Yoga, Social Justice, and Leadership: a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Certification Training

In this 200-hour yoga teacher training, participants will deepen their understanding of yoga and its transformative potential while gaining the skills and knowledge needed to become effective and compassionate yoga facilitators. By exploring the intersections of yoga with social justice and leadership, participants will be empowered to use yoga as a tool for personal and collective transformation and to create inclusive and empowering spaces for all.

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The learning-objectives of Yoga, Social Justice, and Leadership: A 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training:

  • Participants will gain knowledge of trauma-informed principles and frameworks, such as offering choice and agency to students, avoiding triggering language or touch, and creating brave containers and empowering spaces. 
  • Participants will learn how to adapt yoga practices and modalities, such as mindfulness and gentle yoga, to support students with trauma histories.
  • Provide a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of yoga, including asanas, pranayama, meditation, and philosophy.
  • Explore the intersections of yoga, social justice, and leadership while integrating how yoga can be used as a tool for personal and collective transformation.
  • Develop teaching skills and the ability to create safe and inclusive yoga classes for diverse populations, including people impacted by the criminal justice system, trauma, and other social justice issues.
  • Cultivate self-awareness and self-care practices for yoga teachers, including mindfulness, self-reflection, and self-compassion.
  • Create a supportive learning community for yoga teachers to connect, collaborate, and share best practices for using yoga as a tool for social change.
  • Examine the history and cultural appropriation of yoga and to understand the impact of Westernization on the practice.
  • Learn about the neurobiological effects of yoga on the body and mind and how to apply this knowledge in teaching healing-centered (trauma-informed) yoga classes. 
  • Gain knowledge and skills in adapting yoga for different abilities, bodies, and levels of experience, including modifications and prop usage.
  • Explore ethical considerations and responsibilities of yoga teachers, including the Yoga Alliance Code of Conduct, and how to maintain boundaries and appropriate relationships with students.

Click here for an extended training description and testimonials.

What’s Involved?

This program takes place over 19 weeks, offering weekly live sessions, bonus movement and yoga philosophy sessions with guest facilitators, and final practicum offerings via Zoom totaling 105 contact hours. The self-paced online learning modules, demonstration videos, audio and visual content, and journaling assignments comprise 6-7 additional weekly hours for a 200-hour certification. 

  • 14 self-paced online learning modules
  • Weekly online lectures, discussions, postural training, and cueing workshops
  • Journaling assignments
  • Community outreach opportunities
  • Mentor office hours
  • Private forum for additional support and discussion
  • Access to additional continuing education content on the PYP Community website

What are the training dates? 

Training will begin January 18, 2024. Weekly Online Lectures and Movement Workshops will be held every Thursday from 5:00 pm -8:30 pm EST. We will also offer optional bonus lectures and movement practices on Tuesdays and Wednesdays featuring guest voices. These additional sessions compliment the live meet-up topics and on-line learning modules. The final graduation celebration will be held on May 19, 2024 from 12:00 pm-3:00 pm EST.

Important Dates

Early Bird pricing: October 24, 2023 – December 6, 2023

Scholarship Application deadline: January 4, 2024

First day of Class: January 18, 2024

Last Day of Class: May 19, 2023

How much does it cost? 

We are offering this training in a tiered-pricing model:

  • Community – $2,880
  • Supporter – $3,880
  • Benefactor – $4,880

For people who can afford to pay a little more, the extra you give covers a part of the cost for those who cannot. 

When you choose a higher tier, a tax-deductible donation is included:

Supporter Tier: $1,000 tax-deductible donation

Benefactor Tier: $2,000 tax-deductible donation

For those with constrained finances, we will offer a limited number of scholarships. Scholarship applications are evaluated based on economic need, identification with a disproportionately impacted group by trauma and incarceration, and the likelihood of applying the knowledge and skills learned in service to the community. Click here for the Scholarship Application.

