ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael D. Huggins is the founder of the Transformation Yoga Project. After receiving an undergraduate degree from Villanova University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, he worked his way up to being the chief operating officer, president, and chief executive officer of several medical device firms.
In 2009, Mike pled guilty to a misdemeanor as a responsible corporate officer for crimes that occurred under his watch, of which he was unaware. He and three other executives were sentenced to prison. The high-profile case drew national media attention, and Mike’s world unraveled in the blink of an eye as he was whisked away to the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia.
Transformation Yoga Project's mission to provide tools through trauma-sensitive, mindfulness-based yoga for stress, tension, addiction, and anxiety relief has grown. It now conducts over 350 classes per month, and more than 70,000 people in three states and 50 locations have participated.
Mike believes his Transformation Yoga Project addresses a societal need by attempting to close the gap of accessibility. All people deserve access to the wisdom of yoga and to learn how to be at peace with themselves and the world.
Each TYP class adheres strictly to evidence-based methodology. This ensures a safe, supportive, inclusive and consciously-held space for individuals to explore the connection between mind and body. Research shows, and our own participant evaluations confirm, that a trauma-sensitive approach connects individuals with their innate capacity for transformation.
The yoga he had practiced and taught some years before incarceration turned out to be his salvation behind bars. Upon his release, he declined lucrative offers to return to the corporate world, and instead founded the non-profit organization Transformation Yoga Project, which serves people impacted by trauma, substance abuse, and incarceration through trauma-sensitive yoga programs. Specially trained in applying yoga practices for substance abuse recovery and trauma-related issues, Mike remains active in teaching yoga in prisons. He is a frequent speaker on tools for empowerment and the power of yoga for rediscovering your true self. He is the co-author of the book Yoga for Recovery: A Practical Guide for Healing, and a contributor to several books that focus on best practices for teaching trauma-sensitive yoga to underserved populations.
“The instructor has helped me connect my mind with my body… I’ve always lived in my mind while I abused my body. Yoga is a huge part of my recovery and has given me the strength to work through my demons.”