Child Advocates Helps Foster Children Combat Trauma through Yoga

Event: Grow with Yoga

Date: January 27, 2024

Location: Child Advocates Main Office, Milpitas, CA

Population Served: Foster Children (ages 0–5)

Event Highlights: 

A calm filled the room as yoga instructor Yesenia led our youngest foster children through mindfulness and breathing exercises. Saturday’s event focused on providing positive childhood experiences through physical activity and mindfulness practices, activities proven to combat experienced trauma. Senior CASA Specialist Christina Ramirez shared, “Just by listening to our CASAs talk about how kids deal with frustration, especially in the early ages when they have limited speech development, it’s important they learn calming practices to help them through any of the challenges they’re facing. This is why we thought yoga would be a great [activity]…Through these practices, they can say ‘Hey I can do this myself, I can calm myself down and I can be a happier person.’” 

To kick off the event, attendees participated in a felt storyboard activity. Foster kids and their CASAs bonded by creating amusing scenes, which they discussed and expanded on to tell imaginative stories. Later, they had the opportunity to move to other stations to color or play basketball. 

At noon, Yesenia called everyone to the yoga station where it was time to relax and take deep breaths. To set the mood, Yesenia and CASA specialists dimmed the lights and played relaxing music. CASAs supported their foster youth through the process by completing the exercises with them, and at the end of the lesson, each participant got to take their mat home with them. 

After yoga, attendees transitioned to the final station where they got to plant flowers and paint their pots. Kids had fun choosing their flowers and getting their hands dirty, and they were even more excited when they found out they were also taking these home. 

To finish the event, kids had fun with food by making charcuterie cups consisting of cheese, ham, tangerines, bananas and raspberries. They even got to customize their cups by adding decorations and using cookie cutters to make their cheese star-shaped before diving in and enjoying their snacks. 

Overall, this event not only introduced mindfulness techniques to the children we serve, it also offered them the opportunity to explore balanced nutrition, engage in physical activity and, perhaps most importantly, bond with their CASAs and other foster youth. 

“[This event] helps [children] with self-regulation. They’re so excited to have their yoga mat where they can practice at home. It’s a safe and comfortable environment where they are supported and loved.” – Anuja Burns, CASA Volunteer

“For my youth, it was their first time trying yoga, [and] they’re more on the high-energy side. [It was nice] having a chance to slow down and work on his breathing, take a pause from the usual pace of activities we do.” – Jingting Wu, CASA Volunteer

If you have any questions or are interested in sponsoring a youth-related event, please contact our development department at