OTM Intensives FAQ
I’m not a yoga teacher. Can I take this training?
Yes! This training is not specifically for yoga teachers, although many yoga teachers do attend. We also get activists, educators, clinicians, and people who are simply interested in the topic.
What style and level of yoga will be practiced during the training?
Most of the practices we offer during the training are based in Vinyasa yoga, which can be vigorous, but our expectation is that attendees will listen to their bodies and move at a pace that makes sense for them. The asana practice is a practice of self-awareness and self-reflection—we don’t care if you can stand on your head or do "fancy" stuff; our intention is to create a space for you to drop into your mind, body, and breath. So whatever way you need to do that will be honored and supported.
Because these workshop tend to be large (35-50 people), we are not able to offer a lot of one-on-one assistance, so if you have an injury or a disability or you are brand new to yoga, it is important that you take care of yourself and not overdo it. We will do our best to remind you and support you but we are limited in how much personal support we can give you.
Is this training going to help me find my purpose in life?
It might! Part of this training is dedicated towards having you explore what inspires you and how living a life on purpose might look for you. You will even have a chance to practice pitching a project to someone.
What are some possible next steps for attendees of the "Yoga, Purpose, & Action" training?
Great question! We have a program called Yoga in Action that we encourage graduates of the 5-day training to become facilitators of. Some people alternately or additionally choose to take more in-person and online trainings with us, and many stay in touch with people in the community and find inspiration and collaboration opportunities there.
Will the training prepare me to teach classes that are trauma-informed? social justice-centered?
These trainings do not explicitly train you to facilitate in a trauma-informed or justice-centered way. If you are already a trained yoga teacher or facilitator you may find that this work impacts your teaching, and our teachers can provide you with additional resources along these lines, but our focus is on giving you an experience rather than teaching you how to hold space for others. We do offer other trainings on facilitation, so keep an eye out for them.
Will I receive materials, such as curricula/readings/videos?
You will receive articles and readings as part of the training.
Does OTM have any resources that will help me stay connected to, and collaborate with, the other people I meet at my training?
We love it when people connect as a result of an OTM training. We create a Facebook group for each of our trainings so participants can share with each other. We also host a series of follow-up calls and encourage intensive participants to facilitate Yoga In Action groups within their own communities, to stay connected and keep the movement moving!
What role might this training play in my personal healing?
This training is not intended as a replacement for personal therapy. That said, the training does cover trauma and invites participants to reflect on their own life experiences and how they shape you, so it often helps participants understand themselves, their wounds, and their gifts and can add to previous and ongoing personal healing that attendees engage in on their own and in the rest of their life.
Is the intensive appropriate for me if I struggle with PTSD, anxiety or a psychiatric illness?
Maybe. The work we do in this training is triggering, we talk about trauma and family history and invite you to explore life experiences that have shaped you. Our trainings are trauma-sensitive, and the facilitators are experienced in working with emotional material, but group work may not be appropriate for everyone. If you have recently experienced a traumatic event, or can feel overwhelmed by your symptoms, it is important to assess if this intensive group work is appropriate for you. If you are working with a therapist, we ask that you discuss this them and submit a note from them indicating that they feel that this training is a good idea. If you don’t have access to a therapist, please email us and we can connect you with Hala Khouri, M.A., who serves as our clinical advisor. She can speak with you and help with the decision.
I’m not an activist, should I do this training?
Yes! This training can help you get clear on how you want to engage in the world and get into action.
I’m an activist, is this training right for me?
Yes! We get a mix of seasoned activists who want to reconnect with the tools of yoga, somatic practices, and communication as well as yoga practitioners who are searching for their purpose. Activists often say that the training helps them reconnect with what motivates them or even uncover aspects of their motivation they hadn’t connected with. Some say that they got important self-care tools and a deeper understanding of the work they are doing.
I come from a historically marginalized community, am I going to fit in here?
Each training we offer has a different group make-up, including leaders who are people of color, LGBTQIA, disabled, low-income, and/or come from other marginalized communities, although these participants are not usually the majority in any particular training. Our trainings attract a wide range of participants, from those who are brand new to concepts around systemic injustice to those with a lifetime of work as activists and community organizers and/or have a lived experience of complex oppression. The leaders and assistants who will working the training have years of experience holding space across lines of difference and strive to create an environment that is as inclusive, responsible, and safe as possible for participants from marginalized communities.
Am I "woke" enough to do this training?
Sometimes in spaces where we’re talking about social justice, people can feel scared that they will say the “wrong” thing and get shamed or “outed” for it. One of our highest priorities is for people to feel supported in making mistakes and learning regardless of where their entry point to this work is. All of our trainings include a number of people who feel themselves to be brand new to social justice, and we strive to create a space where these folks feel welcome and gain skills in sitting with the discomfort of addressing and learning about issues of oppression and injustice.
I am a seasoned social justice activist, will I get anything out of this training?
Yes! Many seasoned activists have found that this training offers them tools that deepen their resilience as activists and organizers. Many folks who are deep in this work have a great understanding of systemic injustice but may struggle with taking care of themselves and making sure they can stay in the work for a lifetime without burning out. This training may offer you new, embodied ways of sitting with the material, as well as new ways of exploring how your practice can sustain you in the work that you do.
During the week, we frame many issues within the understanding that oppression, inequality, and unearned privilege are vital issues to address as we inquire about what personal and collective healing is, and we strive to have these conversations in a way that is meaningful to all, given that we usually have many levels of understanding in the room. We don’t go into a very deep analysis of these issues as the emphasis is more on exploring the main concepts in an embodied way.
My question isn't answered here. Who do I ask?
If you have a question that we haven't answered here, please email our training department at firstname.lastname@example.org