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.
US National Program Director
Amy Emley joined Prison Yoga Project in January 2023 as US National Program Director. Amy is the former East Region Program Director for The Phoenix and a person in sustained recovery from a Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
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.
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.
Program and Training Operation Manager
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.
Senior 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.
Senior Trainer, Program Director - San Diego
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.
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.
Judith Sciarone, MSc, CYT-800, is the Program Coordinator for Prison Yoga Project France. She’s a full time yoga facilitator and yoga therapist, with an inclusive and trauma-informed approach.
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.
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.
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.
PYP New York
Vanessa Gutierrez 500 CYT, joined PYP in 2019; teaching trauma-informed yoga classes for adults in the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MDC) in New York City.