YOGA TEACHER TRAININGS
AT BREITENBUSH HOT SPRINGS
Sarahjoy's History with Breitenbush
Sarahjoy was a resident worker and community member at Breitenbush Hot Springs for 4 years in the early 90’s. During her time as a kitchen team member, she renewed herself with her daily yoga practice (in addition to the sauna, hot springs, river, forest, and community life). Yoga had already been a healing part of Sarahjoy’s life. It was a key factor in her recovery from anxiety and an eating disorder.
Breitenbush Daily Well-Being Yoga Program
Within 6 months of living and working at Breitenbush, community members asked Sarahjoy to teach yoga as part of the Daily Well-Being Programs. There was no formal yoga program at Breitenbush at this time, so she had no formal training options on land. To receive yoga teacher training, and to build her confidence in leading yoga in the Daily Well-Being Programs, Sarahjoy traveled weekly to Portland to join the yoga teacher training program led by Conrad Zevely.
The Transformative Power of Yoga
Sarahjoy created the yoga program for the Breitenbush Daily Well-Being Programs. Sunrise yoga 4 days a week at 7 am (on mornings when she was not cooking breakfast for the guests). And afternoon yoga daily at 4:30 pm (her kitchen shifts ended by 1:30 pm giving her luxurious time to then greet Breitenbush guests in the Sanctuary for the afternoon yoga session).
Leading these yoga sessions deepened her personal dedication as well as her awareness of the healing powers of yoga. After 3 1/2 years of teaching in the Sanctuary, and nearly 4 years of living at Breitenbush, a vision for yoga programming in prisons began to come to Sarahjoy.
Yoga & Social Justice
In 1998, Columbia River Correctional Institution welcomed its first yoga students for their twice weekly yoga classes in the TV room of the crowded dorm style living unit. The noise of the unit, and the noise of the TV that could not be turned off, faded into the background as the students learned about breathing, stretching and letting go. Within a few short years, Sarahjoy founded her first non-profit, Living Yoga, to respond to the growing need for yoga. Additional prisons were requesting classes for which eager volunteers needed to be trained to teach yoga in such important, and specialized, settings.
Yoga Teacher Trainings at Breitenbush Hot Springs
Sarahjoy has been leading yoga and meditation retreats at Breitenbush since 1993. She has been leading yoga teacher training programs since 2001. And yoga and mindfulness teacher training programs in Oregon’s prisons since 2015.
The yoga training school is dedicated to the authentic teachings of yoga from the homeland of India. Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, is interwoven with the yoga practices and informs the sequencing and focus of every session. In addition, trauma-informed, brain-sensitive methodology, social justice, and climate awareness are all integrated into the curriculum.
Prison Yoga Teacher Trainings
In 2012, Sarahjoy was approached by the Department of Corrections to lead Yoga Teacher Training programs on the inside. Having had 14 years of dedicated service in Oregon’s prisons and watching the increasing demand for yoga programs inside, leading a yoga teacher training and an ongoing mentoring program inside the facilities was a next natural step. These trainings are accredited with the Yoga Alliance.