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May 8, 2017

Second annual yogathon stresses Earth Day ideals to individuals

(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

(Christina Yacono/Daily Collegian)

Made possible by volunteer work, the second annual Earth Day Yogathon was held by Protect Our Breasts to promote sustainable practices and healthy lifestyles outside the Fine Arts Center Wednesday.

Free samples of alternative products, donated by event sponsors such as Dr. Bronner’s, Stonyfield and MamaChia, were offered to participants, and local yoga teachers from studios including Jayadeva Yoga and the Yoga Center Amherst showed their support by instructing participants throughout the day.

In addition, 46 University of Massachusetts volunteers, including those from the Marketing Club and Isenberg’s Protect Our Breasts Executive Board, spent much of the day tabling, advertising and assisting other activities. At the 2 p.m. session, even Sam the Minuteman stopped by and attempted to do yoga.

Each session had at least 25 participants, which Cynthia Barstow, an Isenberg School of Management marketing professor who teaches the Protect Our Breasts Executive Board class, said she was happy about.

“It’s gratifying to see how many people want to save the future by using cleaner products,” Barstow said. “There’s a generous enthusiasm for supporting Earth Day.”

Alysse Foley, a member of the executive board and chair of the event, said this is the first year the committee has decided to encourage participants to form teams that can fundraise and donate together. This year, about a dozen teams signed up. Gift baskets of organic products were awarded to teams for different accomplishments, such as most money raised and most time contributed to the event.

“It’s a gorgeous day and the event has been really successful,” Foley said.

“Earth Day is about promoting the link between well-being in our environment and in ourselves,” Barstow said. “We deserve to have cleaner products on our shelves.”

Rachel Ravelli can be reached at rravelli@umass.edu.

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