Two years after suffering life-threatening injuries in a car accident and spending more than six months in a wheelchair, Ashley Hanna has opened a yoga studio in Ponte Vedra Beach to help others overcome traumatic experiences of their own.
Located at 111 Solana Road in Suite A, Titanium Yoga opened in late May and specializes in hot yoga, which is the treatment Hanna utilized for her own recovery.
Named after the hardware in Hanna’s body — rods extending from her shoulder to elbow and hip to knee and a plate in her left hand — Titanium Yoga was established to help people like her persevere through their respective challenges and become “unbreakable.”
The vision for Titanium Yoga was born March 3, 2016 when Hanna’s life took an unexpected, near deadly turn.
The Phoenix native was working for a start-up in the fashion industry, responsible for finding professional athletes to wear the brand and be company spokespeople. Her company sent her to the baseball spring training circuit in Florida, and on this particular day, she was traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Tampa. Outside of Lakeland, her four-door Nissan Versa rental car collided with a semi truck going 70 miles per hour.
“I was immediately air-lifted to Lakeland Regional Hospital,” Hanna said. “I was in a coma for a few hours. My shoulder came out, my femur came out and broke in two, and I crushed my left hand.”
Hanna spent eight days in the trauma intensive care unit (ICU) and underwent multiple surgeries to repair a fractured femur, broken shoulder and crushed hand. Before heading home to Dallas where she lived at the time, her surgeon said she would most likely spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair. Hanna refused to accept that her once previously active lifestyle was over. Little did she know, it was just beginning.
After six months of physical therapy, Hanna was still in a wheelchair, and the future wasn’t bright.
“I lived by myself, and I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I couldn’t twist off a cap of a water bottle. There’s a lot you can’t do when only one thing works … only one hand, one arm and one leg.”
She tried every form of therapy she thought existed. From cupping to acupuncture to chiropractic care, her condition did not improve. Then, more adversity hit when her health insurance ran out.
Hanna confided in her surgeon in Lakeland to find a solution, and he ultimately suggested hot yoga. He acknowledged the pain she was experiencing and said she needed to build muscle to get better. Having done yoga once before in her life, Hanna was hesitant, but she didn’t have many other options. She returned to Dallas and followed her doctor’s advice, wheeling herself to a big-box yoga chain. The result was unimaginable.
“I went in the room and the heat took the pain away,” Hanna said. “I went back every single day.”
Eight months after the crash, Hanna walked again for the first time. On March 3, 2017, the one-year anniversary of the accident, she ran a 5K.
Helping others become “unbreakable”
Hanna, now 32 years old, is confident others can experience similar results and become “unbreakable” at Titanium Yoga.
The studio uses infrared heat, which the business says is used in cancer treatment and to treat acne, Lyme disease, eczema, and allergies, as well as lower blood pressure. Titanium Yoga offers five different classes ranging in levels of heat and including prenatal and weight-based options. Classes last 45 minutes to an hour, with many incorporating fun themes such as “Hip Hop Wednesdays.”
One drop-in class is $25, and a 10-pack of classes is $220. Those interested can take advantage of a promotion and sign up for an unlimited monthly membership for $100. More information can be found at .
“Everything that’s in here, from our infrared heating panels to mixed martial arts flooring on the ground, everything is in here for healing properties,” Hanna said. “We can help you rehabilitate in a natural way.”