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The Historic Botanical Gardens Being Put to Good Use

9th March 2016

Physical, Mental and Spiritual wellbeing will be the focus of attention later this month when the inaugural "Yoga in the Park" takes center stage at the Victoria Park, Botanical Gardens.

The event, which is being spearheaded by a team from the Department of Environment under the theme "My Body, My Park", will take place on the third Saturday in March.

One of the individuals deeply involved in the event is Education Officer at the department Arica Hill, who said that the "Yoga in the Park" project aims to introduce a healthy activity and nutritional benefits in a beautiful atmosphere such as the Victoria Park Botanical Garden.

"One of the things I love about the park is that it has this feeling of peace and quietness, a feeling of just pure serenity and despite the fact that we are actually in the city, you can feel like you are a part of nature. And so we wanted people to come to the park and feel that; to feel like they can be a part of something so beautiful for one memorable hour which will then be followed by a light snack", Hill said.

The healthy meals for the event will be provided by Ms. Shamez Mings, who said that she became a big health enthusiast after becoming the main caretaker for her mother.

"Having the task of taking care of my mom who is blind has put me in the position where I became interested in nutrition, in what we eat, what we shouldn't eat, eating more greens and stuff of that nature and so the Passion for Yoga in the Park came about because of all that and because I work here at the Environment Department, I realize that it is so beautiful here and so I pitched the idea of a "Yoga in the Park" and everyone was onboard", Mings stated.

The main facilitator of the feature attraction will be well-known Yoga and Zumba instructor, Karen Brookes, who explained in details what is Yoga and the benefits that can be derived from practicing the art.

"Yoga is finding unity with yourself, it is very physical because you will have to use your entire body, and it is also very mental where you have to just relax and let yourself go emotionally and try to take yourself to a space where you feel very safe and you breathe and feel it travelling through the entire body and it even helps to release a lot of tension if you have stress", she noted.

Brookes said that there are major spiritual benefits in Yoga, intimating that during encounters, an individual can hear and feel things that they would never do in a normal setting.

The activity will be held twice per month on Saturdays and is recommended for a group of no more than 25 persons. The first Yoga in the Park will take place on 19th March from 9:30 to 10:30 and persons are being invited to register at the Department of Environment at a fee of twenty five Eastern Caribbean Dollars which covers the cost of catering, the yoga instructor and usage of the Park.

Enthusiastic individuals may contact the department at 562-2568.

Another activity being undertaken by the Environment Division is a "Movies in the Park Event" where families and individuals can come out and enjoy a movie under the stars.

That event will be held once a month, on every third Friday of the month and the next such exercise is slated for March 18th at the Botanical Gardens starting at 6pm and refreshment and snakes will be on sale.

The admission fee is (2) two EC per person.

For more Information Contact:
Ms. Debbie Francis
Communications Officer
Ministry of Health & the Environment
Redcliffe Street, St. John's, Antigua
Tel: 1(268) 464-8026