Our Summer Science Project!

During our last trip to India in April, we visited Clement Town, a small Tibetan enclave in northern India and the home of Tibetan refugees who settled there after they were exiled from their country. A number of people at BTY have sponsored children through TCEF and they had the chance to meet the children they sponsor. It was a moving experience that none of us will forget.

I learned on this trip that the Tibetans have been incredibly successful at building and educating children. Their goals now are to improve the quality of education so our kids can thrive as adults.

I’ve been working to sponsor Tibetan children’s education. The Tibetan culture has contributed to my understanding of our yoga practice. Through the Tibetans, I have learned fundamental principles that are simply part of their daily lives, such as loving kindness, compassion and mindfulness.

Every few years we take on a project to improve the lives of these kids, step by step. What we learned this trip is that their science program is run by Rekha Gupta, who has been teaching inside these walls for thirty years. She has no equipment whatsoever to teach science. She teaches scientific principles by telling stories. Her dream is to have an actual lab.

Because we have such a strong affiliation with TCEF and we are in Silicon Valley, I’d like to build a science program. I can see taking groups from our home to theirs, contributing first hand to their education.


The school has assembled a thorough list of supplies, which includes shelves and counters, that in total, comes to $6,000. If you feel moved, would you consider donating to TCEF? You can help in a number of ways.

  1. Write a check directly to the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation or contact Karma@tibetchild.org to make a tax-deductible contribution.
  2. Make a cash donation of any amount you like at the front desk. We have a big bowl out.
  3. Sponsor a child’s education. It’s incredibly fulfilling, it costs $45 a month, and Karma Tensum will match you up with your child.

Thanks to those who have over the years, supported this mission and changed the lives of these children and their families.


The Backpack Project

Perhaps like you, I have been sitting with how to evoke change in our world around us, as well as the world at large. Two rather “yogic” phrases have been on my mind lately: “meeting the moment,” and “meeting people where they are.”
As I listen to many of you, I’ve realized that so many at Breathe have found unique ways in which to practice both of these ideas by regularly effecting change. As our studio looks forward to year 6 of being a community, we’ll begin to feature in our newsletters what our staff, members, teachers and students do to “live their yoga” as a means of continually inspiring all of us to “be the change we wish to see in the world.”
I recently discovered that our tea house manager, Jennifer Dong, is teaching her children about how to give. As a family, they prepare backpacks for the homeless filled with anything you might need if you were living on a day to day bases without shelter.  As a family, they shop, pack, find homeless or homeless encampments, and give the backpacks directly as a year round “practice.” She always has backpacks in her car, ready when she sees someone in need.  Her young children are learning what it means to provide direct support and comfort to those around us. Her actions have inspired me to share this “practice,” with my family.
I’m inviting the entire Breathe community to participate as an extension of our practice. Would you buy a few backpacks, pack them and give them away to people who need them? I’m especially interested in this project because it offers us the opportunity to practice “meeting the moment” and “meeting people where they are” directly and with compassion. We’re all learning how to make the world around us a better place, and evidence suggests that we’re most effective when working together.
Thankfully, Jennifer Dong has provided the list of supplies she generally purchases and guidelines for how to put the backpacks together below. Let’s see what we can do!
Wishing you and for your family comfort and joy during this holiday season,


Suggested Items for Backpacks

Toiletries & Miscellaneous

  1. Shampoo
  2. Travel Toothpaste
  3. Travel Toothbrush
  4. Deodorant
  5. Comb or Brush
  6. Chapstick
  7. Gloves or Mittens
  8. Small First Aid Kit
  9. New Socks
  10. New Underwear
  11. Emergency Blankets
  12. Disposable Rain Ponchos

Food & Drink

  1. Small Gift Cards (Mcdonalds, Panera, etc)
  2. Ready to Eat Cans with Easy Open Lids
  3. Soft Foods (apple sauce, puddings)
  4. Lightweight Snacks (trail mix, granola bars, dried fruit, crackers)


  1. Words of Encouragement
  2. Eye Contact
  3. Smiles
  4. A Listening Ear
  5. Conversation
  6. A Moment of your Time

Flowers for a Stranger

I was lucky enough to enjoy a “date day” with my 7-year old son. Picnicking and hiking we would go, and it started with picking up lunch at Whole Foods. On our way to the entrance, we saw a woman sobbing and a friend over her shoulder, consoling her tenderly. I sent her heartfelt wishes for a bit of ease to her apparent pain as we continued inside.

My son and I did our shopping, then brought our groceries to the car, glancing to see the two women at their table, as we loaded our groceries and climbed in. We were ready to leave when my son reminded me, “Mom, we forgot the syrup!” I love this little human being – he keeps me straight! “Ah yes … well, let’s go get it while we are here,” and we both ran into the store to quickly grab the syrup.

We ran so fast that we almost toppled the floral gal who was wheeling a cart of red and white Read more