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Exercise Previous Classes

Barre + Brunch for Mental Health UK at The Hoxton, Shoreditch

This Sunday I hosted my first event of 2018 – a ‘Barre + Brunch’ at The Hoxton, Shoreditch, for charity Mental Health UK. Following three events I ran with Savannah Devillez last year fundraising for this worthy cause, I was so excited to continue our efforts into the new year…

Mental Health UK is a network of four charities across the UK who provide more than 400 services to support those affected by mental health issues. With one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, it’s so important that there are networks providing the support needed to help people improve their mental health. Lloyds Bank have partnered with Mental Health UK to develop and launch a service where both mental health support and financial services can be provided together. Those who experience poor mental health often struggle with their finances, and similarly those who struggle with their finances can then experience poor mental health, so this service will provide the help required to manage both aspects. Our fundraising is going towards ensuring this combined service reaches as many people as possible across the UK, and we’re so pleased that at this January event we managed to raise another £100 to help make this happen!

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M Life London eco mats

 

This event was all about feeling good – with an upbeat, energetic barre class followed by a delicious, nutritious brunch.

Barre was held in the uber cool ‘Apartment’ within The Hoxton hotel in Shoreditch; a super stylish space I’d like to inhabit, please! With our M Life London eco mats and resistance bands, we worked through all major muscle groups for a full body burn, before finishing with a relaxing stretch. Following refreshments from PRESS London and Seedlip, we were fired up for a feast. We moved into the conservatory within the Hoxton Grill for a buffet brunch with pancakes and blueberries, hemp seed chia puddings, avocado and roast tomatoes on sourdough, mozzarella and beets spelt salad and platters of fruit. I am getting SO hungry just listing that out!

Ok, so, on to my favourite part of any event – the goody bag! I love a good goody bag and always work hard to make sure I can gift my attendees a great selection of goodies to take home with them. This event was no exception and I was so happy to get support from the following cool and conscious companies:

  • PRESS – cold-pressed juices and healthy snacks for busy Londoners (the pineapple lemonade is delicious!)
  • Seedlip – the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits
  • KINN Living – certified organic skincare and cleaning for you, your family and your home
  • M Life London – non-toxic and sustainability-conscious yoga wear and accessories
  • Iam By Nature – natural and organic beauty with just a few ingredients you can understand
  • Brave – high-protein pea snacks made in the East of England
  • Joe’s Tea Co. – organic whole leaf teas from farmers paid a premium on top of fair trade
  • Lola’s Apothecary – delicate and elegant oils with a wellness purpose
  • Form Nutrition – plant-based protein for mind and body
  • Optiat – natural beauty using waste from the food and beverage industry
  • AmaElla – beautiful and sexy organic cotton lingerie and nightwear

Thank you so much to all of those that attended to plié, pulse and eat pancakes with me – I hope you enjoyed it. I absolutely loved seeing lots of new faces alongside some more familiar ones and hope to see you again soon!

Find out more about my upcoming events here.

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Exercise Previous Classes

Barre & Brunch for Mental Health UK

On Sunday 10th December, I returned to the beautiful Method Movement studio for my third and final barre class event fundraising for Mental Health UK in 2017. We took to the mats, equipped with our Manuka Life eco bands (read more about them here), for 45 minutes of pliés and pulses, powered by an epic Christmas playlist!

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I’ve absolutely loved hosting events this year with my friend Savannah Devillez to fundraise for this worthy cause. With one in four people affected by a mental health problem in the UK, more than cancer or heart disease, it is widespread issue that needs addressing. Mental Health UK is a network of four charities across the UK supporting those affected by mental illness. Their 400 services are relied on by more than 90,000 people a year, reducing the impact of mental illness and helping people through crises, to live independently and to realise they aren’t alone. Across the three events we’ve organised this year, we’ve raised a total of £360 for the charity and we’re looking forward to continuing our fundraising next year!

