Yoga as Healing

March 1, 2019
Wednesdays, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
USF Campus (not UCSF)

Zen garden with balanced rocks

The UCSF CARE Program will be offering another series of FREE Trauma Informed Yoga classes to UCSF affiliates who identify as survivors of sexual and/or interpersonal violence.  Classes will be held on USF’s campus.

Free 8-week course
Open to any UCSF affiliate
Wednesdays: March 20 - May 8
7pm - 8:30pm

Yoga as Healing (YAH) explores reconnection to the self through mind, body, and spirit. This series will provide participants with a means to become reacquainted with their bodies and grounded in the present moment. Participants will explore the benefits of mindfulness as they flow breath to movement in guided practice meditation.

What is Trauma-Informed Yoga?

Regardless of the nature of the traumatic incident, survivors may suffer from physical pain and emotional unrest after experiencing a trigger, or as a chronic underpinning of their daily activities. There is no doubt that trauma impacts brain functioning. After experiencing trauma, the amygdala goes into overdrive and anticipates danger even when there is none. Trauma can leave the body feeling dis-regulated and unsafe. Trauma-informed yoga is an empowering yoga practice that prioritizes the lived experience and healing of the survivor. Trust, safety, choice, and control are central to the practice. Below is a list of the core components of trauma- informed yoga:

  • Empowerment-based language
  • No physical assists
  • Natural breathing
  • Give students space to explore the postures
  • Themes to aid in healing
  • Create a safe experience
  • Provide a supportive presence
  • Sensitivity to triggers

Your commitment to Yoga as Healing will benefit you by providing the opportunity to:

  • Find peace and healing through your yoga practice
  • Learn to establish connection in your life and trust others
  • Establish safety and stability in your body and relationships in your life
  • Tap into inner strength and build skills for managing painful experiences
  • Build yoga and mindfulness practices
  • Build a strong network and community through peer to peer connections

Memories of violent experiences can create challenges for survivors. These memories can also be an obstacle to establishing connection and learning how to trust again. The experience of practicing yoga, helps survivors find union between seemingly disconnected and challenging aspects of the self; allowing them to slowly build the pieces into an integrated whole.

Yoga’s focus on self-acceptance provides tangible benefits that become noticeable throughout consistent practice. This gradual integration can be transformational and healing.


This series will be taught by Ryann Summers. Find more information about Ryann here.

Program Structure

YAH is an 8-week program. Classes are held on the University of San Francisco campus (not at UCSF). Classes will be made up of UCSF and USF participants. Each class offers survivors a safe space to gain greater awareness around strength, stability, assertiveness, and mindfulness. Each class has a different theme and will focus on various restorative postures and guided activities, including de-briefing exercises, journaling, and art.

Schedule & Logistics

Wednesdays: 7pm - 8:30pm

Session Theme
3/20 Intention (and orientation)
3/27 Safety
4/3 Mindfulness
4/10 Boundaries
4/17 Assertiveness
4/24 Strength
5/1 Trust
5/8 Acceptance and Community

What to Bring:

Please bring a water bottle. We will provide everything else you need for class, including a yoga mat.


Class is held at the University of San Francisco (USF) in the University Center Room 503. There is paid parking available on the Main Campus. MUNI bus #43 goes from the UCSF Parnassus campus to USF.

Classes will allow survivors to re-connect with themselves and build community with their peers. Each class will build upon the previous week’s class. For that reason, we ask that participants do their best to commit to attending all the classes in the series.

Feedback from former UCSF participants
  • "This class has really been an incredible healing opportunity. I really learned a lot, and I hope to continue to practice what I have learned."
  • "All of the yoga accessories made the class so enjoyable. I would look forward to getting cozy and propped up."
  • "It helped me overall. I loved it all. The people, the instructor, and everything else was great."
  • "This program is a wonderful resource for survivors."
  • "I really appreciated the space this class created. It was a good reminder about connecting with my body and slowing down”

Classes and class materials are FREE. The program is open to anyone from complete beginners to advanced yoga practitioners.

Applications are due no later than March 1st •

Interest Form Process

To participate in YAH please, complete the online application and assessment form answering as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.

Apply Here! | Share the Flyer!

If you are accepted to the program and are new to the CARE Program, we will schedule one check-in before classes start.

Please feel free to contact the CARE Advocate with any questions or concerns, and thank you for spreading the word.