Mar 18, 2020

Virtual Yoga - Everyone can join!

Hi All -

We hope you are doing well during this uncertain time. Below is our update on Yoga 4 Change programming and our strides in keeping the communities we love and serve healthy and strong.  

The Corona Virus has impacted our organization significantly. 95% of our mission programming across all regions has been canceled due to facility closings and our effort to heed social distancing recommendations. We intend to keep our team as safe as possible and comply with the latest necessary precautions.

Here's the fun news!  Yoga 4 Change has a YouTube channel with classes ranging from chair yoga, mat yoga, kids yoga, meditations, etc. and we are planning to put up content on a more frequent basis. 

Need a moment to yourself?  An active yoga practice?  A kids yoga class to get out some of their energy?  Subscribe to our YouTube channel via the link below. Even if we can’t physically connect with each other, Y4C is committed to ensuring all our students, teachers and communities have access to trauma-informed yoga classes. 

As well as previously recorded yoga classes, Yoga 4 Change is actively working on getting live classes up and running.  This process should be ironed out in the next few days.  Stay up-to-date with classes via our events calendar on


Thank You for your continued support.  

Y4C Team


Jan 7, 2020

National Geographic features Yoga 4 Change

Chair Yoga inside the Community Transition Center
Chair Yoga inside the Community Transition Center

WHY DO WE LOVE YOGA? Does yoga make us healthier? These questions were explored  by National Geographic in a special health issue. Now that yoga is a $80 billion dollar industry, the article looked at why yoga has become so popular and examined the science that proves yoga does reduce stress, promote well-being and improve sleep. The article includes multiple interviews, and focuses extensively on one local organization: Yoga 4 Change.

Founded in 2014 in Jacksonville, FL, Yoga 4 Change (Y4C) has a mission to offer trauma informed yoga to four populations: veterans, youth, individuals who are incarcerated  and those recovering from substance use. The organization has been teaching yoga in all three Duval County Correctional Facilities since 2016 and Y4C programming was researched from February 2018 through February 2019 with a grant from the Chartrand Family Fund. The research was led by Boston University and the outcomes indicate significant improvements in measures of health, sleep quality, coping skills, forgiveness, self-compassion, emotional regulation, anger management, and post traumatic growth. 

Y4C  recently expanded to three additional regions, South Florida, Tampa Bay and Central Florida, specifically to study the impact yoga has on the opioid crisis.  The opioid crisis is the main subject of the January 2020 National Geographic magazine with a feature article on yoga.

National Geographic writer, Fran Smith, reached out to Y4C in 2019 with great interest in learning more about the Y4C programming inside the correctional facilities.   Smith followed Y4C Executive Director, Kathryn Thomas, around for 2 days; attending yoga classes, interviewing individuals who are incarcerated, local judges, the Y4C research team and teachers.  Smith got an insider’s look at the compilation of Y4C classes, how they are set-up, the thematic approach and the trauma-informed guideline. The newest issue of National Geographic, on stands now, is themed around the mysteries of pain, the opioid crisis and features an article titled “why our fast paced society loves yoga”.  

“It is a real honor that National Geographic expressed curiosity on our mission and our research, and made the effort to include us in the article” says Thomas. “Everyone involved in the Duval County carceral yoga programming was excited to participate and proud to show the program to the world and equally proud that our community  has come together through the practice of yoga.” Duval County is the only county in the nation that sentences individuals to yoga programming while incarcerated.

The special issue on The Future of Medicine: Wellness, is online now and on newsstands beginning December 31st.  

Thank You all for your continued support.  Together we are creating change.


Thank You.  Thank You.  Thank You.


Men's Yoga inside the Montgomery Correctional Ctr
Men's Yoga inside the Montgomery Correctional Ctr
Yoga inside the Jacksonville Jail
Yoga inside the Jacksonville Jail
January National Geographic
January National Geographic
Oct 11, 2019

Jacksonville, FL - Yoga in the Carceral System

Hello Community!

This update comes from our Jacksonville location.  Currently we are teaching six classes per week in three carceral facilities, consisting of students who voluntarily choose to come to yoga and by individuals who are court sentenced.  Our trauma-informed yoga programming is offered to both men and women at the following facilities; Montgomery Correctional Center, Community Transition Center and the Jacksonville Jail. After a recent class, we received an email from a Chief at the Jacksonville Jail.  The quote below is from the first class he had observed at the Montgomery Correctional Center. 

 "Y4C is truly making a difference in the lives of your students. I feel yoga is providing them the ability to make healthier decisions when they’re in-tune to themselves. Some of these young folks have not invested in themselves in years. Y4C is affording them the opportunity to reinvest in themselves through healthier behavior choices, self-evaluation and so much more…. I get it… really. Thank you and your team for the partnership. "

It's a real honor to be seen and supported.  Thank You all for supporting our mission and seeing the potential our organization has to create change.  We appreciate your time, financial funding and constant support. We are grateful!

Thank You,

The entire Y4C Team


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