Being open and sharing authentically has undoubtedly helped me keep my hope alive.

Zabie Yamasaki, Founder of Transcending Trauma Through Yoga

 

Zabie Yamasaki, Founder of Transcending Trauma Through Yoga

Hello loves, I am honored to connect with you here. My name is Zabie Yamasaki and I am the
founder of an organization called Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga and I also work
as the Program Director of Trauma-Informed Yoga at UCLA. I consider myself a zenful activist
and it has brought me deep joy and healing to be a part of the WMN Space community.
I teach monthly trauma-healing circles at WMN space that are designed to be a space of
non-judgement and
 empower women 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 women feel more grounded and balanced, while focusing on natural breathing
to promote relaxation, mindfulness, and embodiment. There are so few spaces that cultivate
opportunities for women to come together, connect, get honest, and heal. It’s one of my greatest
honors to hold space for the spectrum of emotions we can experience when we live with trauma. 

I find that we can access our most powerful moments when we are invited to channel quiet
awareness and presence, find stability and safety in the body, and cultivate resilience.
I thoughtfully craft postures and breath work to help uncover trauma imprints, support the healing
process, create optimal balance of the nervous system, and lessen the grip that past
experiences of trauma may have on the heart.

 

 

What has shifted in your life since sitting in women’s circles? 

To say that a tremendous amount of healing has happened in the past year through
my connection to WMN space would be an understatement. In June 2016 I lost my baby
to stillbirth at 26 weeks pregnant. I’ll never forget the moment the nurse grabbed my hand
and told me that his little heart was no longer beating. We would never know why or how
this tragedy could have struck our family. I was left to pick up the pieces of my broken heart
and dig deep to find my way through the darkest days of my grief. 

 

 

What called you to work at WMN?

9 months after my loss, my husband and I were pregnant again. After a few short-lived
moments of joy, I became overcome with unfathomable anxiety. I just did not know how
I was going to survive this subsequent pregnancy. I’ll never forget the day I first stepped into
WMN space. I was very early in my pregnancy with my rainbow baby and I quickly realized that
this was going to be a sanctuary of deep healing both through my work as a trauma-informed
yoga instructor and by being in circles with women who could sit with my pain without judgement. 

Throughout my pregnancy I led trauma healing circles and private classes for women
who needed a place to come home to their bodies and whose stories could be honored and
named for what they were. A place where they could be reminded of their strength and resilience,
and most importantly to know that they were never alone in the struggles life often presents.
While leading circles, I also attended Paula’s Maiden to Mother circle and cried in community
with other women about all of my fears of being pregnant again after loss.  And now as I cradle
my healthy and thriving 2 month old, I wish I could go back to my anxious self and give her a
great big hug and reassure her that everything would be just fine. I’ll never know how…
but I survived. And now through the support of Molly’s Postpartum Healing Support group at
WMN space, I have a community of women to travel the journey of new motherhood with-
in all of its joys and challenges. WMN space has healed my heart and soul in so many ways
and has filled a much needed gap in our society to refill, heal, nourish, and support women
everywhere. I am forever grateful. 

 

 

When and how are you willing to be vulnerable and how do you show up in
Authenticity in your daily life?

Being open and sharing authentically has undoubtedly helped me keep my hope alive.
I don’t always have the words to capture my journey. Healing evolves and changes the rhythm
of the heart in ways that can sometimes only be felt. So much that is unprocessed swirls through
my mind when I gaze down at him. What I know for sure is that he is my greatest teacher.
He’s repaired and restored my broken pieces in the most breathtaking ways. He’s helped me
love the parts of myself I never thought I could. And in the moments of overwhelm, the crying,
the sleep deprivation, the postpartum chaos, the magic, the cuddles, the joy, and the bursting love…
I remember how much we as a unit have survived. The long and un-linear journey it took
just to get here, to this moment. The lessons. The pain. He is truly my greatest gift.
I can’t believe he’s actually here. I can’t believe he’s mine.

 

 

photo credits: @garrettyamasakiphotography @sargeantcreative @shannonyamasaki