Personalized payment plans are also available with a 25% down payment and the balance paid in up to 12 months.

Who should attend?

We suggest participants have familiarity with the practice of yoga and the ability to commit approximately 10 hours per week to the program. With that being said, having a diverse background of experiences can be beneficial to the people you serve. Lawyers, therapists, social workers, addiction counselors, teachers, and others who work in or intersect the criminal justice system would benefit from this training. People interested in bringing about a more effective and humane approach to addressing crime, addiction, and mental health in our communities. Formerly-incarcerated people and anyone with a personal experience of incarceration. Anyone working in prison or jail as staff or as part of a community-based or non-profit organization. Trained yoga teachers who wish to explore the practice of yoga through a trauma-informed and social justice focus. Space is limited to 30 participants.

Meet your Facilitator Team:

Jen Lindgren

Trainer, Program Director (PYP-New Hampshire)

Jen Lindgren, E-RYT, y4c, joined Prison Yoga Project in 2019 as Chapter Director for New Hampshire. She has been facilitating trauma-informed and healing-centered yoga classes to incarcerated individuals since 2017, including the instruction of 200-hour yoga teacher training programs.

Jen’s passion for movement and movement-based therapy began in the late 90s working with at-risk youth to share dance and interpretive movement for connection and confidence. This connection to healing through movement has guided her studies to become a yoga therapist. It has inspired a passion for offering yoga and movement inclusive and accessible beyond a dance or yoga studio setting. 

Jen offers exploratory workshops to support individuals seeking a deeper connection to their healing through yoga principles and philosophy and trauma-informed workshops to yoga teachers wishing to incorporate this methodology into their classes. 

Additional Guest Lecturers: 

  • Prison Yoga Project Staff & Facilitators 
  • YTT Cohort Graduate Mentors
  • Guest Lecturers TBA throughout cohort

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Is this training Yoga Alliance approved?

Yes, participants will receive a certificate and be eligible to apply to become an RYT-200.

How long is this training?

We anticipate most participants will complete the program in less than 20 weeks. It contains 14 self-paced learning modules. It allows an additional four weeks for program completion, mentor support, preparation and submission of the final sequencing assignment, journaling, and an optional community-based research project.

What happens if I have a scheduling conflict with one of the sessions?

Each virtual learning session will be recorded for participants to review if they cannot attend live. Office hours will be posted to connect with instructors as needed. 

What will I need to participate in this training?

You will need access to an internet connection and a computer with a camera and microphone to participate in online meetings. You will also need a notebook or journal for personal reflection. We suggest but don’t require that you have a yoga mat, blocks, blanket, bolster, and a binder for materials.

Are there any prerequisites to enrolling in this YTT?

We suggest participants have familiarity with the practice of yoga and the ability to commit approximately 10 hours per week to the program.

We do not accept credit transfers from other Yoga Teacher Training you may have been enrolled in or completed. 

What is my weekly commitment? How many hours should I devote to the material and study?

We will meet in person for 3.5 hours each week and suggest 5-7 additional hours for learning modules, self-reflection, personal practice, and sequence preparation.

What is required to complete this program?

To receive a certificate of completion from Prison Yoga Project as a 200 Hour Yoga facilitator, YTT Candidates are required to:

  • Attend at least 80% of the Live Learning Sessions or submit a written reflection if watching a recording
  • Complete all Reflections offered in the online learning modules 
  • Lead 2 Centering Practices during Live Sessions or offer recordings for review
  • Complete Personal Practice Project (essay, artwork, vision board)
  • Prepare and facilitate a 45-minute Trauma-Informed class
    • Show Competence and Understanding of Trauma-Informed and Mindfulness-based philosophy and facilitation

What is the Tuition and Refund Policy?

You may read these policies here: Tuition and Refund Policy.

What to do if I have a complaint or grievance?

You may read our grievance policy here: Grievance Policy.

