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The Prison Yoga Project (PYP) was founded by James Fox at California’s San Quentin State Prison, where he’s been teaching yoga and mindfulness practices to prisoners since 2002. James’s groundbreaking work with prisoners has now spread into 25 states, we've trained 1700 teachers! Donors and volunteers are entirely responsible for these accomplishments. Please help us accelerate this incredible momentum. Help spread the transformational values of yoga and meditation to every prison!

If you’d like to donate by check, make your check payable to Prison Yoga Project or Give Back Yoga Foundation, PO Box 415, Bolinas CA, 94924. Give Back Yoga Foundation (our sponsor) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Recent Prison Yoga Project Milestones

  • In-prison Teacher Certification Training for women prisoners. In early 2016 PYP launched the first Yoga Alliance-recognized 200-hour Yoga Teacher Certification Training Program at the Maryland Correctional Institution for Women. We're training new yoga teachers in prison! Other PYP-initiated programs for women include Las Colinas Detention Facility for Women, San Diego; Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, Denver; Century Regional Detention Center for Women, Los Angeles; Leath Correctional Institute for Women, Greenwood, SC; and many others.
  • The first phase of A Pilot Program for Youth was completed at California Youth Authority Correctional Facilities in Stockton in 2016. The program has now been approved for renewal in 2017-18 and provides a model of accelerated outreach into our nation’s youth detention system. Other successful and ongoing PYP-modeled programs for youth include Cuyahoga Hills Correctional Facility, Cleveland; Los Prietos Boys Camp, Santa Barbara; and Adams County Youth Services Center, Denver.
  •  International Programs. PYP Mexico was launched in March 2017. Forty-two teachers were trained and pilot programs were initiated at a federal prison in Morelia and a state prison in Mexico City. Netherlands is now in its third year of providing in-prison programs. And in September 2016, a training in PYP’s trauma-informed methodology was conducted for Swedish prison staff. Invitations to lead trainings in London and Barcelona have been accepted and confirmed for September 2017. 
  • Book Distribution. More than 17,000 copies of Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery by James Fox, have been sent free of charge to prisoners requesting it, fulfillment made possible by generous support from Give Back Yoga Foundation. Spanish translation of the book was recently completed and trial distribution begun in Mexico. PYP also distributes A Woman’s Practice: Healing from the Heart by Kath Meadows, PYP’s Director of Women Prisoner Initiatives.

You may never set foot in prison but you can change a prisoner’s life.

Recurring Gift

A sustaining monthly donation. Your recurring gift ensures that we can sustain services in the hundreds of prisons, jails, detention centers, rehab and reentry facilities we currently serve and build up the 15 local PYP Chapters who deliver real, trained yoga teachers into those facilities. Help train more teachers, give them follow-up training and teaching aids, help them with their expenses.

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A Book-A-Month Subscription

Over 18,000 prisoners have received our book Yoga A Path for Healing and Recovery free of charge. We depend on donations to support this program. Imagine the relief that a yoga practice can be to a prisoner in 23/7 isolation, deprived of all stimuli including human contact. Or someone serving Life plus 10 or imprisoned for any one of dozens of lesser, non-violent crimes now living a daily horror of hostility and neglect. Improving the treatment of prisoners is a basic tenet of prison reform.

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Send a Yoga DVD to a Warden

A chance to send love to prison. You can select the prison and we'll do the rest. We'll include a copy of our book Yoga: A Path for Healing and Recovery, instructions helping them get started and more… including mats* and books for a new class if they’re willing to try. Look at the good you'll do, and it all starts with the DVD for a donation of $50 or more!
*mats given through Give Back Yoga Foundation’s yoga mat program

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A Simple Donation

If you prefer to donate there are a lot of very good reasons. You can change a prisoner's life without ever setting foot in prison.