Joanne Spence, MA, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, is a recovering social worker and certified yoga therapist. She has a Social Work degree from James Cook University and a Master of Arts from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is the founder and executive director of Yoga in Schools.
Joanne trains and teaches all sorts of amazing people, both nationally and internationally, in yoga. She has taught yoga in prisons, hospitals, schools, churches, and sometimes on street corners. She specializes in working with adults and children who are experiencing chronic pain, trauma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and insomnia.
Joanne draws on more than thirty-five years of clinical experience as a mental health professional and twenty years as a teacher and practitioner of yoga, including ten years as the first yoga therapist at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. She is in private practice as a yoga therapist and a spiritual director at Urban Oasis Pittsburgh and works with veterans on several behavioral health units in Pittsburgh teaching therapeutic chair yoga. In addition, Joanne leads in-person and online trainings on yoga, mental health, trauma, and contemplative practices.
Joanne has co-authored several published articles as well as a chapter in Stories of School Yoga: Narratives from the Field, and she was a contributor to Best Practices for Yoga in Schools. Joanne likes nothing more than to demonstrate the inclusive nature of yoga practice; if you can breathe, you can do yoga.
Joanne has been married to Doug for over thirty years. Together, they have three adult children, all of whom practice yoga! When she is not teaching, Joanne loves to read, write, hike, travel, cook, and even dance a little—just not all at the same time.
Visit her website at joannespence.com.
Most of following books are not currently in the Barbour Library collection. The links below will take you to either Bookshop.org (which supports local bookstores) or Amazon.com, where you can purchase the book.
Childress, Traci and Jennifer Cohen Harper, eds. Best Practices for Yoga in Schools. Atlanta, GA : Yoga Service Council, 2015.
Cook-Cottone, Catherine P. Mindfulness and Yoga for Self-Regulation: A Primer for Mental Health Professionals. New York: Springer, 2015.
Dana, D. The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.
Levine, Peter A. Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1997.
Parker, Gail. Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma. London: Singing Dragon, 2020.
Spence, Joanne. Trauma-Informed Yoga: A Toolbox for Therapists: 47 Simple Practices to Calm, Balance, and Restore the Nervous System. Eau Claire: PESI Publishing & Media, 2021.
Books in Barbour Library
Print books below may be checked out by PTS students, faculty, and staff, as well as local area patrons who have library accounts (requires an annual fee). Ebooks are indicated by asterisks, and are available to current PTS students, faculty, and staff only.
Click on the links below to perform subject searches in the library catalog:
Brain – Religious aspects – Christianity
Christianity and yoga
Health – Religious aspects – Christianity
Human body – Religious aspects – Christianity
Meditation – Christianity
Mind and body
Psychic trauma – Religious aspects – Christianity
Spiritual life – Christianity
Suffering – Religious aspects – Christianity
The articles below without links are not available in the Barbour Library journal collection - please check your local library for interlibrary loan services in order to obtain copies of these.
Hyde, Andrea and Joanne Spence, 2013. "Yoga in Schools: Some Guidelines for the Delivery of District-Wide Yoga Education." Journal of Yoga Service, 1(1): 53-59.
Miller, Robert and Joanne Spence, 2013. "The Impact of Breathing and Music Interventions on Stress Levels of Patients and Visitors in a Psychiatric Emergency Room." The Arts in Psychotherapy Journal, 40(3): 347-351.
Spence, Joanne, 2021. "Social Work and Yoga: The Evolution of Practice from Talking to Moving." Australian Social Work 74(2): 235-242.
Stevens, Jane E., 2012. "The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study — The Largest Public Health Study You Never Heard Of." Huffington Post, October 8, 2012.
Articles in Barbour Library
Articles that are available online have links, and are only available to current PTS students, faculty, and staff. Articles without links are in the print journal collection.
Cavallin, Clemens. “Yoga: It’s About You.” First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion & Public Life, January 2021, 1–5.
Jindani, Farah and Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa. 2015. "A Journey to Embodied Healing: Yoga as a Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work 34 (4): 394-413.
Rangel, Leslie. 2020. "Bend Before You Break: How Yoga Can Help Manage Trauma." IRE Journal 43 (3): 35-35.