Melany Biekarck
From Detroit, USA
6 years in Hamburg
Certified Yoga teacher & writer

Melany’s Yoga Couch

First things first, how did you end up in Hamburg all the way from Detroit?

To explain how I landed in Hamburg I will first have to mention Costa Rica. After finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I decided to move there with some friends so that I could finally learn how to speak Spanish. We found ourselves a tiny apartment near the university and then started doing what most English-speaking expats do to earn a living: teaching English.

One of our neighbors was a tall drink of water, a Bavarian, who now happens to be my husband. We started dating right before he had to go back to Germany, but we managed a long-distance relationship that took us to Argentina, Oktoberfest and then landed us in Brooklyn, New York, where we lived for a little over two years.

After that we decided to move to Germany. We agreed on Hamburg because of how international it is and for the international MBA program offered at the University of Hamburg, which I later applied for and completed.

Tell us about your “little nudge from the universe”: why did you need it?

For a little over two years, I was working as a marketing manager for a tech startup, when the funding got pulled and it was closed down. We were treated quite fairly and to be honest, I can’t say that I was that sad about it. My team was a really great group of people but I was ready for something new.

I suddenly had a small safety net and the time to start investing more time and energy into what I love, yoga and writing. And so I kind of just closed my eyes and jumped, first applying at yoga studios, networking and volunteering. Taking any chance I could to teach more classes and also working as a freelance copywriter for startups.

Then one evening at a party, a friend of a friend approached me with the idea of collaborating on a yoga Youtube channel. I was taken off guard by the idea but it immediately gave me butterflies in my stomach. My mind started racing. I had no idea where to start, but something told me that I need to at least give it a shot. After a few conversations with my husband, I decided to move forward with it on my own, doing all of the planning, filming, cutting, social media etc. by myself and with the absolutely critical support of my caring, creative tech genius of a husband.

Learning the technical side has been challenging and demands a lot of time. And being natural in front of the camera is really not as easy as it sounds. But all in all, it is so much fun! I love creating content, and the huge bonus is that I get to reach way more people than would have been possible otherwise.

My workday is not nine to five. I can’t even really quantify it. Work and personal time kind of just bleed together, which can cause some stress, but in all I am so much happier. I am more flexible, I get to make my own decisions and I get to learn whatever I want to learn.

You have a children’s book in the works: what is it about?

It’s about two little girls that get caught up in an adventure in Hamburg. One is an American that just moved to Germany – something I know a little about – and she makes friends with a German girl during a sailing excursion on the Alster. They get swept up in a storm and then get lost in the canals, coming upon a Schrebergarten, something which is, by the way, super weird for Americans. The rest you will have to read!

Follow Melany’s yoga moves on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

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