Plastic Problems

Plastic is Not Fantastic – Or Doing Yoga ethically…

Will 2018 be looked back on as the year the world turned its back on single use plastic? In the UK, at least, thanks to Sir David Attenborough and BBC’s Blue Planet II, it became part of the zeitgeist. The general public had a collective ‘Eureka’ moment – suddenly seeing the damaging effects of all the waste we create.

My ‘Eureka’ moment for all that came slightly earlier – in 2015.  On becoming pregnant, I started thinking more and more about the impact our choices were making on the planet.  I didn’t want to be contributing tonnes of nappies a year to landfill.

patterned cloth nappy on babies bottom
The patterns on cloth nappies are too cute!

Cue the dive into the world of ethical baby products, cloth nappies and wipes.  It is something I would heartily recommend to anyone considering it as an option. There are loads of great online articles, blogs and support groups to help you on your cloth journey too.

Ethics and accessibility

When I came to start my own business, it was only natural that I would look into how I could run according to my eco-values. 

purple yoga mats set out in a circle with cushions and blankets at end
Baby class set up at the Space Upstairs – such a lovely venue!

I provide my own mats for my yogis in most venues I teach in. This is to help make yoga accessible to everyone. Quite frankly, parents have enough to lug about without adding a yoga mat.  It also means you don’t need to get anything new when coming to class. If you’ve never done yoga before, you can come and try it without buying new things. 

     

Natural Mats

purple mats in circle, with demonstration doll on one mat and coloured scarves and balls in the middle of circle
Special class set up for the Dalgety Bay Gala this year!

The mats I provide are Eco Yoga mats – they are made from natural rubber and jute – not PVC or other plastics, like most yoga mats. With care, they will last just as long, if not longer, than their plastic contemporaries. When they do eventually need to be replaced, they will decompose down if disposed of correctly. I also think they are pretty awesome mats to do yoga on! (Some people may have issues with latex – if you have a rubber allergy, let me know. I will source an alternative.)

Careful considerations

When I use props in my classes, I try and make them myself, or source them second hand or ethically. I prefer to use natural materials for their sensory qualities. When I do use plastics, I make sure they are not single use, and that I have carefully considered alternatives. 

purple mats in circle with coloured juggling scarves and balls in centre

I try to make sure that what we use in class is not negatively impacting the planet, or people in any way. This is in line with the Yamas in yoga philosophy (that is, the ethical guidelines to try and live by). 

If you are trying to cut down on the plastic yourself then it might be reassuring to know your yoga practice with us is eco-friendly too! 

 

Self Care Sundays

You may have noticed that I often use my social media accounts to share or link to a post, using the hashtag #selfcaresunday. If you follow many baby or mental health blogs, you might find a lot of them do the same. I’d like to explain why I think it is important to get that weekly reminder to look after yourself; and what ‘self care’ means anyway!

A half empty glass with text reading You can't pour from an empty glassWhen we become parents, we go through a change. Suddenly, you are responsible for this tiny human. They are completely incapable of doing anything for themselves. It can be very easy to fall into the way of putting all of your energy and time into looking after your baby, and forgetting about yourself. Over time, however, if this continues, you will become depleted, and you can’t look after a baby if you are running on empty yourself. Although we should practice self care EVERY day, I hope my weekly nudge reminds you in case you have forgotten in the daily rush that is life with small children.

There is an industry built on ‘self-care’ – things like bath bombs, candles, face masks – and if that’s what makes you feel better about yourself, or helps you relax, that’s great. However, I think it overlooks the small acts of self care that we all need to do to stay afloat. For me, that is things like having a shower, trying to maintain a tidy space (difficult with a toddler), and remembering to eat and drink on busy days! My personal exercise and yoga practice is also important to me – and as I have been struggling to make classes recently, I booked a one to one session with a yoga teacher friend recently, so she could put together an at-home personal practice to help me ‘move on’ in my yoga practice.  

It’s all about remembering to fit in time for yourself – which is something I incorporate into every baby and toddler yoga session I teach. The simple fact you choose a class for both you and your child is a great start.  In addition teaching you to share your yoga practice with your child, I ensure you get a chance to relax at the end of every session. The more you practice relaxing, both in class and at home, the more your child becomes accustomed to you taking the time to look after yourself. Modelling self care like this is an excellent lesson to be teaching your little ones! 

I’d love to hear from you on how you fit in self care for yourself – both the boring ‘brushing your teeth’ sort, and the fitting in a yoga class/massage sort too!