Over the past four months, our dedicated yoga teacher training sangha has worked diligently in their study of accessible, trauma-informed yoga facilitation. Come witness and celebrate their merit for an all-day drop-in class practicum!
These donation-based classes will start on the hour, and we will have five class opportunities with five YTT participants. By purchasing a ticket, you will receive the link to join at any time, whether you would like to pop in for one class or all five! All of the funds raised will be added to a scholarship fund for previously incarcerated individuals to complete PYP’s YTT training.
Schedule; All classes listed in PDT
8:00 – 8:45 Emma Smallman
Hi, I’m Emma Smallman, based in Birmingham in the United Kingdom. My main teaching over the years has been ‘drum n bounce’ an uplifting dance fitness class to drum & bass music called which I created in 2012. It was quite the surprise when I trained to be a Real Flow Yoga teacher in 2017 as it couldn’t have been more different. I’m also work for Geese Theatre Company as an actor and facilitator, Geese is a charity working in the criminal justice system and social welfare using the arts to explore offending and the notion of change. Since joining the Prison Yoga Project training a wonderful opportunity arose to teach trauma informed yoga for people on a 12 week programme for substance misuse. It’s been an incredible and valuable journey so far and am thrilled to continue to facilitate these sessions. Beyond the training I am keen to deliver accessible sessions both in prisons and in the community with marginalised populations who may not have access to yoga, or even have considered it, with the hope that it may bring something of benefit like it has done in my own life.
9:00 – 9:45 Elizabeth Bloom
Elizabeth Bloom is a Master’s Candidate and former Peace Corps Volunteer living in Little Rock, Arkansas. Elizabeth is studying public health and public service. Bloom began practicing yoga to complement running and other forms of exercise, but in June began working with PYP’s Assistant Director going into the jails to help teach classes with groups in inmates and juveniles in Little Rock.
“Yoga gives me a chance to explore and be consciously present,” and this is what I want to give to people who practice with me.
10:00 – 10:45 Francia Groman
Hi my name is Francia Groman, I’m from Caracas Venezuela, currently living in Maryland USA.
Yoga found me 20 years ago when I became pregnant with my first son while recovering from alcohol abuse, and processing childhood trauma; years later ‘yoga saved my life’ and offered a path to healing from debilitating depression. To this day yoga continues to offer me connection, a change in perspective, and a heartfelt foundation to cope with the mental and emotional turmoil in everyday life.
I’ve taught vinyasa-style yoga classes in gyms and studios for over 15 years, but in 2019, at the beginning of the pandemic, I created Ahimsa Wellness Yoga as a way to offer affordable yoga classes and services virtually, at a time when fear seemed to have taken over. My passion for yoga stems from the deepest gratitude for its self-healing qualities: a stabilizing mental attitude and nurturing a deep connection to self and nature. I feel these qualities are pivotal in balancing out the collective state of fear and societal panic we find ourselves in.
My hope and intention for the future are to be able to share all the gifts yoga has to offer with survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and child abuse. I was blessed to have come across Prison Yoga Project and even more blessed to have the opportunity to embark on my most recent training: Trauma-Informed, Mindfulness-based YTT, and am now on my way to becoming a healing-centered, social-justice-oriented yoga instructor!
11:00 – 11:45 Paige Jennings
Hi. My name is Paige Jennings, and I live in the northern part of San Diego County. I’ve been practicing yoga for more than 20 years, but this is my first time committing to a yoga teacher training. My hope is to work alongside other PYP facilitators to offer yoga in men’s and women’s facilities in the county.
12:00 – 12:45 Celeste Okiakachi
No Chapter of Prison Yoga Project is located in the City of Birmingham Alabama or in Jefferson County to represent. In the future, if a PYP Chapter is ever established in the City/County I would be available to serve. In the meantime, I will offer the training I have received from the PYP to Recovery Communities throughout Birmingham and the surrounding Jefferson County area.
Our 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training has a focus and foundation of Yoga, Social Justice, and Leadership. Through our trauma-informed modality, we offer opportunities for already trained yoga teachers to refine their craft as well as offer a welcoming and inclusive space for anyone who is starting their teaching journey.
To learn more about joining our next PYP Yoga Teacher Training starting January 20th, 2022, click here.