James Fox, MA, CYT, is the founder of the Prison Yoga Project. He is a certified yoga instructor who has dedicated himself to developing a trauma informed approach to teaching yoga in correctional facilities that has resulted in the establishment of yoga programs in prisons throughout the U.S., Mexico, Europe and Australia.
Bill Brown, C-IAYT, is the Executive Director of Prison Yoga Project (PYP), a non-profit organization that supports incarcerated people worldwide with trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness programs.
Nicole, MPS, RYT 200, is a graduate of the University of Arkansas’ Clinton School of Public Service and a certified yoga teacher. While originally from Connecticut, she has lived in Arkansas for seven years.
Program Director and Training Coordinator, Europe
Josefin Wikström, E-RYT 500, TCTSY-F, Yoga Therapy for The Mind, YACEP, RCYS, has been bringing yoga and dance into the Swedish prisons since 2008. She has been working as a full-time teacher focusing on yoga for trauma-exposed populations since 2003.
Trainer, Program Director Bay Area-Sacramento, CA
Chanda Williams, MA, RYT 500, has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degrees in Integrative Health and Depth Somatic Psychology. She is the Northern California Program Director for the Prison Yoga Project.
Trainer, Program Director New Hampshire
Jen Lindgren, E-RYT 200, y4c (yoga for cancer), joined Prison Yoga Project in 2019 as Chapter Director for New Hampshire. She has been facilitating trauma-informed and healing centered yoga classes to incarcerated individuals since 2017, including the instruction of 200hr level Yoga teacher training programs.
Community Engagement Manager
300 hour YTT with Shamanic Yoga Institute. RCYT with Yoga Ed, 300-hour Certified ChildSpace Practitioner. Blaire’s training has taken many forms: starting at 4 years old she intensively trained for 17 years in various forms of dance. This began her foundational practice of movement as healing and storytelling.
Administrator / IT
Priscilla Castro, RYT 200, comes from an office administration background and has a passion for social justice. She also has a love for yoga, which she started practicing in 2007 in personal spaces and various yoga studios in southern California, on the East Coast, and in Mexico.
Luisa, MTRA, CYT-600, TC-TSY, is the founder and Director of PYP Mexico. She is a human rights attorney and also has certifications in various yoga teaching methodologies including Trauma Sensitive Yoga (TSY), Iyengar Yoga, and Hatha Yoga.
Program Director UK
Geoff O’Meara, RYT-200, is PYP’s Program Director for the UK. Before moving there, Geoff was the Prison Yoga’s program director for Community Yoga, a US nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. In 2010, he started facilitating the organization’s early offerings at addiction recovery centers and incarceration facilities.
Carolien Pentinga, LLM, Mindful Hatha Yoga Certification 200, is a yoga teacher and an attorney at law in The Netherlands specializing in criminal law and the defense of juvenile offenders.
Sonia Brown-Diaz (RYT-200) has been using trauma-informed yoga practices for over 14yrs as a path to healing from the seemingly insurmountable grief and subsequent PTSD she experienced following the stillbirth of her twin sons in 2003.
Leora Kessel, BA Criminology, has over 25 years of experience working with young women and men at risk. She has 14 years of experience as Founder and Director of the Women’s Courtyard Foundation and the social business venture Women’s Courtyard at Tel Aviv Port.
Sharon Roth, MSW, CYT 800 hrs., Co-founder and Co-director of PYP Israel. Yoga for All is a physical and emotional place where two of the main issues that have occupied me for more than 20 years intersect: the possibility that yoga offers for liberation as human beings, and the work towards compassion, equality and solidarity in the social field.
PYP Los Angeles
Billy Bannon (CYT-500) has been facilitating Yoga & Meditation programs in prisons since 2015. He has led classes at prisons across Southern California – as well as in Uganda – and helped to establish PYP’s Los Angeles Chapter, where he currently serves as PYP-LA’s Program Director.
PYP San Luis Obispo, CA
Mary Cronin, MA,RYT 200, TCTSY-F has had a life-long interest in working with marginalized communities. Post high school, for four years she worked in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with a volunteer organization that provided support for addicts and the homeless.
Rebecca Cervenak, JD, RYT-200, is the Program Director for Prison Yoga Project Ohio (PYP-OH) and a practicing attorney. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctor with a specialization in Creative Problem Solving.
Susie Weigel (M. Ed, RYT 200, Yoga Therapy Graduate Student-M.S.) has been teaching yoga for 5 years and began teaching trauma-informed yoga at Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in 2019.
John McDonough (RYT-500) led the creation of the PYP Massachusetts Chapter after participating in James Fox’s training in Hartford CT in 2017.
PYP San Diego, CA
Kate Beckel, M.Ed, E-RYT-200, YACEP, RCYT, began working with PYP in 2015, teaching somatic movement classes for youth and adults involved with the criminal justice system in San Diego, California. She has 12 years of experience as a yoga teacher, and since 2014 has been training as a Somatic Experiencing(SE) practitioner.