Training Overview

Different traumatized populations are found inside prisons and jails, and incarceration is itself a traumatic experience. How do we offer a safe space within an inherently unsafe environment? How do we reach people who’ve been shut down by trauma and mental illness? How do we set boundaries? During this workshop, we will explore power dynamics, within ourselves and as reflected in the outside world, and in the justice system. You will learn tools to work with traumatized populations, practice and maybe even teach in the trauma-informed style. We will do meditations and mindfulness exercises in the specific Liberation Prison Yoga method, focused on unconditional, non-judgmental acceptance rather than on accountability and changing behavior. If you are interested in joining our team, you’ll be ready for your on-site training after this Orientation. No professional teaching certification is required to take the workshop, though having an active yoga/meditation practice is helpful.


In this workshop we will cover:

  • Social Conscience and the Importance of safety in yoga
  • How trauma affects the brain
  • A Liberation Prison Yoga Empowerment Practice – Level I
  • The 12 Elements of a Trauma Informed Practice
  • The Unconditionality Model
  • Ahimsa
  • Conversation about race and privilege
  • Logistics of volunteering inside a prison or jail
  • Working with mothers, babies, and pregnant women
  • A Liberation Prison Yoga Empowerment Practice Level II
  • The art of connecting to emotionally shut-down students
  • The Psychopath-Empath-Apath triad
  • Practice-teach break-out groups: discussion, guided meditation and trauma informed yoga
  • How to set up your own prison program

Required Reading:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
by Michelle Alexander

The Body keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma
by Bessel Van der Kolk, M.D.

Recommended Reading:

Overcoming Trauma through Yoga: Reclaiming your Body
by David Emerson and Elizabeth Hopper, PhD.

New Jack: Guarding Sing Sing
by Ted Conover

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption
by Bryan Stevenson

We’re All Doing Time: a guide for getting free
by Bo Lozoff

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us
by Robert D. Hare, PhD.

Going Om: A CEO’s Journey from a Prison Facility to Spiritual Tranquility
by Michael D. Huggins