Healing Trauma Through Yoga
with Zabie Yamasaki
"Trauma has a deep and long-lasting effect on the entire organism, from chemical and anatomical changes in the brain, to changes in our body's physiological systems, to the subjective impact on the experience of a survivor. We believe that treatment for trauma must consider the person as a whole and address the broad-ranging effects of trauma on an individual. This needs to be done through an equal measure of patience, compassion, and gentleness. If we are to help people recover from the insidious violation of their humanity that is trauma, we must be able to offer a varied array of tools to aid in this task." - Bessel A. Van Der Kolk, MD
Survivors or trauma, in the broadest definition of the word, share the experience of navigating their lives in the aftermath of a life-changing event. Survivors may have a range of body-based symptoms that pervade their entire lives, long after the trauma occurred. Bodily sensations associated with trauma can overwhelm the nervous system, which can create feelings of unsaftey. Trauma permeates all aspects of one's lived experience: physical, psychological, mental, behavioral, social, and spiritual. Trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practices offer modalities to help heal the whole person.
Trauma healing is a class designed to empower students to release trapped psychological and physical energies and come back home to their bodies. This gentle, trauma-informed meditation is coupled with light movement and helps students feel more grounded and balanced, while focusing on natural breathing to promote relaxation, mindfulness, and embodiment.
Students are invited to channel quiet awareness and presence, find stability and safety in the body, and cultivate resilience. The postures and breath work are thoughtfully created to uncover trauma imprints, support the healing process, create optimal balance of the nervous systems and lessen the grip that past experiences of trauma may have on the heart.
++ Please bring a yoga mat if possible ++
Having the opportunity to transform her own trauma through the practice of yoga, Zabie truly believes in the healing power of the asana practice. For years, Zabie's unwavering support for trauma survivors has manifested itself in many forms. She has ultimately made it her life's goal to help empower survivors 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 authentic self.
Zabie received her undergraduate degree in psychology and social behavior an education at the University of California, Irvine. She completed her graduate work 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 Kripalu Center for Yoga and health. Zabie is the program director of Trauma Informed Yoga Programs at UCLA and 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, consultations for colleges and agencies interested in implementing yoga therapy programs, survivor yoga retreats, and mentoring for yoga instructors.
It has been her dream to fuse her world 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.