Training offered to yoga teachers

The Prison Phoenix Trust does not train people to teach yoga, but rather how to work effectively in prison and other secure conditions. We are grateful for all current and past prison yoga teachers for passing on their experience of works in prison and what doesn’t.

Our training covers issues that teachers face when working in prison such as:

  • Rapport with prisoners, prison officers and staff
  • Authority and professional boundaries
  • Adapting yoga to meet all needs
  • The importance of silent breath-based meditation
  • Sex offenders and drug and alcohol rehabilitation
  • Current issues affecting prisons and prisoners
  • How to start up a class.

There are periodically training days on specific issues such as:

  • Keeping control of your prison class
  • Teaching young offenders
  • Yoga and addiction
  • Accrediting your yoga class.

What’s coming up

Going Deeper: taking your prison teaching further

This day is a chance to give support to others – and draw on theirs – as you share challenges and what has worked well in your prison yoga classes. As many yoga teachers find it hard to teach meditation in prison, we’ll unpick the reasons for  this, and provide encouragement to give it a try. We will also practise yoga asana and seated meditation, and enjoy a vegetarian lunch together (provided). This day is for teachers already working in prison or other secure settings, as well as those interested in finding out more about how to get started in this unusual and rewarding setting.

The Orchard, Kilgraston, Perthshire, Sunday 26th March, 9.30 – 4.00 - £5

Taking Your Love of Yoga Behind Bars

Is it possible to offer unconditional support and encouragement through yoga and meditation in a regulated, stressful setting like prison? This one day workshop is for yoga teachers interested in finding out more about teaching yoga in prison, as well as those already engaged in this work. We’ll discuss some of the issues prison teachers face, as well as the challenges and rich rewards, practise asana and seated meditation, and enjoy a bring-and-share vegetarian lunch.

Swarthmore Education Centre, Leeds, 20th May, 9.30 – 4.00 - £15

Autumn Meditation Retreat for Prison Yoga Teachers and Letter Writers

This retreat, held mostly in silence, offers a chance to develop your meditation practice so you feel more confident in offering it as part of your teaching. Talks on the practice as well as one-to-one meetings with the facilitators provide the support you need for the extended periods of practice over the weekend. Meditation retreats are an excellent way to establish a regular practice or to revive or strengthen it, so we welcome teachers who have attended in previous years, as well as those who have not yet been. First priority is given to teachers working in prisons, IRCs, secure hospitals or bail hostels, and to volunteer letter writers. We hope you can join us.

Carmelite Retreat Centre, Boars Hill, Oxford, 27th - 29th October - £140


Our next 5-day residential training Teaching Yoga in Prison will be 18th - 22nd of June, 2018.


To book your place on any of these courses please get in touch with Sally, Brent or Victoria on 01865 512521 or

More information about these events can be found in the teachers’ newsletter. Please contact us to find out how to apply or if you have questions.  

You can sign up to hear about future training courses here. 

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Yoga and meditation in a prison cell
  Through yoga and meditation my peace of mind has grown beyond my wildest dreams.

I used to be so moody and angry and the things I used to dwell upon and hold onto don't cause me to resent anyone or anything any more.

It's only the gift of meditation and breath that has made me see that I couldn't progress until I let go completely of all the anger from within me.

A prisoner, HMP Pentonville 

Yoga is helping me greatly with my diet too. I want to look after my body now. I want to understand it more. I want to find the inner me. Life feels different now.

Ian, HMP Forest Bank