ABOUT

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Welcome to Wild Lotus Yoga!

New Orleans Home For Heart-Centered Yoga & Down-To-Earth Spirituality

Uptown & Downtown

Watch this one minute video to get a feel for the studio:

Our Approach To Yoga

Welcoming & Community-Oriented

It is very important to us to create a positive environment for the exploration of yoga that is welcoming, friendly, and open-minded. We’re not into cliques, cults of personality, drama, or dogma.  We are also dedicated to giving back to the community through our discounted sliding scale community classes, fundraisers, and service projects.

Integrative

At Wild Lotus, yoga is much more than a fitness routine. We believe a holistic yoga practice includes more than just physical postures. Our classes include a combination of yoga postures, breathing practices, meditation, mantras, music, readings, poems, stories, philosophy and more – woven together to inspire living a more vivid life.

Accessible

We’re committed to making yoga as accessible as possible. We offer a wide variety of classes for all levels of experience. Our classes range from mellow for people looking for more of a focus on stress relief and relaxation to medium and spicy for more experienced yogis who want more of  a challenging workout.

Heart-Centered

We believe the best teachers teach from the heart, and we enthusiastically share yoga’s heart-opening practices including singing, creative movement, art, poetry, loving-kindness meditations and more. We invite students to tap into the power of their hearts just as much as their bodies.

Down-To-Earth Spiritual

At Wild Lotus we are passionate about sharing yoga as a universal inclusive spiritual practice that can bring depth and practical value to anyone’s everyday life.

Creative 

In our Soul School interdisciplinary teacher training program, our teachers are trained to teach yoga in a skillful, soulful, imaginative way in their own authentic voices. We teach from own passion, personality, and practice – rather than from a script.

Thematic

Each month our teachers draw inspiration from and interpret in their own unique way the studio’s theme in their classes. Our themes are designed to help you make a deeper connection between yoga practice, imagination, and day-to-day life. Past themes have included: Mythology: Ancient Stories For Modern Times; Blessings: Inspiration from Celtic Spirituality; Mindfulness & Meditation; Earth Wisdom: Inspiration From Indigenous Traditions; Bhakti: Yoga Of The Heart, Chakras: 7 Doorways Of Awareness; Poems To Live By; Sutras: Threads Of Wisdom; and The Miracle Of The Body.  

Inspirational Workshops, Courses & Events

In addition to our daily classes, we also host an extensive variety of events designed to help you deepen your practice and nourish your soul. Wild Lotus events include Workshops, Courses, Immersions, Concerts, and Retreats.

Yoga Teacher Training and Continuing Education

Wild Lotus Yoga is a center for yoga education. Each year we run a one-of-a-kind, 8-month-long, 200-hour yoga teacher training program called Soul School that focuses on learning to teach yoga with precision and imagination. In addition, we also host other specialized teacher training intensives and continuing education events throughout the year.

Wild Lotus was founded by Sean Johnson, a proud native of New Orleans. This year we celebrate our 15th anniversary of sharing yoga and have been voted “Best Place To Take A Yoga Class In New Orleans” by Gambit readers each year since we opened. We love New Orleans and the way the spirit of yoga blends so sweetly with the soul of our beloved city. We experience yoga as one of many ways to savor and celebrate life here.

Beginnings

Sean was born and raised in New Orleans, attending public schools K-12, and a graduate of Benjamin Franklin High School. During college (The Evergreen State College) and graduate school (The Naropa Institude-Oakland) Sean had the unique opportunity to focus his studies on a deep exploration of yoga and spiritual traditions and practices from around the world and then moved back home to New Orleans in 1999. He began teaching at The New Orleans Yoga Center, The University of New Orleans, Loyola University, Delgado Community College, L.S.U. Medical School, and other regional yoga studios. Wild Lotus Yoga was born by serendipitous events in July 2002 when Sean joined three friends Beverly Morris, Kellie Panus, and Tricia Lea to teach together. There were only a few yoga studios in New Orleans at the time. The original location was in a historic former small corner grocery in Mid-City. The classroom was a cozy space and Sean moved into the rear grocer’s apartment. The studio offered seven classes a week. Though the location was tucked away in a residential neighborhood, word spread, and soon classes were packed.

A year later the studio renovated and moved to its current location on Perrier Street. In 2005, Wild Lotus was the first yoga studio in New Orleans to reopen after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and became a haven for returning residents as well as volunteers and emergency relief workers.

Wild Lotus Yoga Downtown at The New Orleans Healing Center

Following Hurricane Katrina, a group of New Orleans citizens from many walks of life came together to form a think tank. The members met to explore creative solutions to New Orleans’ vast recovery challenges. Out of that salon developed a plan for The New Orleans Healing Center, a community center designed to support citizens at the economic, social, environmental, physical/mental, and spiritual levels. Sean was invited to join the think tank and commit to opening Wild Lotus Yoga-Downtown as an integral part of the New Orleans Healing Center. During the years prior to The New Orleans Healing Center’s official opening, our teachers volunteered to guide 5 donation-based yoga classes a week held in the building pre-renovation, and then during the renovation at Holy Angels Chapel on St. Claude Avenue.

