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Review: Clean Yoga in the Arboretum

23 August 18 words: Emily Thursfield

Over the past twelve months, the country has entered a frenzy over plastic waste and its effect on our oceans. More than ever before, folk are constantly consuming, and looking for ways to reduce our plastic usage, myself included. I have appointed myself as LeftLion’s official sustainability nut, and get eyes rolled at me on a daily basis for complaining about the plastic water bottles in the office fridge or for kicking off about the recycling.

When I heard about Clean Yoga, I was really pleased to find yet another group in Nottingham trying to make a positive difference. Victoria Douglas and Hannah Appleton are two local fitness instructors who share a love for both mindfulness and the environment. At each session, they lead an outdoor yoga practice followed by a clean up of the area…

When I arrived at the main Arboretum gate, there was already twenty something yogis ready and raring to go. After waiting for a few late comers, we made our way to a flat stretch of grass and began the yoga practice. The theme for this session was cleansing and detoxing, letting go of feelings or situations that do not deserve a space in our life, as well as cleansing the environment around us.

Hannah started us off at a slow pace, before Victoria took over and got our hearts pumping and abs working hard. I’ve attended a few yoga classes in the past but this was my first experience of outdoor yoga. Although I was a little wobbly in places, it felt great to start my weekend outside in nature.

These sessions are free, and available to everyone, no matter if you’re experienced at yoga or a complete novice. All Victoria and Hannah ask is those who have participated to stick around long enough to assist with the litter pick.

Before we got gloved up, Sam from Dash Vegan gave a short talk on sustainability and reducing waste. Dash Vegan are based inside Art1.Space on Triumph Road, and provide high quality vegan produce, as well as eco-home essentials and zero waste products, such as reusable bamboo straws, zero waste deodorant tins and wooden kitchen utensils. Despite considering myself clued up on the subject, I was among a group of people shocked to learn that most black and purple plastics are not recycled, as their dark colour cannot be picked up by optical sorting systems that sort household bags of waste.

Before the session, Hannah and Victoria had got in touch with the City Council, who were more than happy to provide equipment to assist with the clean up. We were armed with bin bags and litter pickers, and were set off in pairs to rid the Arboretum of rubbish. While I wasn’t totally surprised by the amount of cigarette butts cluttering the floor, I was shocked by the amount of bin bags which were at least half full by the end of it. We found all sorts, from smashed wine glasses and plastic cups, to sanitary towels.

To end the day, we were treated to a talk from the girls from Lush about their ‘naked’ range of products. Lush have always been ahead of the game when it came to ethically sourced and tested products, and they now sell a selection of products which are completely packaging free, such as their handmade soaps, naked deodorant and shower gels. We were given a demonstration of how to use their luxurious massage bars, and were very kindly gifted with some products from the range.

I couldn’t recommend attending a Clean Yoga session enough. Not only will you help reduce our city’s impact on the environment, you’ll get a dead good workout in too.

Clean Yoga took place on Saturday 18 August at the Arboretum. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for details of their next event.

VictoriaLouise Active Life Coach

Hannah Appleton Yoga & Wellbeing

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