Yoga on the Mind

If you had told me at the outset that a large part of our work would involve Santa Barbara’s Yoga community, I would have been skeptical. However, after a bit of explanation and connecting the dots, it makes perfect sense. Here’s the break-down.

Our project assists RISE in providing “wrap-around services” for survivors to help them achieve holistic wellbeing. Exercise is a key component of a healthy routine. Specifically, for trafficking survivors and others who have experienced trauma, yoga and meditation help reestablish a positive self-image and provide tools for emotional regulation and deescalating after being triggered. So, we have reached out to the yoga community to come alongside us in this effort. We are partnering with several yoga instructors/studios as well as a major yoga-clothing retail company to teach classes for survivors and to garner the support of Santa Barbara’s larger yoga community.

Classes- Thus far, we have one survivor who has consistently made use of the donated yoga classes. She began attending classes with a RISE staff member, and now feels comfortable enough to go on her own. Let’s pause to think about this for a minute. This particular survivor set in place a routine and made the decision for herself that her own physical and mental wellbeing are worth managing. Every time she navigates public transportation on her way to that class, she is choosing to care for her body and mind. This is a huge milestone. We partner with the yoga community to see these types of leaps through the practice of yoga!

Community Awareness and Support- We are partnering with one yoga instructor to host a fundraiser in October where community members can buy a ticket to a yoga class, and in doing so further support survivors in their pursuits of holistic wellbeing. We are currently looking for a business or individual to match the funds raised at this event. If you know of any who might be interested, do let us know! Likewise, we are partnering with a major yoga-retail company who is shares the vision of providing survivors with access to yoga. This company is hosting a fundraiser in September where they will pool their contacts and leverage their community influence to raise money and support. More to come!

So while I never imagined partnering so closely with the yoga community, it has proven to be one of the most important community connection points. Our Community Collaborative delights in the fruitfulness of unexpected partnerships.


Yoga at the Mission:

Enjoy a 1-hour class with local instructor Dawn O'Bar with refreshments to follow! Cheers!

Bring your own mat. $20.00/ticket, available online at

Help us raise awareness & funds for local survivors of human trafficking and exploitation!

Saturday, October 21 9:30am-12:30pm