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Yoga Ed. trainer awarded $150,000 grant to bring yoga to Pittsburgh public schools

Spring 2008

by Tresca Weinstein

The nonprofit organization Yoga In Schools (YIS), founded by Yoga Ed. trainer Joanne Spence, has received a $150,000 grant from the Heinz Endowment to introduce Yoga Ed. to the entire Pittsburgh School District, which includes 75 schools, 150 physical education teachers, and 2,400 classroom teachers. Additional foundations are contributing to the initiative, and Joanne projects that total donations to this project will exceed half a million dollars.

A certified trainer for Yoga Ed., Joanne completed her training in June 2005 and that fall launched a 16-week pilot program at three inner-city Pittsburgh schools. Since then, YIS staff and volunteers have used the Yoga Ed. Curriculum to bring yoga to some 600 children and 100 teachers in the Pittsburgh area. A follow-up study conducted by YIS showed that 73 percent of teachers reported using yoga techniques, particularly breathing and body awareness exercises, in the classroom and for self-care “most or all of the time.”

“This is one of the best programs I have seen brought into our most underserved schools,” one teacher wrote. “It is important for the program to last and grow over time. Children participating in such a program over a period of three or more years would learn habits that would last a lifetime. It is so important for such programs not just to start and stop, but actually to stay and last so they can become part of the fabric of our schools.”

The Rachel Greene Memorial Fund, administered by KYTA, awards scholarships and stipends to train and support members who wish to bring yoga into Title I elementary schools, using programs such as Yoga Ed. This year three Yoga Ed. trainings will be offered at Kripalu: Yoga Ed. High School Instruction Certification, April 6 to 11; Yoga Ed K-8 Instructor Training, July 25 to August 1; Yoga Ed. Pre-K Instructor Training, October 13 to 17. This year Yoga Ed. also debuts its Tools for At-Risk Youth Training and Tools for Learning Differences Training, and offers free instructor trainings in Los Angeles.

For more information about Yoga Ed., visit For more information about the Rachel Greene Memorial Fund, click here.

Complete list of articles by this author:

The 1999 KYTA Conference Fosters Excitement and Growth

KYTA's Teaching for Diversity Program

Scenes from a Conference: More than 300 teachers attend KYTA Conference 2000

Snapshots from KYTA Conference 2001

Bindu Source Johnson shares her experience

Coverage of the 2002 KYTA Conference, Oct. 24-27

Tides Foundation awards KYTA $50,000 for yoga teachers serving diverse populations

Yoga on Tape: Reviews of yoga products created by KYTA members

Yoga on Disc and Tape

KYTA Conference 2003 in words and pictures

KYTA Conference 2004

Yoga on Disc

Kripalu implements new approach to program assisting

Complete guide to Kripalu Yoga hits the shelves

Coverage of KYTA Conference 2005

Enhancing your teaching with yoga's sister science: Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist training begins in January

A sneak peek at KYTA's 2006 Yoga Teachers Conference

Yoga on Disc

Green warriors: Laura Cornell's Green Yoga Association blends yoga and ecology

Yogagaia tells the story of the universe

The yoga of laughter: Keni Fine's Sleeping Swami brings giggles and guidance to the world

Yoga on Disc: Reviews of new yoga products created by KYTA members

Changing the world in memory of a daughter: The Rachel Greene Memorial Fund

Yoga on Disc: Reviews of new yoga CDs from our members

Yoga on Disc: Reviews of CDs by KYTA Conference 2007 presenters and entertainers

Reigniting the flame: KYTA Conference 2007

New member discounts are here! Save every time you visit Kripalu

Flow states: Questions for Ed Harrold

Yoga on Disc

Yoga on Disc, Tape, and Paper

Yoga Ed. trainer awarded $150,000 grant to bring yoga to Pittsburgh public schools

Yoga Everywhere: Spotlighting our Teaching for Diversity grant recipients

Yoga on Disc and on the Page

Green Yoga Association takes new form

Yoga on Disc and on the Page: Reviews of recently released products

Yoga and the Imagination: A Q&A with Randal Williams

Yoga on Disc and on the Page

How we got to the KYTA Conference, and what we found there

Yoga Everywhere: A column spotlighting our Teaching for Diversity grant recipients

Yoga on Disc

Profile of a Cross Trainer

Seva CD 2008: The Soundtrack of Kripalu

Restorative Yoga: The Yoga of Meditation

News from the Professional Trainings Office

Deep Green Yoga

Yoga on Disc and on the Page

The State of the Training

Yoga + Ayurveda: The Perfect Formula for Balance

Edi Pasalis and the Institute for Extraordinary Living pioneer a standardized Kripalu curriculum.

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