Bringing yoga and embodied mindfulness practices to incarcerated people can be one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can undertake. It takes commitment, skill, and deep personal practice, though.
We operate in highly-sensitive and potentially volatile environments. We serve people who have likely suffered trauma in their lifetimes, who may have caused significant, perhaps mortal, harm to others, who live in a potentially traumatizing environment, and who deserve the best quality support we can provide. We work alongside administrators, health care professionals, and correctional staff, security-conscious professionals who are themselves subject to the traumatizing nature of the environment. Facilitating yoga and mindfulness programs in this setting requires a unique skill set, knowledge base, and character.
We recommend people to take the Prison Yoga Project training before applying to become a Facilitator. Attending this training will help interested people in clarifying what this work is and what it is not. It will orient them to our mission, philosophy, and methodology. It will provide an informed foundation for deciding whether or not to apply to become Prison Yoga Project Facilitator. Attending training, however, does not guarantee a person a position as a Prison Yoga Project Facilitator.
People who wish to become a Prison Yoga Project Facilitator will begin the process by completing our online application.
Anyone who has completed a yoga teacher training program may apply. We prefer candidates who are certified yoga therapists, Somatic Experiencing Practitioners, or mental health professionals with training in somatic modalities. We prefer candidates who have advanced training in trauma-informed yoga. Experience working with incarcerated people or similar groups is a plus. People we accept as Facilitators who have not completed training with Prison Yoga Project are expected to do so at the earliest convenience.
Once an application is complete, our team reviews it in consideration of the qualifications of the applicant, the need for facilitators in specific areas, and our capacity to onboard new facilitators or explore new opportunities to initiate a program. Following this review, we will work with the applicant to schedule an initial interview.
Selected applicants who complete the interview process and reference checks will work alongside experienced Facilitators during a probationary period. In this period, they will shadow to observe an existing program and receive mentoring as they take on facilitation responsibilities. This period will allow the candidate and Prison Yoga Project staff to substantiate their readiness and suitability for this specialized service.
We look forward to reviewing your application!