About YIS

Yogis in Service is….

Yogis in Service is a team of yogis who teach, practice and share yoga. We are our teachers, our students, and our helpers. Yoga means union and connection- to yourself, to others, to your community and to your world. A Yogi in Service- is committed to connection to self, connection to others, connection within and across communities, and connection throughout the world.

At YIS we practice yoga skills that have been supported by research, shown to help you manage stress and be the best version of you! We practice yoga poses and sequences (body), breathing exercise (to help calm and center yourself; mind and body), relaxation and focus work (meditation; mind and body).

YIS is secular (not religious). YIS is physical, fun, and community centered. YIS is a way to practice being health in body and mind. We are trauma-informed and inclusive. Everyone is welcome!

Watch these YIS VIDEOS- you will see….

YIS Grant Winning Video (YIS in Action)

YIS Grand Opening WIVB (YIS Grand Opening WIVB 2016)

Yogis in Service- here to be VIDEO (The YIS Story)

Partnership with Africa Yoga Project- Somalia (The 10 Principles in Action)

Yogis in Service at Namastadium 2.0 (2016) (When we went to Namastadium in 2016)

Trauma-informed Yoga for Schools and Community Centers (Yogis in Service) (Learn our 12 Principles for Growth)

Yogis in Service Mission

The mission of Yogis in Service is to create connection by creating access to yoga and mindfulness as a set of self-care tools through community-based classes in schools, hospitals, universities, community centers, and treatment centers. Through these tools, Yogis in Service believes that we are empowering, inspiring, and developing our communities.

“If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

Aboriginal Activists Group, Queensland (Originally posted by Paige Elenson Founder of the Africa Yoga Project)


Yogis in Service is Not-for-Profit

Yogis in Service is a non-profit organization located in Buffalo, New York. Nearly 100% of our donations go directly to providing yoga, for free, to our community (our costs are our insurance and web page). This includes FREE sessions of yoga at many different locations throughout Buffalo, NY all year (spring, summer, fall/winter).

We pay all of our teachers a competitive rate. Our teachers attend monthly meetings to learn and develop their skills.

We have 100% transparency in our accounting. Our annual operations budget is approximately $45,000 per year, which supports projects and operational costs, such as website management, banking fees, and insurance. We also have a program coordinator. YIS is a volunteer organization where none of the administrators or board members draw a salary.

YIS continues to conducts year-long fundraisers to help support our efforts, including t-shirt and yoga clothes sales, donation-based yoga classes, and special events.

Yogis in Service Trains in Trauma-informed Community Yoga Teaching

Our YIS Trauma-informed Community Yoga Teacher Training began in January 2017. We offer workshops in assisting and supporting, chair and supportive yoga, kids and school yoga and much more. See our Facebook page for announcements or attend our monthly meetings (dates and times on our Facebook Page)

Yogis in Service is TRAUMA-INFORMED 

Read our published article, “Trauma-Informed Yoga: An Embodied, Cognitive-Relational Framework

LINK HERE Trauma-Informed Yoga-YIS 2017-IJCAM


There is a growing need for a theoretical and empirically grounded approach to support effective and safe provision of yoga to potentially vulnerable populations. Yogis In Service, Inc. (YIS), a non-for-profit community service yoga organization, in partnership with the Africa Yoga Project (AYP) and the University at Buffalo, State University of New York has developed an embodied, cognitive-relational framework for trauma-informed yoga (YIS-TIY). YIS-TIY identifies 12 key teaching points of trauma informed yoga, which can be applied when teaching yoga to stressed and potentially traumatized populations. YIS-TIY utilizes the four domains of inner resources, physical basics, self-regulation and mindful grit to empower students in a trauma-informed manner. YIS-TIY can be utilized as a framework and guidance for yoga teachers working in high-risk locations and/or in yoga classes that may include vulnerable and trauma-exposed individuals. The purpose of this article is to (1) review the body of literature of yoga and trauma that informs the YIS-TIY model, (2) outline the 12 key teaching points of trauma-informed yoga within the YIS-TIY methodology for teaching yoga to stressed and potentially traumatized populations, and (3) provide a set of practice recommendations.

Read about the outcomes of the YIS partnership with Africa Yoga Trauma-informed Project in Somalia presented at Kripalu Fall 2017

SYR 2017 MBW Poster FINAL

Catherine Cook-Cottone Presenting at the Yoga is Science Conference 2017

Trauma Informed yoga Yoga and Science 2017

Citaiton: Cook-Cottone, C. P. (May, 2017). Trauma-informed yoga: Alignment of need and intervention, Yoga and Science: The Emerging Science of Consciousness, Regeneration, Health, & Longevity. Presented by Eddie Sterna and Marshall Hagins with the School of Health Professionals, Long Island University and JIYO, New York, NY.

Yogis in Service is BODY POSITIVE 

Yogis in Service is also Body Positive. Please see the guidelines for creating a body positive space in your yoga studio of community class. Creating a Safe Space for Positive Embodiment (Cook-Cottone & Douglass, 2017)

Yogis in Service Vision

Our vision is to create connection and empower our communities by providing access to yoga and mindfulness as a set of tools for self-care through regular access to free, community-based classes.


  • Empower the community through access to yoga and mindfulness as a set of tools for self-care.
  • Develop leaders within our community through yoga teacher-training programs.
  • Provide a safe, community-center focus on yoga and mindfulness as a pathway to  health and well-being.