Prison Yoga Project

The Prison Yoga Project (PYP) was founded by James Fox at San Quentin Prison where he and his associate instructors have been teaching yoga/mindfulness classes to prisoners since 2002. The goal is to provide prisoners with practical skills derived from yoga practices for developing impulse control, calmer temperament, emotional stability and improved rational decision-making. As a result of over 1,100 teachers trained in PYP's trauma informed, mindfulness-based methodology over the past five years, the program has been replicated to more than 85 correctional facilities in the U.S. and to prisons in Europe as well.

PYP's program is intended to complement cognitive behavioral and mental health services offered at correctional institutions with the understanding that the principle of sound body/sound mind is critical for behavioral rehabilitation. Not only does this support prisoners' successful re-entry to society and serve public safety, but it also strengthens their physical and emotional well-being while experiencing the stress, anxiety and challenging circumstances of incarceration.

Yoga Dana grant funds enable the PYP to further refine and develop its evolving teaching methodology, enhance the training of its associate yoga instructors at San Quentin, and provide weekly classes for four separate groups of prisoners at the prison.