Shop Urban Yogis Face Masks

Each Mask is Unique and Handcrafted in Laos by Local Artisans

The Story Behind our Face Masks

Our Connection to Laos

We have a very special connection with Laos. Back in 2012, Urban Yogis’ co-founder, Julie, moved to Luang Prabang, Laos, and grew a burgeoning yoga community that would be the melting pot of yogis and traveller from around the world. Along with the community cooperative, Luang Prabang Yoga, she ran a dozen retreats a year under Laos Yoga Retreats, an operation which merged as part of Urban Yogis in 2019. While the global pandemic has prevented us from returning to Laos for now, we continue to support our friends, many whose livelihoods have been affected by the border closures that have cut off tourism to the country.

Passa Paa and Hmong Artisans

Our masks are handcrafted by the local artisans at Passa Paa (IG: Passapaa), a Hmong artisan social enterprise. The contemporary designs are influenced by traditional Hmong patterns and motifs. During the pandemic, production has turned primarily towards making these beautiful masks. Passa Paa donates one mask to a local villager for every mask purchased from them. 

Urban Yogis has collaborated with Passa Paa to create our own, Urban Yogis branded face masks. These masks are handmade in Laos. Urban Yogis and Passa Paa thank you for supporting Laos artisans. 

Indigo Face Masks

Indigo dyeing is both a magical and scientific art and in Laos, this art is highly revered and worth celebrating. Creating an indigo dye bath is complex and has been mastered over many generations as a traditional practice of Hmong artisans. Yet as many Hmong have moved to larger towns and cities this art is at risk of being forgotten. This is one of the many reasons why Passa Paa works with Hmong communities; providing a sustainable source of income with the choice to stay in the village. Traditionally, the Hmong use indigo dye vats for dip dyeing their wax batik hemp. Meanwhile as Passa Paa explored alternative inks to screen print with, they discovered a way to use the precious blue residue that forms at the bottom of the indigo vats. This printing method has become a signature feature in Passa Paa’s textiles, and is now used as the outer decorative layer in their fabric face covers! In the Passa Paa prints you’ll find elements of motifs found in traditional Hmong textiles. 


The many different motifs symbolise life in the outside world, a life lived alongside the natural elements. The Hmong were traditionally a nomadic people and formed their communities in the mountain tops of Laos, so it is no wonder that their textile motifs reflect the world around them. You will find symbols that represent nature such as pumpkin seeds, elephants footprints, leaf fronds and the geometric patterns of their stepped rice fields. These motifs symbolise abundance, fertility, strength, protection and infinity and through incorporating them into their textile designs they pay homage and gratitude to their relationship with nature.

Dear friends and community, it wasn’t an easy decision to arrive to but alas, with so many changes happening to the world, reevaluations of 2022 and many decisions to make for the new year, we have decided to close Urban Yogis for now. It’s been quite a ride from our humble beginnings in 2013 from a basic pop up group in the Botanic Gardens to a vibrant collective of like-minded yogis invested in their health, connection and nature. It’s bittersweet for us to reminisce the good old times, especially during our pivot through the pandemic. We appreciate everyone who stuck by us through it all - changes to protocols, swabbing, check-ins, safe distancing - you name it! What a time! We’ve grown so much through it and have seen so many of you grow with us as well. There truly is a community of you, so willing to adapt with us through bad weather and ridiculous Covid-measures. For that, we are so grateful. Thank you for supporting us and for being our life-line during an unexpected time of our journey. At the root of Urban Yogis is learning and growing through the spirit of Yoga and Wellness. From immersive experiences like workshops and retreats, our mission was to help people find joy in self-inquiry and practice. We know that you will continue to do so and that makes our journey so worthwhile knowing that we played a small part in that too. Thank you for seeing us, believing us and showing up. We look forward to crossing paths with you in different ways. You can always reach out to Julie (IG: @julieyogatravel), Kathy (IG: @kathygabriel__) and the wonderful teaching team at Urban Yogis independently. For those of you who would like to share the last practice with us, we still have Suntec classes running through January 2023.
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