*It is our hope that offering a sliding scale will help us grow a strong and sustainable teaching community. If you can ask others for financial support, such as family members, partners, or friends, please consider using those personal resources before you choose the access level of the sliding scale. Many of our past participants have successfully fundraised in their commuinties to cover their training fees.
Payments in installments, scholarships for people of color, formerly incarerated, and partial work/exchange available, please contact us for more information.
Who are we?
Yoga Behind Bars shares yoga and meditation with incarcerated people to promote rehabilitation, personal transformation, and a more just society for all.
When we started out, Yoga Behind Bars was one yoga teacher offering one weekly class in Seattle's downtown jail. Today a team of 75+ volunteer yoga instructors teach an average of 35 yoga and meditation classes a week in fifteen prisons, jails and detention centers across Washington state.
peace is an inside job
Join us for the most comprehensive training available for teaching in prisons and in other vulnerable communities.
About the Trainers
Rosa Vissers sees movement as a powerful pathway to reclaiming our beauty, resilience, and connection — to ourselves and each other. As the Executive Director of Yoga Behind Bars, she has taught yoga to hundreds of incarcerated people and trained more than 300 teachers to instruct trauma-informed yoga and meditation behind bars. In 2015 Rosa spearheaded YBB's launch of its Yoga Teacher Trainings behind bars, one of the country's first, and she has presented a TEDx talk on yoga in prisons. She is a Contributing Editor to the upcoming Yoga Service Council book: Best Practices for Teaching Yoga in the Criminal Justice System. Rosa has an extensive background as a professional dance artist and holds an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah. She completed her 500-hr Yoga Teacher Training in 2007 at Centered City Yoga in Salt Lake City.
Jess Frank is YBB's Program Director. Her passion for providing transformative opportunities to incarcerated people sparked at the start of her career and has only grown since she became a YBB instructor over two years ago. As a program coordinator for the Post Prison Education Program and University Beyond Bars, Jess became both intimately acquainted with the challenges facing people in the criminal justice system and deeply inspired by the dedication of the students. As YBB's program director, Jess manages and mentors volunteers, oversees program expansion, and conducts site visits and evaluations. One of the highlights of her week is teaching yoga to 25 students at the men’s prison in Monroe.