New Orleans

Audubon Yoga Studio

511 Octavia Street

New Orleans, LA  70115

Phone: (504) 821-9885

Iyengar Yoga, Meditation.

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Balance Yoga & Wellness

Located in the busy Mid-City neighborhood of New Orleans, Balance is housed in a beautiful two-story residential house that is one of the oldest buildings on its street. Very little remodeling has been done to the space, so the home-y vibe is still in tact. The original rooms are now used as simple, cozy studio space, with beautiful old fireplaces converted to altars. The overall effect is sunny, nurturing, and inviting.

Owner Cheryl Golich used to teach at a studio in another neighborhood, but felt pulled to open a space in Mid-City, home to both artists and working-class families. Open since January 2011, Balance has already found a niche and built a community in this unique, vibrant part of the city.

“Community, for us, was the most important thing,” Cheryl says. Finding the home that now houses the studio was a crucial to her vision. She says new students don’t always know what to do on their first visit to a studio. “But people know what to do in a house. They walk in, and they can just relax.”

Balance strives to offer more than just yoga, frequently providing workshops on Ayurveda and related practices, with plans to expand those offerings in the future. There are also plans to create a community garden in the backyard to encourage more people to be involved in the space.

A visit to Balance Yoga and Wellness feels less like going to class and more like being invited over to a low-key yoga party at a good friend’s house. Teachers are friendly and welcoming, and classes are playful and accessible to almost any level. It’s obvious that students feel comfortable here, evidenced by the number of folks lounging on cushions and hanging around the front desk after class. In bustling New Orleans, Balance is both a peaceful oasis and a home away from home.

Studios- Two studios, one on each floor, with additional space for private lessons and bodywork. Each studio has a fireplace, original to the home, that have been converted into altars.

Classes- Something for everyone. Mysore, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Anusara, Prenatal, Gentle, Yin, Restorative, and Kundalini.

Amenities- Restrooms on both floors.

Flooring- Hardwoods, original to the home.

Bodywork- Massage, Bodytalk, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy

Childcare- N/A

Store- Manduka mats, books, media, and clothes for sale.

Parking- Street parking available. We recommend allowing a few extra minutes to find a parking space.

Vibe- Warm, homey, and welcoming. This is a studio where it’s easy to find your place in the community. There’s something for everyone. With plans to open a community garden and expand workshop offerings, Balance is the kind of studio that easily feels like a home away from home.

This review was written by Namaste Y’all contributing writer Melissa Scott.

Balance Yoga & Wellness

120 South Cortez St.

New Orleans, LA  70119

Phone: (504) 309-9618

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Life: Yoga + Boutique

5422 Magazine Street

New Orleans, LA  70115

Phone: (504) 267-0380

Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Vinyasa Flow, Lunch Flow, Laughter Yoga, Funky Vinayasa Flow, Moving Meditation, Yoga Basics, Restorative.  Includes a boutique, special workshops, Community classes, Pilates and a yoga teacher training program.

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Swan River Community Center

7011 St. Claude Avenue, Second Floor

Arabi, LA  70032

Phone: (985) 218-0724

A new Swan River Community donation based studio in the 9th Ward.  Offering all levels, Temple of Self, Goddess Unlocked, Breathing Mediation, Yogic Wisdom.

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Swan River Yoga – Mid City

Located on busy Canal Street, Swan River's Mid-City location is easily one of the most unique studio spaces in the country.

New Orleans’ yoga scene has exploded in the last decade. In the late 1990s, it was one of the first cities in the Southeast to bring yoga to the mainstream. Today, yoga studios are as much a part of the scene in the Big Easy as its iconic jazz clubs and legendary nightlife.

 

Swan River Yoga is one of the Crescent City’s most active studios. With four locations, each offering about 15 classes a week, Swan River serves yogis all over town. Most recently, they opened a location in the Lower 9th Ward, the working-class neighborhood that was devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That location is donation-only, serving residents who may not have access to yoga otherwise. Open since January 2011, the Lower 9th Ward location is a huge part of studio’s seva, with all teachers providing their services for free. Studio co-owner Michelle Baker describes opening the donation-only location as “a huge leap of faith.” So far that leap has paid off, as the studio has been able to pay bills every month since its opening and has touched the lives of dozens of Lower 9th Ward residents.

During my trip to New Orleans, I visited Swan River’s location in the bustling Mid-City neighborhood. Located on busy Canal Street, Swan River’s Mid-City location is easily one of the most unique studio spaces in the country. It’s housed in a gorgeous building originally built in the mid-1800s that served as a public library for over a century. During FDR’s presidential term, a mural—chronicling the history of the written word—was added on a second story wall as a part of the Works Progress Administration.

Swan River converted the Mid-City space from “an outer beauty school to an inner beauty school.”

In the 1970s, the building was converted to a beauty school. For decades the mural was covered up by shelves and eventually gave way to mold and rot. When Swan River took over the space in 2009, the mural was cleaned and restored to original state. Today it provides a striking and unique focal point in the large second-floor studio. Michelle Baker likes to say that Swan River converted the space from “an outer beauty school to an inner beauty school.”