These barre events have also been the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of some inspiring, sustainability-conscious brands. With my passion for more mindful living and consuming, it was important to me that all of the brands supporting our events care for people and planet. For our December event we were incredibly lucky to gain support from some fantastic conscious companies, including:

  • KINN Living body wash – Soil Association certified organic, non-toxic lifestyle products made in the UK
  • Freda period care – organic tampons and sanitary products that give back, helping women worldwide gain access to the period care they need
  • Iam By Nature face mask – 100% natural skin care with few, simple ingredients
  • Optiat coffee scrub – natural skincare made from high-quality coffee waste
  • Elsa’s Organics deodorant – a gentle, nourishing and natural deodorant that is Paraben, Aluminium and alcohol free
  • Deliciously Ella granola bar – vegan-friendly snacking full of natural ingredients and high in fibre
  • Lola’s Apothecary tea – delicate, elegant, and natural beauty and wellness products handmade in England
  • FitKit shower gel – this UK-made body care brand is Peta-approved cruelty free and vegan, and Soil Association approved organic
  • Sundried tote bag – a sustainable sportswear company striving to minimise the carbon footprint of everything they do, using innovative fabrics and reusable packaging
  • Sports Philosophy discount flyer – aiming to be the first truly ethical activewear brand, Sport Philosophy tackle child labour through their charity Freedom For Children Foundation. You too can get 15% off with code ZARA01SP
  • Jilla Active brochure – simple and sophisticated Activewear designed to last through time and trend
  • Free Soul discount flyer – vegan protein powder and fitness supplements designed for real women
  • SourcedBox – these absolutely insane snack boxes are perfect for anyone that likes food (and who doesn’t like food?!), containing a collection of healthy and natural snacks designed to work wonders on your wellbeing! They’re vegan-friendly and are free from any artificial flavourings, preservatives or additives, and refined sugar, helping to fuel you through the working week!

As this event was a ‘barre and brunch’ we also treated our attendees to delicious, nutritious treats from healthy catering service PO-TEN-CY and organic juice kitchen CPress. PO-TEN-CY provided delightful energy balls made of orange, cinnamon, tahini, medjool dates, cashews, vanilla and sesame to help my barre-rinas recover after the workout. Whilst CPress donated refreshing apple and ginger juice bombs and tasty granola bars.


Thank you so much to all of barre beauties that attended the event and helped us to support Mental Health UK – I hope you enjoyed it! A big thank you to all of the wonderful supporting brands helping us piece together the great goody bag. And a special thank you to Ollie for helping out on the day and Domenic Pendino for the photos and your infectious, effervescent energy!

I’m looking forward to hosting more events in 2018 for a range of different causes and hope to see you there.

Zara x

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Exercise Previous Classes

Raising the barre for Mental Health UK at Method Movement

To celebrate World Mental Health Day, I ran my second barre class event fundraising for Mental Health UK. I took two back-to-back BarreBodyLondon classes, the first for full body and the second a booty-focused (or derrière in ballet terms!) class.

BarreBodyLondon is Chiara Pellegrino’s barre concept class, aiming to work all major muscle groups with isometric movements, Pilates and resistance training, before finishing with a relaxing stretch. I’ve been teaching Chiara’s method for almost a year now and I absolutely love it – you’ll work your whole body and definitely feel it the next day!

I have always found exercise classes a great way to relax and relieve stress. It’s an hour where you’re not thinking about anything other than the muscles you’re using, giving your mind a well-needed rest whilst working to improve your physical strength. That’s exactly what I want from my classes – to take my barrerinas’ minds’ off of anything going on in their lives and get them focusing on feeling the burn!

The classes took place in the beautiful Method Movement studio in Earl’s Court. The studio has a light and bright feel – perfect for a Sunday of wellness. If you go there for a class (which I thoroughly recommend), peak your head out to their garden – it’s a gorgeous, covered terrace area with wooden flooring, a white painted brick wall and light heaters to keep you warm in the winter. It absolutely love it and want to come back for one of Co-Founder Natalia Bojanic’s mindfulness classes!

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To make sure my attendees really felt the BarreBodyLondon burn, I used eco resistance bands from Manuka Life to aid with arm and glute sequences. These ‘eco’ bands are latex free and made from non-toxic materials, developed to avoid harm to both the user and the environment, unlike typical PVC bands. They are my favourite workout accessory as they can be used in so many different ways. They’re also the perfect piece of kit to take around town or to pack into your holiday suitcase as they’re super small and light. Get yours here.

