Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Barre + Brownies with Luminary Bakery

 

On Saturday 10th March, we celebrated International Women’s Day with social enterprise Luminary Bakery through a special Barre + Brownies event.

After my mat-based BarreBodyLondon class at the lovely Yogahome studio (big thank you to Yogahome for kindly donating this space for the event!), we walked over to the Luminary Bakery cafe to indulge in delicious brownies. The brownies were HEAVENLY – so rich and gooey, exactly what you want on a Saturday afternoon! Rachael, Luminary’s Business Manager, then told us a little more about what they do and how we can get involved…

ninacoluminarybakery150

Luminary Bakery is a social enterprise offering opportunities for women who experience social or economic disadvantages to build a future for themselves. They use baking as a tool to take women on a journey to employability and entrepreneurship, equipping them with transferrable skills for the working world. Offering courses and qualifications, work experience and paid employment within the bakery, they empower and build confidence, enabling women to become independent and realise their dreams. They have many wonderful success stories, including a lovely and talented lady who has just set up her own cake business!

You can support this social enterprise in a number of ways, including:

  • Brunching at or buying from the bakery
  • Purchasing a celebration cake for a special occassion
  • Attending one of their bakery workshops
  • Becoming a mentor and providing roughly 1 hour of support a month
  • Donating directly
  • Recommending to a friend

I’d thoroughly recommend the brunch, bread and other baked treats!

Nina-Co-Luminary-Bakery-004

As well as my mat-based barre class and yummy brownies, attendees were also treated to a goody bag with treats and discounts from brands that inspire, empower, or support women. These included:

  • Birdsong – a ‘no sweatshops, no photoshop’ social enterprise offering fashion that’s fairer for women, paying living wage and supporting disadvantaged groups
  • Juta Shoes – a social enterprise employing passionate and skilled local women in London to handcraft espadrilles using reclaimed leather and environmentally-friendly materials ​
  • Freda – organic period care that gives back through partnerships with Bloody Good Period and A Bloody Good Cause in the UK and Kilipads in Tanzania
  • Pai Skincare – certified organic skincare that is effective whilst free from Parabens, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Petrochemicals, Detergents (SLS/SLES) and artificial fragrance
  • Natural Deodorant Co. – natural yet effective deodorant made using familiar and recognisable ingredients in a reusable glass jar
  • People Tree – a pioneer in ethical and sustainable fashion, using Fair Trade and Organic certified materials and pushing for a fairer fashion industry for all
  • AmaElla – an organic lingerie and nightwear brand offering conscious yet elegant underwear you can feel comfortable and confident wearing
  • Iam By Nature – a natural and organic certified skincare brand using very few ingredients all within recyclable packaging
  • Husk & Honey Granola – organic, gluten-free granola made in London, free from refined sugar, dairy and wheat
  • Joe’s Tea Co. – a London Living Wage accredited employer offering organic, whole leaf tea made with quality and ethics in mind

I want to say a huge thank you to the lovely ladies that attended the event – I really enjoyed it and I hope you did too. We managed to raise a wonderful £100 to support Luminary Bakery’s continued work empowering women.

 

Categories
Exercise Previous Classes

Barre + Beauty: DIY deodorant using natural and organic ingredients

This weekend I held my second event of 2018, where my mat-based barre class was followed by a deodorant making workshop with Elsa’s Organics founder Henrietta Lampkin. Using just coconut oil*, shea butter*, cacao butter*, pink Himalayan salt and essential oils*, we heated and mixed to make our own deodorant paste (* = certified organic ingredients). It was great fun getting crafty with a lovely group of ladies for a Saturday of self care!


After learning more about the benefits of organic beauty (read up here) and all of the nasty chemicals often found in conventional products, I’ve been keen to find out exactly what is in my skincare. I’ve also been trying to reduce the amount of plastic I use and opt for reusable containers where possible. I really liked the idea of combining one of the barre classes with a deodorant workshop using reusable glass containers. I was so pleased when Henrietta was keen to collaborate on this event and share her expertise! You can find out more about Henriette and Elsa’s Organics by reading this interview I took with her here.


The event took place at Benk + Bo, a beautiful cafe, co-working and events space tucked just a 5 minute walk from Spitafields Market. The quirky space has a calming feel with plenty of plants and Scandinavian style furniture, perfect for a weekend of wellness. The class took place in the yoga studio, where I was able to set a romantic pink scheme for the lighting with Hue to promote self-love! We then moved down to the lower ground floor for a nourishing PRESS London smoothie and to start the workshop.
Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset
We also had gorgeous goody bag totes from ethically-aware Activewear brand Jilla Active filled with gifts and discounts from some of my favourite conscious brands, including:

 

Thank you so much to the lovely ladies that came to the event – I really enjoyed teaching the class and I hope you enjoying taking part!

You can find out about my next class here.

Categories
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!

img_2281

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

Categories
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!

22406187_1825187217496250_4928539586675317511_n

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.

22406527_1825187357496236_9155524150979586004_n

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

IMG_0712.JPG

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