German Of The Day: Bildungsurlaub

That means educational or vocational training leave. You know, like that yoga course you took for your job?

Yoga

What? Your boss freaked out at the suggestion? Well, everybody does it here in Berlin. Yoga to go with the times, people.

A yoga course can be considered vocational training, a Berlin court has ruled, paving the way to doing the “Downward-facing Dog” or “Greet the Sun” on company time in Germany’s capital.

The state labour court for Berlin-Brandenburg has ruled a worker has the right to paid leave so they can attend a five-day adult education course entitled “Yoga I – successful and relaxed at work with yoga and meditation”.

The judge ruled that under Berlin’s Educational Leave Act, even a yoga course fulfills the far-reaching criteria of “professional development” which would promote an individual’s “adaptability and self-assertion”.

“Yoga I – erfolgreich und entspannt im Beruf mit Yoga und Meditation.”

Yoga Spend The Rest Of Your Life In Prison

Or at least a year or two of your life, if it’s a German prison. Maybe longer, even. But only if they keep you in for good behavior.

Yoga

Talk about your shocking, sickening and thoroughly unacceptable prison conditions.

The inmate conditions found at Heidering Prison about 20 miles south of Berlin, Germany would shock most Americans. The prison is surrounded by fences, not walls. The hallways are filled with light and inspiring views of the countryside beyond the perimeter. Thought-provoking artwork by inmates is on display. Prisoners walk the grounds in street clothes, practice yoga, take classes, and cook meals for themselves.

“I’ve been on a Google campus for other stories, and frankly, it reminded me very much of it.”