Reaching In, Reaching Out: Yoga for Youth Online Training


Reaching In, Reaching Out: Yoga for Youth Online Training

May 15 to June 18, 2017
Registration is now open

New Leaf Foundation is a leader in Canada making yoga and mindfulness-based practices available to youth in marginalized communities in order to support their mental, emotional and physical health. Our organization has spent the last 10 years delivering long-term, sustainable programming to youth in some of the least serviced communities and facilities in southern Ontario, including within primary and secondary schools, custody facilities, gang-exit initiatives and homeless shelters.

Join us for this online training where New Leaf will share our best practices for making yoga accessible and relevant for young people in diverse and sensitive environments.

The discussions around privilege, oppression, and trauma have really stayed with me and will inform the way I teach, practice, and relate to the world…


Reaching In, Reaching Out is a six-week online training facilitated by New Leaf’s Co-founder, Lead Trainer, and Mentorship Leads. Ten years of practice, teaching, organizing, and learning have gone into the materials of this training. Our work has been informed by so many amazing youth, youth workers, trauma experts, anti-oppression leaders, and yoga and mindfulness facilitators and we’re sharing it with you in order to make yoga more accessible to a wider range of young people.

You can do the training on your own schedule, anywhere with an Internet connection. You’ll get access to the training for 6 months and New Leaf’s Teacher Guidebook is downloadable and yours to keep forever!

Who is Reaching In, Reaching Out training for?

This training is suitable for yoga teachers, yoga teachers-in-training, and experienced yoga practitioners in professions serving youth (educators, social workers). You’ll benefit from this training if you want a better understanding of trauma, anti-oppression practices, and how to offer mindfulness and yoga-based practices to youth.

You’ll learn:

  • the importance of anti-oppression practices in yoga service work
  • a trauma-informed framework for offering yoga and mindfulness-based practices
  • to recognize behavioral issues from a trauma-informed perspective
  • skills for engaging youth, working with resistance and other challenges
  • how to build the capacity for active listening, healthy boundaries, and strengths and resilience-based approaches
  • how to design sessions utilizing New Leaf’s class model
  • tips for starting a program

The training primarily focuses on approaches for youth aged approximately 8-24 but the material can be adapted for younger age groups or other demographics.

The discussion forum helped to round out the content and give it real-world context. This is where learning flourishes for me - in community.

How it works

You’ll receive videos recorded at our in-person training, audio practices, reflection questions, and New Leaf’s Teacher Guidebook via our easy-to-use online learning platform. Each Monday you’ll receive access to a new module, which you can review at your own pace.

There is a private discussion forum moderated by New Leaf’s Lead Trainer, Mentorship Leads, and Co-Founder. The forum is a great place to ask questions, share insights, and feel connected to the course and other participants.

The time commitment is approximately 2 hours per week, including watching the videos, journaling on the self-reflection questions, and sharing in the forum. You’ll have the option of submitting a final assignment, which will be reviewed by a facilitator. We’ll offer brief feedback on your assignment and issue you a certificate of completion.

Please note, this training is not a yoga teacher certification and is designed as an add-on to a foundational yoga teacher training. We recommend that anyone offering yoga to youth is a certified yoga teacher with a minimum of 200 hours of training. Depending on the extent of your own personal yoga experience combined with the amount of experience you have working with youth, this training may equip you to offer basic mindfulness and yoga-based tools to youth.


Week 1 – Introduction & Anti-Oppression Framework
Week 2 – Holding Space & Healthy Boundaries
Week 3 – Understanding Trauma
Week 4 – Teaching Methodology
Week 5 – Building a Session
Week 6 – Youth Engagement & Working with Challenges

Great platform for learning, especially for students like myself who have irregular and at times time-demanding life situations…


The primary facilitator for this training is Julia Gibran, with additional faculty Laura Sygrove, Jamilah Malika, and Andre Talbot. They have years of combined mindfulness and yoga practice, and experience supporting and working with youth in under-served environments.

Julia Gibran is the Lead Trainer for Reaching In, Reaching Out and has been teaching yoga in studios and to youth for almost a decade. Her degree in education fuels a passion for social activism and offering yoga to youth who have experienced trauma.

Laura Sygrove is Co-founder and Executive Director of New Leaf. She brings 10 years of experience developing New Leaf programming, training teachers, studying trauma-informed approaches to offering yoga, and working primarily with youth in custody.

Jamilah Malika is a Senior Program Facilitator and Mentorship Lead at New Leaf, published author/poet, ex-performing artist, yoga teacher, and community educator. She was a co-visionary of the Positive Space Initiatives at a downtown Toronto yoga studio. Her teaching experience includes teaching youth writing and performance poetry in schools, arts/activism programs, and guiding groups on the fringes of yoga studios.

Andre Talbot is a Mentorship Lead with New Leaf. After a 10-year career as a professional football player, he found solace and transformation through the practices of yoga, mindfulness, and meditation. He has since been dedicated to sharing these practices with youth in the communities that need it most. Andre is also co-founder of Spirit Loft, a local Toronto-based yoga and movement studio.


You’ll find the material rich and engaging, explore new perspectives, and learn ways to make yoga more accessible to a wider range of young people.

The tuition for this training is $325.

All proceeds go to support our mindfulness and yoga-based youth programs. We have a limited number of sliding scale spaces available. Complete this form to inquire about sliding scale.



Start by browsing our website. If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.


Interested in teaching with us? Start by completing our teacher application form.


Interested in partnering to host a program? Tell us about your facility or organization and the youth you serve in our Program Partner Application.