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Ok so onto the goody bags – my favourite part of any class event (as they usually contain a delicious chocolate bar!). I was so lucky to get support from some amazing brands that care about the health and wellbeing of people and the planet. As sustainability is my greatest passion, I’m always on the look out for brands with a social or environmental purpose, that care about both style and substance. Here’s a little about the wonderful companies that supported the event:

  • Sports Philosophy tote bags – aiming to be the first truly ethical activewear brand, Sport Philosophy tackle child labour through their charity Freedom For Children Foundation
  • Form Nutrition protein powder – with every order of their smooth and delicious plant-based protein, Form Nutrition provide a meal to the Family Feeding Fund at Bansang Hospital in The Gambia
  • Brave Foods peas – a tasty pack of peas as an all-natural, eco-friendly source of protein, grown in the East of England
  • Ombar chocolate – raw, organic, vegan chocolate that is now a firm favourite in my household!
  • Born Wild Tea tea – high-quality, ethical and flavoursome loose leaf tea blends, born in the heart of the Cotswolds
  • Lola’s Apothecary body oil – delicate, elegant, and natural beauty products, all with a wellness purpose and handmade in England
  • Dash water – lightly sparkling spring water infused with wonky lemons and cucumbers that would otherwise be thrown away
  • Free Soul discount flyer – specialist vegan protein powder and fitness supplements for real women
  • Jilla Active discount & brochure – simple and sophisticated Activewear designed to last through time and trend

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I’m currently working on a plan for class events next year so please let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to do by commenting below!

Zara x

 

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

My BarreBodyLondon class for Mental Health UK

 

Last weekend saw my first ever event – a barre class to raise money for Mental Health UK. It was a really exciting opportunity to fundraise for a great cause and to test the waters when it comes to fitness event planning.

Did you know that mental illness affects more people each year than cancer or heart disease, with one in four of us experiencing a mental health problem in any given year? Mental Health UK is a network of four charities (Rethink Mental Illness, Support In Mind Scotland, Hafal, and MindWise) who work to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness, supporting more than 60,000 people nationwide. Their early intervention and support can help to reduce the impact of poor mental health, guiding people through crises, to live independently, and to realise they aren’t alone.

Find out more at https://mentalhealth-uk.org/home/

So when Sav Devillez, a crazy friend hiking Snowdon, cycling from the Peak District to Birmingham, and running a half marathon across three consecutive days, asked me to help her organise a fundraising event for Mental Health UK, I was delighted to help out.

We organised a BarreBodyLondon class, which is a ballet-inspired workout designed by Chiara Pellegrino to target every major muscle group in the body. I’ve been teaching barre now for a year, after having taken dance lessons from the age of four until eighteen and then continuing to perform at university, and I absolutely love it. It’s a fun workout with ballet, pilates, yoga and resistence training movements that you’ll definitely feel the next day (no matter how many classes you go to, trust me…)!

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The Detox Kitchen very kindly donated their beautiful studio for the class, and we managed to round up a collection of gorgeous gifts for the goody bags. With my passion for more conscious consumption, I wanted to make sure all of the brands we reached out to had a great social and/or environmental purpose. Here’s a little bit about the wonderful companies we were lucky enough to get support from:

  • Sundried tote bag – this sustainable sportswear company strives to minimise the carbon footprint of everything they do, using innovative fabrics and reusable packaging
  • Nourish cleanser certified organic and vegan skincare made in the UK
  • Lola’s Apothecary body oil – natural beauty products with a wellness purpose handmade in England
  • Dash water – sparkling spring water infused with wonky lemons and cucumbers
  • Ombar chocolate – raw, organic chocolate you’d never know was vegan!
  • Willy Chase’s fitcorn – air-popped corn made at their farm in Herefordshire
  • Happiness Planner 100 day diary – inspirational stationery designed to help you cultivate happiness through positive thinking, mindfulness, and self-development
  • Lumie light for wellness guide – bright light designed for seasonal affective disorder and other conditions
  • Veryan discount card – organic apparel and accessories from Europe made in the UK
  • Sports Philosophy discount flyer – an ethical activewear brand raising money for the charity they established to fight child labour across the world, Freedom for Children Foundation. You too can get 15% off with discount code: ZARA01SP

We also rounded up excellent prizes for the best Instagram event posts, including:

  • Liforme eco yoga mat – read more about eco yoga mats here
  • Lumie BodyClock – read more about the benefits here
  • Veryan organic beauty bag
  • Lola’s Apothecary ‘breath of clarity’ oil
  • Willy Chase’s apple cider vinegar
  • Detox Kitchen wheatgrass and spirulina powders

We managed to raise a total of £165 for Mental Health UK so thank you to all of the amazing attendees and supporting brands for making this happen!

We’re hoping to organise another event in October so let me know if you’re interested by commenting below or follow me on Instagram at @zaralwilliams