018 in the countryside of northeast Austria in the fertile valley of the Danube river, Christian Wimmer offered a gigantic outdoor Bowspring class to over 200 students!
Every year since 2014, when 40 students first attended this special Summer event, Christian’s “Yoga in the Park” class has become increasingly popular. Now whole families congregate annually in a big grassy lawn in front of the magnificent 700-year old Grafenegg castle to practice a new “21st century yoga” – the Bowspring method.
Unlike the yoga scene in Vienna, about 70 km to the east, which is composed of many young people in their 20’s and 30’s, the average age of yoga students in wine country near the town of Krems on the Danube river is well over 40 years old and the oldest being near 80 years old, according to Christian, who has taught yoga in the area for 16 years.
According to Christian, the Austrians are a hard-working, honest and good-hearted people, who are always looking to make things better for their families and community. They are a resilient people looking for new solutions to their economic dilemmas and seeking long-term happiness with their families in these increasingly difficult times.
As Christian told me, “Giving up is not in the Austrian character!” In big generalization terms, the country Austrians have conservative values, Roman Catholic mores, and enjoy meat, bread, and beer, especially as an integral part of traditional festivals and football games! Thankfully, for their overall health and happiness they are boldly willing to try the Bowspring - a very different exercise practice than what they are used to. They are opening to try an alternative yoga alignment mainly out of respect and honor to Christian, who has a widespread positive local reputation in Lower Austria.
In the charming little village of Engabrunn (population of just over 500 residents) Christian and his partner, Dinah Pannos, often attract 30 or more students of all ages, ranging from teens to 70+ years old, to their weekly Bowspring classes.
Christian and Dinah, our lead Bowspring teachers in Austria, took two full years to transition from teaching modern postural (mainstream) yoga to teaching the Bowspring method in all their public classes in Engabrunn and Vienna. Their story contains good advice to yoga teachers who have had their world rocked by Bowspring and who then want to start to make the transition from mainstream yoga (MPY) to Bowspring.
Dinah Pannos and Christian Wimmer - Infinity Legs with V-Vector Arms