Daniel, you are an ultra-runner and a yogi? How do these two kind of sports fit together?
I’m a runner since my early teenage age. For me running is more than just a sport. For me, it’s a way also to find time for myself, feel the freedom to choose when and where I go run. Running brought me to exotic regions like Beirut where I started my first Marathon in 2013. Since the last year 2019, I started to fall in love with trail running and ultra distances. For the once who don’t know, ultra distances start from 50km plus. Being in nature, being myself is for me like a meditative way to find peace within myself. I started yoga in 2018 as a way to fill my running schedule with stretching opportunities. Soon after I realized yoga is more than just stretching, I found it's a way to learn to listen to your body, redefine what it means to feel the body and to be enlightened. Since last year I filled my running schedule frequently with yoga sessions at English Yoga Meetup which are important as part for me to improve mindfulness, focus and learning to slow down which is essential for ultra trail runs.
You are currently living in Munich, but you have also lived abroad several times. Which advice would you give to expats that live in Munich and who want to set up a life in Germany?
I lived for the last 12 years mostly abroad. For me being back in Munich is also appreciating and learning to rediscover what the city has to offer. Often we stuck especially as expats and don't know how to make friends, locals and be part of the city and culture. The first step was for me back in Munich looking for Meetups. The platform meetup.com provides not just exciting new group meetings for language exchange, activities and sightseeing trips, it also enables people who are new to a city to find immediately friends. That’s how I found English Yoga Meetup, a place where English is not a barrier but a connection between newbies and expats in town.
You have initiated several charity projects in the past. Tell us more about it.
Back in 2012 when I was living in London, I started to combine my passion for running with supporting young people in need. It was my first step into social entrepreneurship and also a feeling full of energy but also matched with little knowledge about entrepreneurship. I've built a small team of friends to found the social initiative ”Crowdrunning” to enable underprivileged young people to get back on track through running. We partnered with local NGOs who operated teenage shelters in London in order to provide running clubs for young people to learn and to find weekly routine but also set for themselves new goals in the form of sports ambitions. Structure, routine or reflection are transferable soft skills for young people to apply in their life for job searching, career and daily life. Supporting underprivileged children and young people was always close to my heart. Until today I try to support as a mentor young people on entrepreneurship to help them to create their own start-ups and therefore being independent and self-employed while combining what they love. I always say “only when you love what you do, you are best equipped for any setbacks in the job or private life”.
You are also the host of some of our "yoga off the mat events" in Munich, where we have breakfast or lunch together. What is your favorite insider tip for a healthy brunch in Munich?
Ohh that’s a good question. In fact, there are many good places in Munich. I try to live mostly vegan, which isn’t always easy especially after doing lots of sport. Glockenbach district is a great hipster style district of Munich where you can find amazing independent coffee shops, like Man vs. Machine for a truly unforgettable coffee experience. Or Emmi’s Kitchen for delicious healthy vegans and vegetarian salad bowls. I organized our English Yoga Meetup brunch at Vollaths, a great centrally located place in Glockenbach district where you can not just get great coffee and drinks, but also delicious healthy vegan and vegetarian breakfast, lunch and dinner. Insider tip: Vollaths salad bowl is a must for healthy gourmets. Another great district is Schwabing, which lies in the north of Munich. Places like Bicicletta invite you now just through the delicious food and drinks but also through the interior design made of bicycles. Alternatively take a look around “Münchner Freiheit” station and the amazing local shops. There are restaurants with different cooking styles, that offer an unforgettable experience for expats looking to find German or international cuisine.
Learn more about his initiative:
Thank you Daniel!