Mark Lilly

Founder and Board President, Street Yoga

YJ People's Choice Seva Award scholarship nominee, Good Karma Awards

Mark Lilly

Founder and Board President, Street Yoga
Portland, Oregon

Upon discovering that yoga is not only a practice of service to self and humanity, but also an everyday survival skill, Mark Lilly founded the internationally recognized nonprofit Street Yoga in 2002 in Portland, Oregon to help people struggling with homelessness, poverty, abuse, addiction, and other kinds of trauma. Within a few years, staff were included in the programming, so more people could build their own well-being. Street Yoga has trained thousands of people—yoga teachers, social workers, nurses, teachers, and police officers—in how to offer yoga and body-based mindfulness to at-risk populations. They, in turn, have helped many thousands throughout the world.

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In addition, Lilly developed Body-Mind Rehab Therapy, a yoga-derived, body-based mindfulness practice for young people recovering from significant illness or injury in the hospital. He also developed the Mindful Parents & Caregiver program, a variation of which has most recently taken root both in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Breathing Room) and as Take Five in the East Midlands of England, as well as Healing Childhood Sexual Abuse With Yoga, which helps survivors of sexual abuse reconnect with their bodies in positive ways.

Besides being lead trainer for Street Yoga, Lilly is a co-founder and a current director of the Yoga Service Council and is a director of Each Amazing Breath, in England, and co-author of the Breathing Room practices. He has also written a book about his family's experience in intensive care, and is currently writing a series entitled Inside PTSD,