OUR HISTORY & MILESTONES

HISTORY

MILESTONES

HISTORY

We’re Reimagining The Criminal Justice System

In 2003, fresh out of yoga teacher training, Shaina Traisman met a former inmate at an activist camp. She was deeply moved by the man’s story of his many years in prison, and decided to put her yoga training to work in prisons, starting in Seattle’s downtown jail. The more she volunteered, the more clearly she witnessed the powerful effects of yoga on the lives of her students. There was a much greater demand for classes than she could meet by herself. One of the first instructors to step forward to help was Natalie Cielle. Together, Shaina and Natalie reached out to more volunteers and expanded classes to include more prisons and youth detention centers… and in 2008 Yoga Behind Bars was born.

Shaina at King County Correctional Facility Seattles downtown jail in 2009.

In 2003, fresh out of yoga teacher training, Shaina Traisman met a former inmate at an activist camp. She was deeply moved by the man’s story of his many years in prison, and decided to put her yoga training to work in prisons, starting in Seattle’s downtown jail. The more she volunteered, the more clearly she witnessed the powerful effects of yoga on the lives of her students. There was a much greater demand for classes than she could meet by herself. One of the first instructors to step forward to help was Natalie Cielle. Together, Shaina and Natalie reached out to more volunteers and expanded classes to include more prisons and youth detention centers… and in 2008 Yoga Behind Bars was born.

Shaina at King County Correctional Facility Seattles downtown jail in 2009.

“From a few gracious inmates per week, to thousands of prisoners
being served, Yoga Behind Bars has grown out of the belief that every
human being has the ability to evolve into a realized individual.”

Shaina Traisman, YBB Founder

MILESTONES

We’re Reimagining The Criminal Justice System

  • Shaina Traisman starts first class at Seattle downtown jail.

2004

2006

  • Shaina starts working towards gaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for YBB.

2004

  • Shaina Traisman starts first class at Seattle downtown jail.

2006

  • Shaina starts working towards gaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for YBB.
  • Shaina Traisman, Founder, and Natalie Cielle, Co-Founder team up.
  • We begin offering classes at the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle.
  • We host our first Teacher Training class.

2007

2008

  • YBB gains 501(c)3 status!
  • We reach 1,000 students.
  • YBB starts new programs start at:
    • Monroe Correctional Complex—Special Offenders Unit in Monroe,
    • Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie, and
    • Washington Corrections Center for Women (Purdy) in Gig Harbor. 

2007

  • Shaina Traisman, Founder, and Natalie Cielle, Co-Founder team up.
  • We begin offering classes at the King County Juvenile Detention Center in Seattle.
  • We host our first Teacher Training class.

2008

  • YBB gains 501(c)3 status!
  • We reach 1,000 students.
  • YBB starts new programs start at:
    • Monroe Correctional Complex—Special Offenders Unit in Monroe,
    • Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie, and
    • Washington Corrections Center for Women (Purdy) in Gig Harbor. 
  • YBB hires Natalie Cielle as part-time Program Director as the first paid staff.

2009

2010

  • 35 people attend YBB’s Teacher Training.
  • Natalie Cielle becomes YBB’s Executive Director.

2009

  • YBB hires Natalie Cielle as part-time Program Director as the first paid staff.

2010

  • 35 people attend YBB’s Teacher Training.
  • Natalie Cielle becomes YBB’s Executive Director.
  • We receive a 3-year capacity building grant from the RiverStyx Foundation.
  • YBB starts a new program at Monroe Correctional Complex Minimum Security Unit.
  • YBB’s program at Echo Glen doubles in size to 8-9 classes a week, and now counts toward mental health treatment credits.
  • We reach 2,000 students.

2011

2012

  • Debut of YBB’s first Eat, Drink, Give benefit event hosted by Sutra Yoga & Wellness!
  • YBB’s Teacher Training expands from one day to two days long.
  • We reach 2,500 students

2011

  • We receive a 3-year capacity building grant from the RiverStyx Foundation.
  • YBB starts a new program at Monroe Correctional Complex Minimum Security Unit.
  • YBB’s program at Echo Glen doubles in size to 8-9 classes a week, and now counts toward mental health treatment credits.
  • We reach 2,000 students.

