In September 2011 I decided to begin donating some of the class fee paid by those attending my yoga classes to charity.
In Sanskrit the word for this is ‘seva‘ which means selfless service. It can apply to physical service, volunteering your time and skills, as well as giving resources, in my case money. The principle remains that it is something which is performed without any expectation of result or reward for the person performing it. You can read more about it here.
This links to the notion of karma yoga (the yoga of action) and bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, both of which are key to the Bhagavad Gita. In Buddhist terminology it relates to dharma-dana, or the principle of generosity and giving, spreading the Dharma, the teachings, without personal gain.
In yoga some studios practice seva through holding some classes on a ‘donation’ basis, people paying what they can afford or feel able to give. I decided to donate 50p of each class payment to my charity pot, and chose two local charities dear to my beliefs and sent them cheques the other week. The two charities are:
Animal Rescue Cymru (Registered Charity 1146676)
Ceredigion Animal Rescue and Education (CARE which has, as of this week, become West Wales Dog Rescue , but retains the same Registered Charity number of 1116262)
Please take a moment to look at the important work they do.
Here’s what ARC said by email on receipt of the cheque:
“Alyson, what can I say but a very big thank you for your more than generous donation. This will pay for 2 complete vaccinations for our dogs and as the veterinary side is our highest expence along with kenneling, it is such a help to have this sort of donation land on our lap.
Lots of doggy kisses and thanks from us
Doggy kisses are great, but I don’t think the cat who has adopted me approves!
And here’s the thank you note from CARE:
Thanks also go to the people who pay to come to my classes. Thank you, from me and the animals.