HYF 2014 Programs

In support of our own findings, research confirms that yoga is proving to be a low-cost, low technology intervention strategy for helping diverse populations address and reduce the health-eroding effects of chronic stress. HYF is responding to this community need by offering therapeutic yoga to those who otherwise would not have access to it.

At-Risk Populations/Youth and Family

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At-Risk Populations/PTSD

Health -Affected Populations

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At-Risk Populations

  • Casa Serena Eating Disorders Recovery Center a weekly mindfulness and yoga class that supports people with eating disorders.
  • Francisco Middle School a weekly wellness and stress management class that supports at risk middle school aged youth.
  • Girl Ventures a quarterly wellness and stress management class that supports at risk girls.
  • La Casa de las Madres a weekly stress management class for the staff working with low-income women facing domestic violence.
  • Positive Parenthood Project at Compass Family Services: a weekly stress management class that supports homeless and/or at-risk parents and families.
    • Compass Family Services (CFS) provides housing, education and employment services to San Francisco's homeless and at-risk families. The agency's six programs support more than 3,000 parents and children each year in their efforts to achieve stability and self-sufficiency. Their family programs are Connecting Point, Compass Family Shelter, Compass Family Resource Center, Compass SF home, Clara House, and the Tenderloin Childcare Center (TLC). 


    • In the last three years, over 75 percent of participants in our stress reduction program for the homeless at Compass Family Services consistently reported feeling better, relating to family better, and experiencing an improved overall quality of life. 

    • Research has shown that low-income communities are particularly susceptible to high levels of stress and its associated health concerns. Individuals from lower socioeconomic status (SES) communities often suffer from “toxic stress” due to higher rates of crime and conflict in their environments, financial burden, and limited access to health care. Such prolonged exposure to stressors triggers emotional, behavioral, and physical responses that contribute to poor health. 


    • Adler N, et al, "Reaching for a Healthier Life: Facts on Socioeconomic Status and Health in the United States", The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Socioeconomic Status and Health, 2008.
  • Mission Neighborhood Health Center: a weekly class for the clinic's staff. The goal is to help staff develop tools to manage stress as they face the challenges of serving underserved and disenfranchised Latino populations in San Francisco.

At-Risk Populations/PTSD

  • San Francisco Veteran's Affairs Medical Center: a twice-weekly stress management class for veterans with co-occurring substance use disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. Our goal is to help reduce symptoms, support sobriety and improve overall health. 
A quote from a SF Veterans Hospital manager concerning the impact of HYF's PTSD program: 


  • "Thus far, the results of this class have been impressive. Veterans have expressed tremendous gratitude...Reported improvements include better pain management, decreased irritability and anger/rage, including less anger while driving and improved conflict resolution with spouses, decreased anxiety, improved blood pressure, and improved balance. Veterans have reported using the techniques outside of session to effectively cope with a variety of stressful situations."

Health - Affected Populations

  • Cancer Support Retreat Days: day-long retreats for those with cancer (and their partners/caregivers) held at our center in San Francisco in collaboration with Commonweal. 

"The program was like a dose of caring Commonweal in my own backyard... The opportunity to connect with others living with cancer was invaluable." -LH 

"Thank you for lovely, thoughtful program. The kindness, care, and pace were wonderful and nourishing. The leaders created a safe, relaxed, welcoming space immediately. Sensitive & respectful program." –PM
  • Charlotte Maxwell Clinic weekly yoga class for low-income woman facing cancer diagnosis and recovery.
  • Commonweal Cancer Help Program: six, week-long residential retreats each year for those facing a cancer diagnosis, held at Commonweal in Bolinas, CA.
  • Creativity explored individual session and small group classes for disabled adults
  • Condition-Based Training Programs for Cancer Support: HYF to develop and launch a 75-hour Advanced Cancer Support Teacher Training Program. This program will provide teachers with the background, principals, and techniques so they can safely and appropriately teach yoga to people with cancer and replicate our model of day-long support retreats.

On Site Financial Aid at HYF: discounted (or free) services for low-income, health-affected individuals referred to our center through doctors, outreach programs and various other sources. In 2011, HYF anticipates serving 150 people at our San Francisco center with financial aid.