How to Build, Implement, and Launch a Trauma-Informed Yoga Program for Survivors
Everything you need to know about launching your own trauma-informed yoga program
1 in 5 women are being sexually assaulted during their time in college, yet the reporting rate remains staggeringly low, with only 5% of cases being reported to campus authorities and law enforcement. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey estimates that approximately 53.2 million women and 25.1 million men in the United States have experienced some form of sexual violence over the course of their lifetime. Transgender individuals experience sexual violence at even higher rates. It has been one year since the first report was produced by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The task force announced a series of actions to help combat this issue including:
(1) identify the scope of the problem on college campuses, (2) help prevent campus sexual assault, (3) help schools respond effectively when a student is assaulted, and (4) improve, and make more transparent, the federal government’s enforcement efforts.
As a result, institutions across the nation are forming task forces, coalitions, and taking a serious look at their current sexual assault policies, protocols, and services to re-evaluate and re-focus their efforts to support survivors and ensure campus safety. For years, the sexual violence movement has been limited in resources and services- offering talk therapy as one of the only solutions to seek help in the healing process. While each survivor’s healing process is unique, due to factors such as cultural barriers and stigma around seeking mental health services; it is essential that sexual trauma providers and support agencies offer multiple pathways to heal. Offering trauma-informed yoga as a support service to survivors offers a different entry point, helps survivors reconnect to their bodies, and allows them to access resources when they are ready.
By focusing on a holistic approach, we are helping change the way our world responds to trauma and provides support to survivors at various stages in their healing. Many programs have found that survivors who are uncomfortable with or express a lack of interest in talk therapy have flourished in art or movement-based formats (Holistic Healing Services for Survivors). Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga has created a model therapeutic yoga program and curriculum and has trained hundreds of yoga instructors to implement yoga programs throughout the U.S!
Zabie has worked with a number of universities and rape crisis centers including: Stanford University, Occidental College, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC Merced, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside, UC Davis, UC San Francisco, University of San Francisco, University of Southern California (USC), California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Fullerton, East Los Angeles Women's Center, Center for Pacific Asian Families, and Community Service Programs (CSP) Rape Crisis Center to help them build trauma-informed yoga programs for survivors.
This training will provide a comprehensive framework which includes strategies on how to build and launch your own trauma-informed yoga program at a university or agency. This includes:
- How to create buy-in from a university/agency
- The power of collaborations
- Working with mental health professionals
- Identifying your audience
- Building a curriculum
- Group structure
- Assessment and Liability
- Share your Story
- The Business of Yoga
Having the opportunity to transform her own trauma through the practice of yoga, Zabie Yamasaki, truly believes in the healing power of asana practice. For years, Zabie's unwavering support for survivors of sexual trauma has manifested itself in many forms. She has ultimately made it her life's goal to help empower survivors of assault to regain their strength and self-worth. She is extremely passionate about yoga and its ability to help individuals connect to their emotions, be present on the mat, develop peace of mind, and take the necessary steps to become their most true, authentic self.
Zabie received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Social Behavior and Education at the University of California, Irvine. She has a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs at The George Washington University. Zabie received her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate through Core Power Yoga and attended a 40-hour workshop on trauma-sensitive yoga instruction through the Justice Resource Institute at the Kriplau Center for Yoga and Health.
During her graduate career, Zabie engaged in numerous efforts to help prevent sexual assault through her campus role as the Coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention. Zabie was previously the Assistant Director of UC Irvine Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE) where she developed an 8-week therapeutic yoga program for survivors of sexual assault. She is now working as the Program Director of Trauma-Informed Programs at UCLA where she oversees the Yoga as Healing program for survivors across each of the UC campuses. She is a founding individual practitioner of The Breathe Network, an organization that connects survivors of sexual violence to holistic healing arts practitioners that offer all services on a sliding scale. She is the Founder of Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga, an organization with the mission of empowering survivors to heal through the practice of yoga. Her organization offers group and private trauma-informed yoga classes for survivors, trauma-informed yoga trainings, consultation for colleges and agencies interested in implementing yoga therapy programs, and mentoring for yoga instructors.
Zabie consistently advocates for the rights of survivors and works tirelessly to help these individuals find healing. She is widely recognized for her hard work and dedication to her field. She has created a model therapeutic yoga program and curriculum which is now being implemented at:
- Stanford University
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of Southern California (USC)
- Occidental College
- California State University, Long Beach
- California State University, Fullerton
- UC Irvine
- UC Santa Barbara
- UC Merced
- UC Berkeley
- UC Riverside
- UC Davis
- UC San Francisco
- University of San Francisco
- East Los Angeles Women's Center
- Center for Pacific Asian Families
- Community Service Programs (CSP) Rape Crisis Center
She was recently awarded the Victim Service Award in Orange County for the impact of her yoga program on survivors in the sexual assault and human trafficking unit. Her work has been highlighted on CNN, NBC News, the Huffington Post, OC Register, Elephant Journal, and in a variety of online publications.
It has been her dream to fuse her worlds together, creating a space where survivors can heal by flowing breath to movement through trauma-informed practice.By focusing on a holistic approach, Zabie is helping to change the way our world responds to trauma and provides support to survivors at various stages in their healing.