Join us for our summer Stanford Alumni Breath and Meditation Mini Course, led by Julia Tang (lecturer, Wellness Department) and Dr. Graham Erwin (postdoc, Genetics Department), from August 27-29th on zoom. Sign up soon, spots limited to 20 participants! Beginners welcome! Organized by the Stanford Bay Area Young Alumni Board.


Course Dates and Times:

  • August 27 (Friday): 6 PM – 9 PM PT
  • August 28 (Saturday): 9 AM – 12 PM PT
  • August 29 (Sunday): 9 AM – 12 PM PT

Course Description

Participants will learn techniques they can practice at home to decrease stress and increase peace and focus. The cornerstone of the retreat is SKY (Sudarshan Kriya Yoga), an evidence based technique that uses the breath to calm the mind, leading to a deep experience of meditation. Along with SKY, there will be community-building sessions to make meaningful connections with other alumni. On campus, this 3 day retreat is taught as part of Wellness 132: Breathwork for Wellbeing. The retreat is limited to 20 participants and will be led by Julia Tang (Lecturer, Wellness Department) & Graham Erwin (Postdoctoral Fellow, Genetics Department) and assisted by Anshul Samar ’16 ’18 & Rosalynn Emberton ’18.

Recent Yale study on SKY Breath Meditation and article in Harvard Business Review.


Course Material

  • SKY Breath Meditation practice – a take home practice that students can begin doing after the course
  • 4 beginner & advanced pranayama breathwork techniques to decrease anxiety and increase calm and focus
  • 5 principles to incorporate mindfulness and meditation philosophy into daily living
  • Breakout rooms for reflection and discussion with fellow alumni
  • Community building activities
  • Optional post-course reunions and sessions to practice SKY Breath Meditation and be part of a fun wellness community at Stanford


Registration

Regular: $245.
Student: $125.
Repeater: $50.
Zoom link to be sent to participants!
Registration link: here.

If registration is full and you’d like to be on the waitlist or you’d like to be on the mailing list for future offerings, please sign up: here.

If you’d like to participate but are not able to due to financial reasons or if interested in offerings for non-alums, please send an email to asamar@alumni.stanford.edu.


Reviews from our recent zoom mini courses:

Since the pandemic started, we’ve organized 5 zoom breath and meditation mini courses for Stanford students, faculty, staff, and alumni and the response has been overwhelmingly positive (we even got a shoutout in a recent article by Forbes!). Now, with more than 80 course alums since May 2020 and a weekly community of Stanford students and alums who meet every week to practice together, the courses have gone from a weekend program on a breath and meditation to a vibrant and active wellness community. We’re happy to announce our first mini course for Stanford alums – and encourage you to join us!

Reviews from previous offerings:

  • “Best weekend of my life! Stanford is hectic and stressful and this was an awesome way to relax. Super fun too” (August 2020)
  • “I cannot recommend this retreat enough. It is very well structured, to the point and run in the most efficient way possible. There is also time to meet the other participants and build an excellent sense of community, that will help in continuing your practice! Whether you are a total newbie or a meditation master you will learn new things about yourself that can help you in living a more joyous and full life.” (Oct 2020)
  • “Do it! I never considered myself the ‘meditation type’ but still came away with a new perspective and equipped with a tool to incorporate in my everyday life.” (Dec 2020)
  • “This is a great intro to deep breathing and meditation while building a community! The instructors are all really awesome people who seem to deeply care about the participants. Everyone is very nice and friendly :)” (May 2020)”
  • “This retreat is a great way to implement positive psychology and mindfulness into your life through meditation… the retreat is well-paced, and there is a great balance between contemplative prompts, discussions (in small and large groups), moments for self-reflection, and a few lecture slides with core information that you will be learning. I highly recommend this retreat and am looking forward to taking all the knowledge I gained from it into my everyday life!” (May 2020)”
  • “The techniques taught in this retreat are very effective for those who have never done meditation before.” (May 2020)
  • “Please do!! If you are looking to grow within yourself, find a toolkit to help you navigate life, and connect with others on a deep level this is the community for you.” (August 2020)
  • “If you have tried meditation apps, books, podcasts, and still can not develop a constant daily practice, this is the workshop for you. It will give you the structure and understanding you need to develop a practice you will stick to and enjoy.” (Oct 2020)
  • “I have been recommending it a lot. I usually start by the fact that the people leading it are very committed, has no religious or cultural overtones and is really directed towards personal experience.” (Dec 2020)
  • “While a weekend meditation retreat might sound intimidating to a novice meditator…Julia and Graham made the three-days feel very approachable, brought our group together, and I would encourage you if you’re at all interested in breathing or meditation I encourage it!” (Dec 2020)
  • “This retreat allowed me to give much needed attention to myself, body and soul, and has opened new pathways to daily practices I’ve been looking for. Was touched by the warmth of the community in this class, even through video.”(April 2021)
  • “wonderful time to pause and reflect on yourself and what brings you internal peace/happiness – highly recommend for anyone who might be struggling with stress, negative thoughts/emotions, and be willing to truly put the time aside to commit to the retreat. Keep a journal of thoughts/reflections from the days to come back to when you need a gentle reminder of the importance of taking a pause.” (April 2021)

If you have any questions about the program or would like to know more, please reach out to Anshul Samar at asamar@alumni.stanford.edu.



Julia Tang

Julia Tang is a lecturer at Stanford in Wellness Education and has been teaching SKY meditation practices through the International Association of Human Values (IAHV) for over 20 years. Julia has taught SKY to students at the University of Virginia, Boston College, Boston, University, MIT, Harvard University, UMass Amherst, as well as at Stanford University where she currently teaches Wellness 132: Breathwork for Wellbeing. Previously, Julia taught SKY meditation through the Department of Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto as part of a federally-funded study examining the effects of SKY meditation on veterans with PTSD. Julia received her Masters of Education from Harvard University.


Graham Erwin

Graham Erwin, Ph.D., is a Stanford Cancer Institute Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University. He is a molecular, chemical, and genome biologist elucidating the functional role of repetitive DNA sequences. This work is guiding the design of new therapeutics and diagnostics for human disease. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was a co-inventor of synthetic transcription factors to treat devastating neurodegenerative diseases. This work formed the basis of Design Therapeutics (San Diego, California). He has published first-author papers in high-impact journals including PNAS and Science. Graham is an advocate for first-generation college students and for programs that support mental health and psychological thriving on college campuses.