Extended Training Description

Welcome to the start of your journey to becoming a healing-centered, social-justice-oriented yoga instructor. This inquiry-based, 200-hour online yoga teacher training includes live lectures and discussions, postural training workshops, and self-guided learning modules. It provides you with an in-depth understanding of the practice of yoga and the skills to support others’ personal and collective healing. This program emphasizes offering yoga in an accessible way to all students in studio and non-studio settings to create access for a diverse spectrum of people. Our goal with this training is to further the diversification of yoga teachers offering this practice to underrepresented populations to increase access to this healing practice for all.

Yoga programs focused on healing, often called trauma-informed yoga, are becoming common in correctional facilities, addiction recovery centers, veteran programs, mental health facilities, and youth and community support programs. Trauma comes in many forms, including personal trauma and social/systemic traumas, such as racism, poverty, and discrimination based on disability, religion, or sexual orientation. Often these traumas intersect, compounding the impact. Research has demonstrated the efficacy of yoga in addressing trauma, reducing stress, supporting recovery, and improving health. This training will prepare you to facilitate healing-centered yoga programs by understanding how trauma impacts our minds and body. 

We believe that yoga and social justice are profoundly interconnected and that yoga should be available and accessible to everyone who wishes to explore this practice. This yoga teacher training focuses on understanding yoga practices, philosophy, and heritage as it connects to individuals and their unique needs within a historical, societal and cultural context. You, as a participant, are invited to bring your whole self – your ancestry and lineage, culture and traditions – and adapt the practice appropriately. 

You are your first student. This training is an exploratory program that will allow you to understand better how yoga may benefit your ongoing personal development. As you move through the training, permit yourself the time to process and reflect on the information and ask the questions that arise as you work through these modules and when we come together as a group. Your unique insight and feedback will help others, just as you will learn from the contributions of your fellow learners.

Testimonials

The PYP training came into my life at a moment where the sense of purpose had temporarily been drained from my work as a public high school teacher. There was a void, which I think may actually have been an intentional conduit to an evolution in my life. I’m not going to quit teaching, but maybe my future experiences with PYP will lay a foundation for the next phase of my life. In the short term, it deepened my relationship to my body and my personal yoga practice.

– Paige Jennings

This training has changed my entire outlook on working with vulnerable populations. I have transformed as a human and approach daily life differently. I could not have asked for a better impact on myself than this training. I am glad I chose to step out of my comfort zone and jump into a strange new world. My life is more complete because of this training. I no longer feel lost and confused about my calling to service work and I have an outlet to pore my passion into.

– Emalie Rell

I started the program in awe of yoga facilitators and wondered, how do they do it? How do they come up with sequences, cue confidently, and lead others through a yoga experience? I am now confident that I am able to do those things and with a trauma-informed, mindfulness-based delivery.

– Elizabeth Melson

It’s given me knowledge and understanding to deliver trauma informed yoga to a variety of people in a variety of settings. Not only that, I feel the trauma informed approach will naturally transfer into other areas of my working and personal life. To be able to confidently facilitate yoga for people who have experienced trauma was always a dream of mine and i’m overjoyed that it’s already become a reality. Thanks so much PYP!

– Emma Smallman

During the pandemic, the bar was set pretty low for good experiences. But this training was superb and life-affirming! I learned much about myself and the need to practice self-compassion. Instead of rushing to judgment, I cultivated a curiosity about issues and life. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to build an accessible yoga mindset with such diverse individuals and loving facilitators. I’m eager to facilitate and serve.

– Kathleen Curry

I was deeply impacted with people’s stories, specially those who already work in facilities. It has given me a different perspective in life and how I look into society.

– Viginia Carrion Sanchez

Lived Experience of Yoga – Yoga Teacher Training Graduate Panel with 2021 and 2022 Participants

Not Enrolled
This course is currently closed$2,880 / $3,880/ $4,880

Course Includes

  • 75 Lessons
  • 132 Topics