Facebook icon.Twitter icon.Youtube icon.instagram icon.

Main Menu

About Yoga Outreach

About Yoga Outreach
Yoga Outreach partners with volunteer yoga instructors, community organizations, social service agencies, and correctional facilities in BC to provide mindfulness-based yoga programming to adults and youth facing challenges with mental health, addiction, poverty, violence, trauma, and imprisonment.

Yoga Outreach volunteers are trained by Yoga Outreach on how to deliver programs that are strengths-based and trauma-sensitive. In addition, we provide training, ongoing mentorship, and community building opportunities to yoga teachers and community support professionals to enhance the delivery of yoga in these settings.

Last year, Yoga Outreach facilitiated more than 600 classes in the Lower Mainland. Check out who is currently benefiting from Yoga Outreach programs.

 How Yoga Outreach Started
Sandra Sammartino
In 1996, Annabelle Tame, from the Prison Phoenix Trust in England, spoke about teaching yoga within the prison system. Inspired by Annabelle’s talk and under the direction of Sandra Sammartino, a group of yoga teachers came together to bring yoga into the correctional systems within BC. Yoga Outreach programs quickly gained notoriety and it was not long before we had programs in mental health, addiction’s recovery, and women’s and youth groups. In its early years Yoga Outreach programs were taught by graduates of Sandra’s teacher’s training program. Click here to visit Sandra’s website. 

In 2003, Sandra handed off the reigns of Yoga Outreach to Beth Sampson. It was Sandra and her students that planted the seeds, and in turn it has been Beth, that nurtured Yoga Outreach into maturity in her role as Executive Director and then stewarding Yoga Outreach as the Board President. 

Yoga Outreach has grown from this foundation, expanding to serve a diverse range of facilities. The love, commitment, and passion which began that project continues today.

Yoga Outreach became a registered Canadian charity in 2007. Today, our programs are taught by certified yoga teachers who have completed Yoga Outreach's Core Training in order to deliver trauma-informed yoga programs within social service settings. 


Living Wage for Families Logo

Yoga for Mental Health and Additions
Our weekly trauma-informed yoga programs offer individuals an opportunity to heal from trauma by learning to reconnect with and feel safe within their bodies (a key element when healing from trauma), while also re-establishing a sense of social safety by participating in group classes within service facilities they are already accessing and familiar with. Read more...