Swan River’s Mid-City location provides an inviting and soothing experience. Both studio rooms are large and open, with plenty of space to spread out and lots of natural light. Eye catching altars honor significant teachers, with photos of everyone from Anusara founder John Friend to Martin Luther King, Jr. With a variety of classes on offer, frequent workshops, and occasional live music, Swan River strives to create an active vibrant community.

Check out more about Swan River’s Mid-City location on our studios page (link).

Studios- 4 studio locations, about 15 classes/week at each location. The Mid-City location has two studio rooms, both large and airy, with lots of natural light. Space on the third floor for teacher trainings and private yoga sessions.

During FDR's presidential term, a mural—chronicling the history of the written word—was added on a second story wall as a part of the Works Progress Administration.

Classes- Jivamukti, Anusara, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and dance classes. Coming soon—Ashtanga and Acroyoga.

Amenities- Restrooms on bottom two floors, locker room on first floor with two large showers

Flooring- Wood floors in studios

Bodywork- Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic services, Reiki, Thai yoga massage.

Childcare- No separate childcare, but kids are welcome in all classes.

Eye catching altars honor significant teachers, with photos of everyone from Anusara founder John Friend to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Store- Limited retail right now, but there are plans to expand soon. Plans to include pieces from local artists and creators.

Parking- Street parking available. Recommended that you allow a few extra minutes to find a parking space.

Vibe- Open, in every sense of the word. Wide open spaces in the studio. Open, accessible, heartfelt instruction. Welcoming environment with something for almost everyone.

This review was written by Namaste Y’all contributing writer Melissa Scott.

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3 Locations: Downtown, The Shala, Mid-City

Downtown

2701 Charles Street

New Orleans, LA  70117

The Shala

2130 Magazine Street

NOLA

Mid-City

2940 Canal Blvd.

NOLA

Phone: (504) 566-4922

Anusara, Jivimukti, Vinyasa.

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Yoga 108

8229 Oak Street

New Orleans LA  70118

Phone: (866) 964-2108

Bikram Yoga.

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Wild Lotus Yoga Studio

Wild Lotus, Uptown New Orleans

Founded in 2002, Wild Lotus is now a hidden gem in the heart of the Big Easy’s Uptown.  Created by four friends – New Orleans natives Sean Johnson, Beverly Morris, Kellie Panus and Tricia Lea – in an old grocery store in the mid-city, the current location is on Perrier Street, in what was once a neighborhood soul food stand.  Wild Lotus was the first yoga studio in New Orleans to reopen after Hurricane Katrina.  On their website, they say: “We still like to think of ourselves as a kind of grocery and neighborhood soul food stand, offering food for the spirit through yoga.”  Easily accessible from Uptown, Downtown and Midtown via the St. Charles Streetcar Line.

Open-door breezes set the mood at Wild Lotus

Studios – The inviting building is surrounded by terra cotta pots supporting beautiful flowers, and wind chimes sing in the breezes that blow through the two spacious, open-door classrooms, aptly named the Sun and Moon rooms.  A restroom in each classroom is available for students.  Wood floors and tapestries floating on the ceiling, painted in earth tones, allow for breezy, inspiring, open-door classes when the weather is nice, or when it’s not a heated vinyasa class, one of the studios many of a wide variety of offerings.  In fact, Wild Lotus currently has over 50 classes and 20 instructors to choose from.  What could make that even better?  They’re expanding and opening a new Wild Lotus Healing Center in downtown New Orleans very soon.  The new Healing Center will feature an organic café, new classrooms and a wide variety of offerings.

Classes – Classes are described by how spicy they are, including gentle, medium and vigorous yoga.  5 and 12-week courses, meditation, kids yoga, pre and postnatal yoga are offered, and a certified Anusara instructor is on staff.  Private instruction, workshops and lectures with renowned visiting teachers, teacher trainings, concerts, films, community service, community and donation-based classes fill the studio calendar.

Amenities – 2 restrooms, one in each classroom.

Flooring – Wood.

Bodywork – N/A

Childcare – N/A

The Moon Room features pre-natal classes, among many others

Store – Boutique featuring yoga mats, groovy clothing, cds and everything from gift certificates to coconut water.

Parking – Street parking available but please allow time to find a space.

Check out Wild Lotus on Perrier Street at Upperline, Uptown New Orleans

Vibration – The friendly staff go out of their way to welcome newcomers and drop-ins.  The studio also features integrative holistic workshops, concerts and visiting teachers from all over the planet.  Check out upcoming events on their website: Wild Lotus

And don’t miss the Wild Lotus Yoga “Spirit Music” Concert Series featuring candlelit concerts and kirtans at the studio, as well as the Wild Lotus “Yoga Wisdom” Series, where teachers speak about practice, philosophy and other aspects of the practice.

Wild Lotus Yoga

4842 Perrier Street At Upperline

New Orleans, LA  70115

Phone: (504) 899-0047

New Location:

Wild Lotus Yoga Downtown

New Orleans Healing Center

2nd Floor

2372 Saint Claude Avenue (at Saint Roch)

New Orleans, LA  70117

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