2012

  • Debut of YBB’s first Eat, Drink, Give benefit event hosted by Sutra Yoga & Wellness!
  • YBB’s Teacher Training expands from one day to two days long.
  • We reach 2,500 students
  • We win a Seattle Met Magazine Light-a-Fire Award.
  • YBB starts a new program at:
    • Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett where the classes are part of PE curriculum.
    • Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Belfair
  • YBB launches a meditation program in solitary confinement at Monroe Correctional Complex – the first of its kind in the country.*
  • We reach 2,900 students

2013

2014

  • YBB starts new program at:
    • Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen
  • Rosa Vissers becomes YBB’s second Executive Director.
  • Rosa presents at TEDx Monroe [LINK].
  • YBB is 1 of 10 finalists for the prestigious Washington Women’s Foundation capacity building grant.
  • More than 200 people have graduated from YBB’s 2-day Teacher Training program.
  • We reach 3,500 students

Photo Credit: JustinSteyer, KPLU

2013

  • We win a Seattle Met Magazine Light-a-Fire Award.
  • YBB starts a new program at
    • Denney Juvenile Justice Center in Everett where the classes are part of PE curriculum.
    • Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women in Belfair
  • YBB launches a meditation program in solitary confinement at Monroe Correctional Complex – the first of its kind in the country.*
  • We reach 2,900 students

2014

  • YBB starts new program at:
    • Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen
  • Rosa Vissers becomes YBB’s second Executive Director.
  • Rosa presents at TEDx Monroe [LINK].
  • YBB is 1 of 10 finalists for the prestigious Washington Women’s Foundation capacity building grant.
  • More than 200 people have graduated from YBB’s 2-day Teacher Training program.
  • We reach 3,500 students
  • YBB launches Teacher Training Behind Bars, the first of its kind in the nation, at Stafford Creek, with ten incarcerated students graduating in February of 2016
  • YBB starts new programs at:
    • Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Clallam Bay
    • Remann Hall, juvenile detention in Tacoma
    • Federal Detention Center, SeaTac
  • YBB wins Seattle Yoga News “Yoga Organization of the Year” award
  • We reach 4,100 students
  • We offer our first college accredited yoga class at the Washington Correction Center for Women, in partnership with FEPPS.
  • YBB offers its first out-of-state teacher training in Portland, Maine

2015

2016

  • We launch our second Teacher Training Behind Bars, at Washington Corrections Center for Women, with 14 women expected to graduate in April 2017
  • YBB wins the OOMPH! Award by States of Matter
  • YBB starts new programs at:
    • Washington State Penitentiary, Walla Walla
    • Maleng Regional Justice Center, Kent
    • Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, Connell
    • Airway Heights Corrections Center, Airway Heights
  • Our programs are featured in Seattle Weekly and Tacoma News Tribune
  • We start our first classes for prison staff at Washington State Corrections CenterMore than 300 people have graduated from YBB’s 2-day Trauma-Informed Teacher Training program

2015

  • YBB launches Teacher Training Behind Bars, the first of its kind in the nation, at Stafford Creek, with ten incarcerated students graduating in February of 2016
  • YBB starts new programs at
    • Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Clallam Bay
    • Remann Hall, juvenile detention in Tacoma
    • Federal Detention Center, SeaTac
  • YBB wins Seattle Yoga News “Yoga Organization of the Year” award
  • We reach 4,100 students
  • We offer our first college accredited yoga class at the Washington Correction Center for Women, in partnership with FEPPS.
  • YBB offers its first out-of-state teacher training in Portland, Maine

2016

  • We launch our second Teacher Training Behind Bars, at Washington Corrections Center for Women, with 14 women expected to graduate in April 2017
  • YBB wins the OOMPH! Award by States of Matter
  • YBB starts new programs at
    • Washington State Penitentiary, Walla Walla
    • Maleng Regional Justice Center, Kent
    • Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, Connell
    • Airway Heights Corrections Center, Airway Heights
  • Our programs are featured in Seattle Weekly and Tacoma News Tribune
  • We start our first classes for prison staff at Washington State Corrections CenterMore than 300 people have graduated from YBB’s 2-day Trauma-Informed Teacher Training program

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