Hannah Bias - Founder & Executive Director
"I was led to yoga as a way of recovering from multiple surgeries after repeated spontaneous pneumothoraces (collapsed lungs) and was told the breath work in yoga would help strengthen them. As my breath was restored, I realized I was experiencing repair in other areas, too. I became more resilient to stress and depression, and there was a sense of healing unresolved trauma. The strength of my mind, my heart and my relationship with myself all improved. I started imagining what my time as a troubled teenager would have looked like if I had been learning the skills yoga was offering. I attended a teacher training with Melissa Martinez-Chauvin, and furthered my education with James Fox of the Prison Yoga Project and Ivy Katz of Street Yoga, in hopes of sharing my practice with others, specifically teens like me.
I looked into programs around the country where teachers were bringing yoga classes into institutions and facilities for young people and I was immediately inspired to create that for my own community. So Urban Lotus Project was born. It began as volunteer work. The more and more I connected with the students and saw a healing and restoration in them too, the more I saw this was going to have to be my work. I reached out to people that inspired me, people who wouldn’t mind the hard work of a grassroots start up, and people that also saw a need for this type of program - finally the family came together.
While I’m not teaching, practicing or reading about yoga, I spend time alone or with my loved ones and my little dog Karma. I’m slowly but surely becoming a more efficient backpacker and ukulele player, and I hope to learn how to play other instruments as well."
My Mantra: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” - Gandhi.
Also: No mud, no lotus.