At my previous employers, Eunomia Research and Consulting in central Bristol, I run lunchtime yoga classes. I have been teaching former colleagues over the past year, and this included during my Yoga Teacher Training at Bristol School of Yoga. I really enjoy running the classes, which are often very popular with classes filling within minutes. Feedback has often highlighted the benefits from taking time out from the busy working day to de-stress, find calm to body and mind and recharge for the remainder of the day.
Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to use the classes to support worthy causes. One of my ex-colleagues (Cally Barnes) had volunteered at Costa Rica Animal Rescue Centre. Cally has written a blog post about her experiences here. What touched me most about her story was that this is a centre that does some incredible work to rescue, rehabilitate and release (where possible) animals with very limited resources.
The centre has a variety of animals including two and three-toed sloths, opossums, racoons, macaws as well as domestic animals such as dogs, cats and even guinea pigs. The animals shown in the photo are howler monkeys named Feluco and Linah. Feluco arrived at the centre in November 2013 and only weighed 400 grams. He was found next to his mother who had been killed by a dog. Feluco suffered injuries to his back and leg in the attack. He has been hand-raised by the centre and is very attached to humans.
The centre was uprooted from its previous home in 2015 and has had to set up a new centre from scratch to re-home its animals. Costs Rican law was also changed in November 2017 meaning that the centre is now classed as a zoo, as rather bizarrely, a rescue centre cannot have volunteers. As they are classed as a zoo this means that although they can rescue and rehabilitate animals, they cannot release them. As they receive and rescue more animals, this is putting an increasing strain on their shelters.
Donations to the centre were raised during April to June. My yogis generously donated an amazing £150 for the classes and this has now been sent to the centre. The centre is going to keep me updated on the projects this money supports. It has been so rewarding to teach yoga to my ex-colleagues, and in particular to do so for such a worthwhile cause.