Wild Lotus Yoga-Downtown and The New Orleans Healing Center opened in 2011. In addition to Wild Lotus, the 55,000 square foot building also houses The New Orleans Food Co-Op; Cafe Istanbul performance hall; Spotted Cat Food & Spirits; Downtown Fitness Center; AHA affordable healing arts center; The Second Story Gallery; ASI Credit Union; Island Of Salvation Botanica;  The Street University; an interfaith space; Magnolia Physical Therapy;  The Building Block, an incubator project for businesses specializing in sustainability and green projects, and much more.

Past To Present

We are proud to have helped introduce yoga to thousands of New Orleanians over the last decade and blaze the trail for the current yoga boom that is happening in New Orleans, recently named one of the top 10 cities for yoga in the U.S. by Yoga Journal. Sean has also shared his love of yoga and music at workshops and conferences across the country with The Wild Lotus Band and as a presenter and writer for Yoga Journal. Wild Lotus has hosted countless workshops and events, bringing in visiting teachers and artists to share their wisdom and art. Today the studio offers over 60 diverse classes a week and has a team of over thirty skilled teachers, most of whom are graduates of our unique 200 hour teacher training program called Soul School.

Many students ask us for resources to help inspire their yoga practice and life. Below you will find a partial list of some of our favorite books, yoga retreat centers, magazines, websites, conferences, festivals, and more.

Yoga Books

Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann
Yoga Mind Body and Spirit by Donna Farhi
Heart Of Yoga by TKV Desikachar
Light On Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
Meditations From The Mat by Rolf Gates
Nourishing The Teacher by Daniel Arguetty

Inspiration Books

Ganesha Goes To Lunch: Classic Stories From Mystic India by Kamla Kapur
A Joseph Campbell Companion Edited by Dianne Osbon
The Artists Way by Julia Cameron
The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami by Radhanath Swami
The Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche
Be Here Now by Ram Dass
Be Love Now by Ram Dass
Wheels of Light: A User’s Guide To The Chakra System by Anodea Judith
Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses Of Yoga by Sally Kempton

Poetry Books

Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks
The Soul Is Here For Its Own Joy: Sacred Poems From Many Cultures edited by Robert Bly
House of Light by Mary Oliver
Dreamwork by Mary Oliver

Bhakti Yoga and Kirtan Books

Music & Mantras by Girish

Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley Farrand

Chanting: Discovering Spirit In Sound by Robert Gass and Kathleen A. Brehony

The Yoga Of Kirtan: Conversations On The Sacred Art of Chanting by Steven Rosen
Chants Of A Lifetime: Searching For A Heart Of Gold by Krishna Das

Yoga Music Record Labels

Nutone Music
White Swan
Spirit Voyage
Mantralogy

Yoga Magazines

Yoga Journal
Yoga International
L.A. Yoga Magazine

Web Resources

yogalagniappe.com
yogajournal.com
yogafinder.com
elephantjournal.com
yogadork.com
omstream.com
sacredsoundsradio.com
kirtancentral.com

Yoga Retreat Centers

Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health- Lenox, MA
Omega Institute For Holistic Studies- Rhinebeck, NY
The Esalen Institute- Big Sur, CA
Villa Sumaya- Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Yoga Conferences and Festivals

Mahabhuta Yoga Festival- Pensacola, FL
Yoga Journal Conferences- Various Locations
The Telluride Yoga Festival- Telluride, CO
The Ojai Yoga Crib- Ojai, CA
The Texas Yoga Conference- Houston, TX

Yoga Music Festivals

Bhakti Fest- Joshua Tree, CA/Madison, WI
Omega Ecstatic Chant Weekend- Rhinebeck, NY
Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival- Lake Tahoe, CA
Floyd Yoga Jam- Floyd, VA

Wild Lotus Yoga BoutiqueBoth our uptown and downtown studios have a lobby boutique that features handpicked items to inspire and enhance your yoga practice and lifestyle. Offerings include yoga mats, our favorite books and cds including music from Sean Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band, yoga clothes, journals, jewelry, props, Wild Lotus t-shirts and water bottles, and more. Boutique is open before classes, and you can also call 899-0047 to arrange a time to stop by.

We are a family of teachers bonded by our love for yoga and for sharing the inspiration of the practice. We celebrate our kinship in the Wild Lotus community and are also grateful for the diversity of personalities and yoga training on our team.  Many of our teachers have been deeply influenced by their experience in our Soul School Teacher Training Program, an interdisciplinary yoga and spirituality training that focuses on bringing soul and imagination to the art and practice of yoga.  Some of the other forms of yoga in which individual Wild Lotus teachers are trained include: Vinyasa, Iyengar, Astanga, Anusara, Vini-Yoga, Sivananda, Kali Ray Tri-Yoga, Kripalu, Thai Yoga, White Lotus, Restorative, Pre and Post Natal, Kids, and Bhakti.