Yoga Through The Lens of Trauma and Incarceration

The Prison Yoga Project in collaboration with PYP Portugal’s affiliate ALMAZ  is offering a special training for teachers and others interested in sharing yoga and mindfulness practices with people who have been impacted by trauma included the incarcerated.

This unique training involves a total of 20 hours, 6 hours of online preparation in addition to 14 hours of an in-person training. The training will be conducted in English and  include:

  • A clear understanding of the socio-economic, and racial and cultural disparity issues common among incarcerated people, and how they contribute to trauma and influence criminal behavior.
  • PYP’s continuously evolving evidence-based pedagogy and distinct approach to teaching yoga for mental and behavioral health issues that considers the latest research on therapeutic somatic practices for addressing  trauma.
  • How PYP’s approach to yoga supports Restorative Justice principles and objectives.
  • Self-reflection of one’s own perceptions, conditioning, and biases that might inhibit  effectively sharing the potential benefits of yoga with incarcerated people.
  • Instruction in specific asana, pranayama, meditation and other embodiment practices proven effective with incarcerated people and those suffering from unresolved symptoms of trauma.

WHERE: Quinta do Arneiro, Azueira, Portugal (30 miuntes from Lisbon).  Saturday, September 23: 9:00-12:00; 13:30-17:30 Sunday, September 24: 9:00-12:00; 13:30-17:30


This training qualifies for Continuing Education (CE) credits with Yoga Alliance for Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT)

Prison Yoga Project is a member school of The International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). 

James Fox – PYP Founding Director

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. A practitioner of yoga and mindfulness meditation for more than 30 years, upon receiving his teaching credentials in 2000, James began his mission of sharing the benefits of yoga with incarcerated people.

James has taught yoga classes at San Quentin Prison since 2002. He is also trained in restorative justice principles and practices, and has experience facilitating victim/offender education, emotional literacy, and violence prevention courses with prisoners. He is the author of Yoga A Path for Healing and Recovery, and co-author of Freedom from The Inside – A Woman’s Yoga Practice Guide. He is also a contributor to the book, Best Yoga Practices for Veterans.James has served on the faculty for Loyola Marymount University’s (Los Angeles) Yoga, Mindfulness and Social Change program and was an advisor to the National Institute of Health sponsored Chicago Urban Mindfulness Program. He has been awarded U.S. State Department Grants to advise and train governmental and non-governmental personnel in Central America involved in prisoner and ex-gang member rehabilitation programs.  In 2015, he was honored by Yoga Journal Magazine with a Karma Yoga Award.

Josefin Wikstrom – 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. In 2015, she began working with Prison Yoga Project to coordinate European training and has been teaching Prison Yoga Project training in Mumbai, India, and Mexico.

Josefin has been the primary teacher for the Swedish Probation services and co-developed the Swedish Krimyoga program together with Eva Seilitz, a program that is today evidence-based through the research study- Yoga in correctional settings. She is now creating national trauma-informed yoga programs for the Swedish forensic psychiatry units, the Juvenile justice system, and stress-reducing programs for children in the Swedish schools.

Josefin trained as a Yoga Therapist with The Minded Institute in London with a particular focus on complex trauma and mental health. Through the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston, MA, she has completed the Traumatic Stress Studies Certification with Bessel van der Kolk and is a certified TCTSY- Facilitator (Trauma Center Trauma-Sensitive Yoga) and the certificate training Global Mental Health- Trauma and Resilience with Harvard Medical School in 2021. She has also studied trauma-informed dance/movement therapy with Katia Verrault and Tripura Kashyap in India. Josefin is a professional member of ICPA-International Corrections and Prison Association.