When programs reopened after the COVID-19 lock-down, Yoga instructor James Fox was one of the first volunteers to return to San Quentin State Prison.
“We were able to get into facilities via Zoom, but we sent in a lot of print material,” Fox said on June 15, just before his first class.
Fox, who facilitates yoga programs in 19 states as well as in Europe and Mexico, took the time away to rewrite the free book Yoga Path for Healing and Recovery, which he makes available to incarcerated people. He has been teaching yoga at San Quentin since 2002.
“We spent the time training about 150 new teachers, from all over the country,” Fox said. “That was the advantage of teaching online.”
Fox, concerned that women prisoners needed yoga instruction too, asked Josefin Wikstrom to write Freedom from the Inside, geared for women prisoners.
“We were getting around 250 requests for a book every month, from all over the country,” Fox said. “We weren’t sending it out to women prisoners, which is why we wrote the new book.
To enroll in a class, show up and be ready to make a commitment until December, Fox said.
Classes are available Tues-days in the ARC building for the General Population, 1300-1445 (18 students) and also on Fridays in Chapel C, 1100-1245 (18 students). Members of Veterans Healing Veterans can attend classes on Thurs-days in the ARC building.