Yoga In Schools (YIS) is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides yoga programming and teacher training to several school districts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The most comprehensive projects teach Health and Physical Education (HPE) teachers to use yoga in their curriculum through custom-designed, standards-aligned, district-wide professional development. YIS provides training and support to teachers and other school staff on how to use yoga techniques in the classroom to calm students and prepare them for learning. Schools in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Savannah, and Milwaukee have sought YIS training for their HPE staff and teachers. YIS provides a customized curriculum informed by several nationally recognized curricula. To date, YIS has exposed nearly 20,000 children and 1,000 teachers/staff members to varying levels of yoga programming.
YIS was founded in 2004 by Joanne Spence, a clinical social worker and yoga studio owner. Joanne presents both nationally and internationally to audiences on the topic of yoga education. Joanne also serves as an advisor to the yoga recreation program at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center and provides yoga therapy to the patients at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Joanne is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT).