Spiritual in Switzerland: Find your inner peace with rock n roll yoga in Davos

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The DJ was mixing The Eagles Hotel California into a trance-like Sanskrit anthem, while candles flickered dimly in a hundred-year-old chapel. Each and every muscle in my body was trembling.

Youd be forgiven for thinking this scene doesnt make much sense.

Because climbing 5,000ft to Davos, the jewel of the Swiss Alps, to attend a rock n roll yoga class doesnt make sense.

Nor does the location – a Hard Rock Hotel, a brand most famous for its music memorabilia-stuffed cafes and hotels.

Except it does.

Yoga in the Alps doesnt seem to make such sense, does it? (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

Davos has been a spa town for centuries, at one point world-famous for its treatment of tuberculosis for the rich and famous.

Hours spent lounging in the cool Swiss sun, guzzling gallons of fresh milk and eating copious quantities of mountain-reared meat and cheese – its no wonder the treatment was so popular.



The world has moved on since then, but some things never change: the cool, clean mountain air; the breathtaking Alpine vistas; the impossibly quiet and clean streets.

Davos has all the trappings of somewhere to still body and mind.

One of the original sanatoriums (now Hotel Schatzalp), where people went to be cured of tuberculosis (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

Hard Rock certainly raised a few eyebrows when it announced the location of its first hotel in continental Europe.

But Davos is not so strange a choice when you consider Hard Rocks suite of wellness programs.

It now includes a Rock Spa, where music of your choice is pumped through from overhead while your massage table rhythmically vibrates; and Rock Om yoga, a new library of music-led yoga lessons of various difficulties, is available in every room, with yoga mats and accessories available via room service.

And it was this rock n roll yoga that Ive come to try – as to inaugurate Rock Om yoga, DJ Drez and Marti Nikko, the husband and wife duo behind the program, were in Davos in person.

DJ Drez, who helped design the Rock Om yoga lessons for Hard Rock Davos (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

It was nearing the end of one of the Rock Om yoga sessions.

We were drenched in sweat, having just been made to dance and shimmy our way around the room.

Our hands were firmly planted on each others (strangers!) sweaty backs, on command of Marti.

DJ Drez had reduced the previous frenetic trap-style music to a murmur, supplanted by a soft heartbeat in the form of a weak kick drum.



Was this peace? Was this relaxation? Was this what yoga was about? Was this what music was about? Did any of that particularly matter?

These comfortable Manduka mats are available for each yoga session. (Photo: Alex Wilkins)

As much as my English cynicism tried to resist with every fibre of my being, the chants of I am love that reverberated around the chapel made it difficult not to give in.

You just have to look around.

Snow-capped mountains, warm Swiss hospitality and scenes of perfect quiet make for an unarguably perfect yoga destination.

Other things to do in Davos:

Take a horse and carriage ride through the Swiss Alps

A horse and carriage ride through the Alps is magical (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

Even the most miserable of travellers will struggle not to have their icy hearts warmed by a whimsical horse and carriage ride through the Swiss Alps.

Blankets are provided, but be sure to wrap up warm if youre planning on going in winter – horse carriages are without heating!

Visit Europes highest brewery

Youre not going to find fresher beer than at this sky-high brewery. (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

The BierVision Monstein brewery, the highest in Europe, uses only ingredients from the surrounding region. Its not every day you get to try a beer made with pure Swiss mountain spring water and fresh hops.

Its the opposite of mass-produced lager as you can get – produced at low scale and only available in the surrounding regions.

The brewery is housed in a former cheese factory in the charming town of Monstein. Even if youre not a huge beer fan, the factory is wonderfully quaint and intimate.

The winding half an hour drive to the brewery is chock full of breathtaking views and verdant mountainscapes, too.

Tour the historic Kirchner Museum

It's the largest collection of Kirchner in the world. (Photo: Kirchner Museum Davos)

Its the largest collection of Kirchner in the world. (Picture: Kirchner Museum Davos)

If youre a fan of expressionist German art, dont miss out on a visit to the Kirchner museum.

Ernst Kircher, who lived out the latter part of his life in Davos, was a pillar of German expressionism and branded as a degenerate by the German Nazi party.

The museum has the largest collection of his works in the world, but the buildings bare-bones design is something to see in its own right.

What to eat in Davos:

Try a traditional Fondue

Swiss fondue is not to be missed. (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

Chocolate and cheese are the first things that spring to mind when thinking of Swiss food, but Fondue Chinoise is just as much of a tradition.

Closely associated with the Christmas period, the dish consists of a communal warm broth in which you and your friends cook a selection of raw meats and vegetables.

Teufi Restaurant, with its intimate wood panelling and traditional parlor setting, is an excellent place to try this dish. They offer both a meat and cheese fondue.

With the hilariously awkward logistics of table-side cooking and warm wooden interior, its hard to not feel cosy and festive with this Christmas tradition.

If youre feeling especially adventurous, ask for the sherry at the end of your meal. Its Swiss tradition to mix the meaty, salty broth with a dash of sherry as a unique digestif, but its an acquired taste.

Take in the views at Panorama Restaurant

Panorama Restaurant lives up to its name. (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

With a wonderfully charming ex-sanatorium behind you, Hotel Schatzalp, and breathtaking views in front, this traditional Swiss eatery is not to be missed.

The Bündner Plate provides a charming selection of regional delicacies.

It includes Bündnerfleisch, an air-dried beef reared on the surrounding hillsides; Bergkäse, a delicious hard mountain cheese; and Birnenbrot, a sweet bread similar to a fig roll.

The unmissable Bündner Plate (Picture: Alex Wilkins)

Accessible by the Schatzalp funicular, the Panorama Restaurant is also a good starting point for a number of hikes of varying difficulties.

If youre going in winter or spring, make sure to take the short walk to the gorgeous local waterfall.

Where to stay and how to get to Davos:

I stayed at Hard Rock Davos, replete with every creature comfort you could want (including an incredible spa), situated in the heart of Davos.

Its a two minute walk to the Schatzalp funicular that will take you up to the mountains, where the views are breathtaking.

Rock Om yoga library is available in all the rooms, with in-person classes planned for the near future.

Rooms there start from £131 per night.

The best way to get to Davos is by flying into Zurich, where flights start from £67 return from London with EasyJet. From Zurich, its a 2-hour transfer to Davos.

For more things to do in Davos, see the Davos Klosters website.

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