In this episode we discuss Chanda’s work as a health and wellness consultant and a yoga therapist with the Prison Yoga Project. Chanda teaches classes with incarcerated men to support them in their personal transformation through yoga practice. She describes how this work touches the men but also how it has changed her. Combining her work as a yoga therapist and her doctoral studies in Depth Psychology, Chanda assists these men who are choosing deep, personal freedom through yoga, working to release the mental and spiritual shackles so many experience both within and beyond concrete prison walls.
Chanda Williams, MA, RYT, is a yoga therapist with a background in body mechanics, wellness coaching, and advanced training in trauma-informed yoga practices. Chanda has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in integrative health studies, focusing on resiliency and wellness in the workplace. She is a doctoral student in the Somatic Studies specialization in the Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and is interested in researching the transformative aspects of movement-based contemplative practices for trauma and post-traumatic stress. With a deep devotion to service, she taught trauma-informed yoga in the San Francisco County jail for two years prior to joining the Prison Yoga Project, where she has taught regularly since 2014 at San Quentin State Prison. Prior to returning to full-time graduate studies, Chanda designed and managed corporate wellness programs for Fortune 100 companies.