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Empowerment: One Breath at a Time

Empowerment is a pathway of reclaiming personal power and of recovering the Spirit within. For example, one of the most simple and powerful tools for empowerment taught in the yoga tradition is deep, mindful breathing.

Even just now, pause for a moment and take three deep breaths, focusing on the sensation of the breath. Notice the shift in awareness, perspective, and physical wellbeing this provides.

Sharing the path of yoga, and powerful practices like the one above, has always been a passion of Namaspa Founder, Suzie Newcome and a core intention and commitment of Namaspa Yoga Community. Since Namaspa launched in 2007, Suzie and her teams have been dedicated to finding creative and meaningful ways to share the transformative practice and path of yoga with individuals, families, and communities across Central Oregon. And over these last sixteen years, Suzie and her teams have gone above and beyond in their efforts to bring yoga and other resources to those in need, including: leading volunteer yoga classes at local jails, homeless shelters, recovery programs, and schools; raising funds for local nonprofits serving vulnerable and underserved folks in our communities; helping to organize the annual Yogi's Unite Bend charity event for 6 years; providing scholarships for BIPOC individuals and individuals experiencing financial hardship to participate in Namaspa’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs; incorporating "Giving Back" classes in Namaspa’s Yoga Teacher Training Programs; and providing free 45-day "Fresh Start" yoga passes to local therapists and counselors to give out to clients who could benefit.

In August 2018, Suzie formally founded the Namaspa Foundation – a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation focused on bringing yoga, mindfulness, and breathwork to those in our community who can benefit from these practices most, yet who may currently have the least access to them

At the heart of the Namapsa Foundation’s mission and vision is empowerment – and held within the ancient tradition, context, teachings, principles, and practices of yoga, empowerment is not just a concept, it is a force that can be awakened inside of each of us, in our lives, and across entire communities.

Spiritual path work, broadly-speaking – regardless of its roots in various religions, lineages, or traditions – is a path of going inside. There are endless mysteries inside that are simply impossible to encounter, contemplate, see, feel, and discover in the externally- and materially-focused and -driven lives most of us are taught and conditioned to lead from the time we are very young. Spiritual path work is about, over time, the systematic cultivation of pathways toward (re)discovering these mysteries – toward living from the inside-out, rather than from the outside-in.

This is the work of the Namaspa Foundation.

Through bringing the ancient principles and practices of yoga postures, breathwork, and mindfulness to those in need across Central Oregon – and weaving these principles and practices together with the most current research and evidence around the power and efficacy of these practices in general, and in addressing a wide range of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges individuals, groups, and communities are facing – the Namaspa Foundation is creating pathways for empowerment. Pathways for people to connect deeply with the experiences, feelings, truths, suffering, strengths, and resilience that live inside of their Being, and to begin to take steps toward establishing these deeper, inside experiences as a part of the foundation of their life moving forward.

Suzie, the Foundation’s Founder, shares that “through the Namaspa Foundation, our teachers are able to make a profound difference in the lives of people in our community at times when they often need it the most – when they are going through a difficult time and trying to get their lives back on track. Often, the Foundation’s classes and programs are their first exposure to tools to help them restore their mental, emotional, and physical balance in holistic ways that lead them into deeper connection with themselves.” She goes on to share how the Foundation also serves kids and youth in our community: “The Foundation’s teachers also instruct in our local schools, so children can learn and grow up with tools that support making good decisions from a place of a calm and centered awareness.”

Since its beginning in 2018, generous donations from our community have helped the Foundation reach thousands of individuals, as well as provided scholarships to BIPOC individuals and individuals experiencing financial hardship, so they can participate in Namaspa’s yoga teacher trainings. All of the work of the Foundation is privately funded through community fundraising efforts and contributions from private donors.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Foundation, getting involved, making a tax-deductible donation, or becoming a corporate sponsor of our grassroots work in this community, visit the Foundation’s website here. Or, join us for our next fundraiser: Mala-making Workshop with Deven Sisler and Lauren Davey; Monday, June 5, 5:30-7:00pm at the Bend Lite Studio. Come build your own mala infused with affirmation and intent. No experience in mantra, malas, or meditation necessary. All supplies and materials are included. Plan for 1.5- 2 hours to complete your mala.

For all those who have given time, energy, monetary contributions, and support to the Foundation over the last years, thank you for helping us make an impact in our community.

Click here to make a one-time donation to the Namaspa Foundation, or to become a sustaining supporter.

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