FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I learn more about your Training and what you do? We recommend that you browse our website. Be sure to read “Why We Teach Yoga and Mindfulness in Prison” under Who We Are. You can purchase our book here on the website (Yoga A Path for Healing and Recovery) that many teachers use for their classes in prison or buy a DVD which demonstrates an in-prison asana. Be sure to watch the teacher interview video, too. Visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/prisonyoga), too.

I’m interested in teaching yoga in prison. What’s involved? The best way to learn what’s involved is to take our Training. See above.

Do I have to be a certified yoga teacher to take your Training? It is preferred but not required. We touch on subjects that assume knowledge of yoga. The fact that trained teachers have at least 200 hours invested in a practice prepares them fully to receive this Training. If you have a  multi-year commitment to your yoga practice, work in prison or with underserved communities and looking to add to that body of knowledge, you'll be welcome..

How do I find out when and where your Trainings are going to be? Here on the website, go to Take The Training and look for Training Updates.

Do you offer scholarships to the Training? We offer a limited number of need and merit based partial scholarships for every Training. We also have a fun way you can fundraise your Training fee.

Do I receive Yoga Alliance credits for taking this Training? Yes, the training qualifies for Yoga Alliance CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for RYT certified teachers.

I’m registered for your Training. Is there anything I can read to prepare? Yes. Go to Take The Training and skip down to Workshop Documents. You can download and/or read any of these articles and research studies. All have informed the Training in some way. Also, check out this article written in Yoga Chicago about the training: http://yogachicago.com/2014/01/gritty-inspiration-chicago-welcomes-the-prison-yoga-project/

My friends and I hope you’ll do a Training in our city. How can we do that? Ask for the page we have prepared on “How to Host a PYP Training.” You'll need to contact a few studios you think would be a good fit. Since we can't usually visit the studio we Train in in advance of the Training, its nice to have someone in the host city who can meet the studio manager and give us some feedback. It’s fun and easy.

Do you offer internships? At this moment we don’t have a formal internship program. However, you might be able to assist as a volunteer in some capacity. We have needs in the SF Bay Area, our headquarters, and PYP Program Coordinators perhaps in your city could possibly use your help. It never hurts to ask. Send an inquiry on Contact Us.

Can I get paid to teach in prison? It’s not often that people get paid to teach yoga in prison, jail or rehab or reentry facilities. However having completed our training for which you receive a certificate helps support your professional standing and makes the case for support. Though it makes sense to first have experience teaching classes at the institution and demonstrating the benefits of  the program before asking for financial support.

I believe in your mission. Besides teaching, how can I get involved? We are working on membership and volunteer options for our mission. This work is underway now. You can volunteer locally with a sangha coordinator or with a facility with a related mission, helping teach at risk communities e.g. youth etc.

Will you be expanding internationally? We have conducted trainings in Norway, Germany, the Netherlands helping to establish programs in European prisons with affiliate organizations. We have established a chapter in Mexico City and trained its first teachers. We’ve also conducted training in Canada with the John Howard Society’s Freeing The Human Spirit prison program and look forward to further collaborative efforts with them. We are conducting Trainings in England and Spain in 2017. We share our expertise in teaching trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga, then the work is carried on by the local community. In the case of the Netherlands and Mexico, we have our own PYP Sangha providing services in prisons. We follow up on all international inquiries for Training.

My 200 Hr. Training wants me to do six hours of karma yoga, teaching in service. What do you recommend? We don’t place teachers in prisons without them having taken our Training. So, if you can't take the Training, best to volunteer with a local facility for women at risk, disadvantaged youth, the homeless, halfway house etc.

How do I send a yoga book to a prisoner? You can buy a book for a prisoner which we will select at random from our list of requests. Or, send a book to a prisoner you know: when you go into our shopping cart be sure to fill out the “ship to” side of the form with your designee’s address and inmate number. Don’t forget the inmate number.

Can I buy yoga books in bulk? Yes, if you’re buying 10 or more we will make special pricing arrangements for you. Contact orders@prisonyoga.com and tell us the specifics. Soon we’ll have a Tab here on the website that will automate the process.

I would like to interview James Fox for an article/story I’m working on.  How can I do that? You can contact our Director of Communications, JC Whitted, explain your interest and he can arrange an interview. Reach him at jcwhitted@prisonyoga.org.

What is karma yoga? Karma Yoga is a path of selfless service to others. It’s putting your yoga into action  to help relieve pain and suffering, yours as well as others, and without attachment to the outcome.

If you feel that we haven't answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, feel free to contact us. Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for the Contact Us form.