FAQ: Trauma Informed Yoga Training

1. Who is this training for?
This training is for anybody wanting to learn how to offer trauma-informed, somatic tools.  Past participants have included yoga instructors, medical professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, detention staff and people who want to deepen their own practice

The training is an opportunity to deepen your own practice and broaden your tools for offering trauma-informed yoga and other movement based therapy to adults and children in prisons and beyond.


2. Do I have to be a yoga teacher to participate in the training?
No, you do not have to be a yoga teacher to benefit from this training! Many attendees are social workers, medical professionals, people working in the criminal justice system, as well as yoga practitioners looking to deepen their practice.

Please note: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer instructor for Yoga Behind Bars after this training, you will need to have completed a 200-hour yoga certification or have comparable experience.

  • I’ve never been to a yoga training – what can I expect?
    While our training does have a yoga lens, it is open to everyone, and we do our best to take into consideration that not everyone knows what they’re getting into!  You will have a chance to practice yoga over the course of the training, but it is not the majority of the content.  We do not sit in chairs around a conference table in a big, drafty office!  We want folks to be as comfortable as possible in a curious, learning environment.  You might notice some people using yoga props to support comfortably sitting on the floor – don’t worry if you don’t have these.  Most of the spaces where we hold trainings have props that you can borrow, and your trainer can help you find what you need.  We also ensure the spaces have chairs, and you are encouraged to move and stretch as you need to stay attentive and safe in your body.
  • What do I need to bring?
    We will send you a full list of suggested items to bring with you when you register.  These include a yoga mat, any yoga props for your comfort and practice, note-taking tools, a water bottle or thermos, snacks and/or lunch, and cozy layers!  If you don’t have a yoga mat or props, most spaces where we hold our trainings have extras for folks to borrow – you will not be turned away if you show up empty-handed, but we encourage you to be resourced for your comfort and learning experience.
  • What if I have an injury?
    We use a trauma-informed approach in all of our work, including our trainings.  This means holding space for people to show up as they are, and that might mean aches and pains, injuries, or physical limitations.  You are never obligated to do any part of the practice that does not work for your body, and your trainer will do their best to offer modifications.  Don’t let an injury discourage you from joining the community – the practice is only one element of this work.


3. What kind of follow-up training do you provide?
If you apply and are selected to go on to volunteer as an instructor or classroom assistant for YBB, you will receive mentoring and coaching for your first 1-3 months of teaching. In addition, volunteers are required to participate in YBB-approved continuing education each year. YBB provides both online and in-person CE opportunities on a quarterly basis.


4. Are there scholarships available?
Yes! YBB offers three types of scholarships: one for Black, Indigenous People of Color, one for formerly incarcerated folks, and a $50 “Ambassador Scholarship” for people who help us with various tasks during or before the training.

Please contact Launa for more information.


5. Can I use this course for Yoga Alliance continuing education credits?
Yes, YBB’s trainings are eligible for contact continuing ed credits with Yoga Alliance. Please ask us to provide you with a certificate upon completing the training if you require the certificate.


6. Can I pay in installments?
Yes! Please contact Launa to make arrangements.  You are still required to pay the nonrefundable $40 admin fee upon registering to hold your spot. The training fee must be paid in full by the first day of the training.


7. Can I come to only one day/part of the training?
No. An important aspect of our training is to build community and trust amongst the participants. Having people leave halfway to the training would be disruptive to the other participants.


Out of State Inquiries


8. Can YBB come to my city and host a training?
Yes! We have been honored to teach trainings all over Washington State, as well as in Denver, Chicago, Missoula, MT, and Portland, ME. We may be able to bring a training to your city and would love to explore your ideas. In order to take our training to your city, we need our hosts to source a training location and to take responsibility for registering local participants. Please reach out to Jess if you think this arrangement might work and we can send more information.


9. Are you starting a Yoga Behind Bars chapter in my city/state?
No. Yoga Behind Bars teaches in Washington State prisons, jails and detention centers only. We conduct trainings across the country to support those who want to start new programs and offer an online module titled “How to Start a Prison Yoga Program” as part of our online learning platform.

We currently have no plans or capacity to start programs outside of the state of Washington


10. Will you cover the logistics of how to start a prison yoga program?
At our trainings, we provide participants with the tools to teach trauma-informed yoga behind bars and beyond. If you are interested in starting your own program, please check out our online training where we offer a module on “How to Start a Prison Yoga Program.”




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