Giving something back

Autumn trees

A few years ago I decided to donate some of my annual income from teaching yoga to different charities. I’ve chosen various ones over the years, including some local animal rescue charities, as well larger ones such as Badger Trust.

My two most recent donations cover my love for animals and my love for trees and the environment. The two charities chosen were:

  • C.A.R.I.A.D. (a Welsh word meaning ‘love’ and the acronym means ‘Care And Respect Includes All Dogs’) who campaign against puppy farming, particularly here in Wales, and wider issues of dog welfare. Check out their website or Facebook page for more information.
  • Trees for Life who are restoring the Caledonian Highlands of Scotland through re-wilding, planting millions of native trees and regenerating the natural ecosystem. You can find out more on their website or Facebook page.

These donations are only possible because people attend my classes. Through the Trees for Life online shop I was able to purchase ‘Plant a Tree’ gift cards which I then gave to those who have been attending classes recently. Everyone is delighted to know that there are many new trees in the Highlands of Scotland as a result of them attending yoga classes.

Autumn trees
Autumn trees in Scotland (c) my mum

Trees are magical things – I can’t begin to express why, but yesterday a friend sent me this poem, which sums it up far better than I can. A musician has also set it to music.

‘Prayer of the woods’ – to the person passing by (‘Ao Viandante’)

You that pass and raise your arm to me, before you hurt me, look at me well.

I am the heat of your hearth on the cold winter nights,
The friendly shade screening you from the summer sun,
And my fruits are refreshing draughts quenching your thirst as you journey on.

I am the beam that holds your house, the board of your table,
The bed on which you lie, and the timber that builds your boat.

I am the handle of your hoe, the door of your homestead,
The wood of your cradle, and the shell of your coffin.

I am the bread of kindness and the flower of beauty.
‘Ye who pass by, listen to my prayer: Harm me not.

Source: ascribed to Veiga Simões, original in Portuguese ‘Ao viandante’ (1914). Apparently it’s inscribed in many forests in Portugal as well as north America.

If you like tree poems, here’s a web page with a whole load of them!

Tress in snow
Winter trees (C) my mum

4 thoughts on “Giving something back

  1. I think it’s really good that you donate some of the profits to worthy causes in this way. And the students benefit becuase by looking after ourselves, we are looking after others too. The tree vouchers were a lovely idea and surprise. Thanks for being so thoughtful!

    I can see why people like the poem, though it does justify the tree’s existence mainly through its utility to humans, rather than the intrinsic value that all living things have. It’s also a bit strange that the justifications for leaving it alone generally involve functions that would only occur after cutting it down! (Beams, boards, timber etc).


  2. I’m very pleased that you’ve chosen to support Trees for Life as I’ve been a supporter for a number of years. I must pick up my ‘Plant a Tree’ card next time I’m in class ….


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