Who We Are
The Prison Phoenix Trust encourages prisoners in the development of their spiritual welfare, through the practices of meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.
We offer personal support to prisoners around the UK and the Republic of Ireland through teaching, workshops, correspondence, books and newsletters – and to prison staff too. We work with people of any faith, or of none, and honour all religions.
“I still find it hard to get in touch with my feelings. My gut tells me sadness is something I have a lot of. Today after my morning sitting I stopped and thought about how I feel about myself. My awareness shot to the memory of me as a little boy, and I felt a cocktail of sadness, feeling sorry, and maybe compassion for this little boy, who I realise is still within me. Sometimes I feel a vast space down inside my body that is so still. Anger can come back like a tidal wave and if I’m quick I observe it and the flames die very quickly and I feel like I’ve grown or maybe changed. This is so empowering.”
Frank, HMP The Mount
Gill recently retired from teaching in prisons for many years at HMP Bronzefield and HMP Coldingley in Surrey. She completed the Prison Phoenix Trust British Wheel of Yoga five-day module ‘Teaching Yoga in Prisons’ in 2012. What’s your most memorable moment?At a staff wellbeing day at Bronzefield Prison with Jason. We had our stand set up and were ready as staff began to arrive. The hall was full of officers in full uniform with keys jangling on chains. The governor &hellip read more
Jules, a former group work facilitator for the probation service, teaches at HMP Styal in Cheshire. Although her regular classes in the prison gym were halted in 2020, in the gap between the first two lockdowns she and fellow yoga teacher Paul started new classes for vulnerable women. Jules reflects on the challenges of teaching a group of women in their teens and early 20s. The young women are classed as ‘vulnerable’ for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s &hellip read more
Prisoners who took part in regular yoga classes at HMP Dovegate in Staffordshire experienced measurable improvements in their mental health, according to research just published by health care provider Practice Plus Group, (formerly Care UK). Some 67 prisoners completed a questionnaire before starting yoga and again after three months of classes. They were also encouraged to write thoughts in a notebook after each session. They reported improved mood, better sleep, less aggression, less anxiety and agitation, and increased ability to &hellip read more