Celebrating International Yoga day in Bedford Park was all originally the wonderful community idea of Emma Garrett from the Pavilion at the Park cafe. Emma first approached me about it last year when I was quite busy and I went away to think about it….I did get back to her sometime later with a ‘Okay, I’m in, let’s do this!’ and we went ahead and held I.Y.D. 2016 with a only few weeks to organise it! This year Emma suggested we start planning in January as it was such a success last year and the rest is history. I feel we are very lucky to have some-one like Emma in Bedford, she has contributed so much to Bedford and really brought the town to life and I feel I am qualified to say that having lived in Bedford my whole life!
I really want to thank everyone involved for making IYD 2017 such a success. To the yoga teachers – it couldn’t have happened without you all giving your time so generously and being so lovely to work with. Your sessions were all so brilliant and enjoyed by so many people, I was lucky enough to join in with a few of your classes and I also got to observe you all skillfully and passionately doing your thing.
Steve from MIND has reported that 277 people plus 6 small people registered and there were many more who turned up on the day or just joined in when they were passing so we reckon on there being approximately 300 in total. The donations totaled £336.86 which was brilliant as we didn’t really mention MIND and the charity aspect during the sessions, I did talk about it a little in my Welcome Talk but made it clear it was a free day and that contributions were completely voluntary. So people obviously gave of their own free will and not because they felt obliged to which makes it more special I think
Steve from our chosen charity ‘MIND BLMK for better mental health’ did an absolutely sterling job of organising and managing the on-line booking system on the MIND web site and welcoming everyone and getting them to sign in on the day. The additional volunteer for the ‘meet and greet’ table was ill so he managed single handedly and with good humour and friendliness ALL DAY long beginning with setting up at 7.30am and breaking camp after 7.30pm!! Thank you so much Steve
Also, many thanks to Amy from Bedford Borough Council – Sports Development Dept. who attended all our meetings and was an asset to the team from the start, Amy organised extras tables, artwork for T shirts and the printing of 1000 flyers and was also on hand all day! Thank you Amy
Katie Lewis – Events & Community Engagement Officer for Bedford Borough Council continued to be as supportive and enthusiastic about I.Y.D. this year as she was from the outset last year, we are hoping she manages to come along next year and join in with some of the classes! Katie really helped me through the process of applying for an event approval and the risk assessment forms and requirements for an event of this type. I have learnt a lot!
In conclusion, I felt the day had a very unique feel because it was completely none commercial which is such a rare thing these days. No-body charged for anything, e.g. even the T shirts were a collaborative donation – the artwork was created by Bedford Borough Council design dept.– organised by Amy and production and supply was from Mandy from Sycal Creative Merchandise Solutions in Kempston. Amazing!
The day was in the true spirit of yoga and was all about the practice and enjoyment of practising communally in the beautiful open air of Bedford Park surrounded by greenery and trees.
David (my husband) asked me in the evening what the highlight of the day was and I said that it was really feeling part of group of like-minded people all working together in harmony to deliver something happy and healthy to others without any personal agendas or desired outcomes – true bliss!
I could go on and on!…… So, lastly thank you to everyone who came along during the day enjoined the variety of sessions on offer (see list below) and experienced real yoga.