Nonprofit Project Teaches Yoga, Meditation to Underserved Youth

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RENO, Nev. - Urban Lotus Project founder Hannah Bias started teaching yoga and meditation at the Eddy House Youth Resource Center on 6th Street last Spring.

"This was the first place I came to ask if I could teach yoga here and they said yes," Bias said. "We work with at-risk and underserved youth, offering these classes to those who otherwise wouldn't have access to these types of classes and this type of healing."

She's built up a loyal following.

"Ever since I was introduced to it, I think I've only missed one week," said 21-year-old Jay Santino of Reno.

Bias seen she's seen a range of improvements over the past months.

"There's been improvements in balance but I think the students are getting something more out of it, it's more emotional than just the physical benefits and I think that's what keeps them coming back."

Santino has been coming regularly for more than three months now.

"It's actually more to calm my mind and relax my body because I've been through a lot of stress and a lot of life things that have kind of taken a toll on me," he said. "So her classes actually help me get into the kind of relaxation state I need to be in. I can slow my breathing and calm my heart rate and it's a wonderful thing."

Bias also teaches classes three other local facilities that provide services to youth in need. She says the hope is to continue to grow the program.

"We're making strides to become our own non-profit and hopefully be able to offer more of these classes," she said. "The students get so much out of it, they respond so well to it. Yoga is not just for adults, it's not just for the people that can afford to go to a fancy studio, it's for everyone."

There's a donation-based fundraiser at Rishi Yoga on November 227th and another at Hello Yoga in Midtown on December 5th. You can get more details on the Urban Lotus Project Facebook page: Facebook.com/urbanlotusproject