studio overviews

YOGA LAGNIAPPE goes directly to the source, studio owners, just for you.  We help you get a feel for studios in your area by interviewing their owners. YOGA LAGNIAPPE is not a listing service. We value our credibility and strive to maintain a strong relationship with the local yoga communities we serve. Yoga studios and teachers do not pay to be listed or interviewed. We do this to provide our community with the most impartial and useful information possible.

Studio Name: Yoga Krewe
Location: 2112 Belle Chasse Hwy, Suite 12
Gretna, LA 70056
Studio Owners: Michelle Gunnell (Mark’s wife and Jen’s sister-in-law)
Mark Gunnell (Jen’s brother and Michelle’s husband)
Jennifer Gunnell (Mark’s sister and Michelle’s sister-in-law)
Interviewee: Michelle Gunnell     Interviewer: S. Brooke Bailey

The Westbank finally has it’s own yoga studio thanks to a family initiative. Jen, Michelle and Mark Gunnell recently opened their studio in Gretna. The vision for the studio has been about a year in the making. Jen moved away to build her career living in Dallas, Memphis and Minneapolis for a period of 6 years. She found her way back home in July of 2013 to be closer to her family and the city of New Orleans. Nothing beats home, especially since these three come from a very close knit family. They love being part of a small community and are now excited to share the benefits of yoga with that community on the Westbank.

SBB: Tell our readers how the three of you became involved in yoga and why you decided to open a yoga studio together?
MG: Jen has been practicing yoga for several years. However, her love for yoga really grew while she was living in Minneapolis. When she moved back home to the Westbank in the summer of 2013 she found several studios in the area to practice, but really hoped for something more convenient for her work schedule.

I  grew up addicted to movement and danced for 20 years. I took yoga classes here and there, but it didn’t quite stick until I was pregnant with my first child and tried prenatal yoga. From that point on I was hooked. But after having a child, working on the Eastbank and living on the Westbank, it became difficult to fit in my practice.

Mark has always been active, but is relatively new to yoga. Following years of prodding, Jen finally got him to go to some classes with her when she moved home and he is now wondering why it took so long for him to get on the mat! After discovering our mutual love for yoga we dove right into the SmartFLOW Teacher Training at Shanti Yoga Shala, to immerse ourselves in the practice. After a few weeks of tinkering with the idea of opening the studio, we knew it was the right decision. The Eastbank has so many fantastic studios and the Westbank deserves one too! So we accepted the challenge and we are so glad we did!

What’s that saying? The family that does yoga together, stays together!

The Krewe!

SBB: Does your studio focus on one particular yoga style or are you offering a variety of classes?
MG: Right now, we are offering Vinyasa Flow as well as Gentle Flow classes. We have decided to stick with beginner and intermediate level classes for the time being because we have so many beginners. Our teachers are really great about making modifications to the poses so that even a beginner in an intermediate class feels comfortable and stays safe while practicing.

At the moment we are developing classes for a kids yoga program and would like to add a prenatal class to our schedule. We are actually still hiring for these types of teachers if anyone is interested! Because our studio has two dedicated yoga spaces we can have classes run simultaneously, which will be wonderful for all of our Westbank yogis to get their practice in!

SBB: Yoga Lagniappe frequently gets questions from our readers about yoga offerings on the Westbank. Until now, we have only been able to direct students to isolated classes in gyms, etc. What has the reception for Yoga Krewe been like so far?
MG: The reception of Yoga Krewe has been amazing! So many people walk in daily (or post to our Facebook page) and let us know how happy they are that the Westbank finally has our own yoga studio! Actually, there have also been several people who said that they thought about opening one themselves, but just couldn’t do it at the time. The comments and love from this community have been such a wonderful affirmation that we have done something great by opening Yoga Krewe.

SBB: You mentioned you have a lot of beginner students. Are you also getting interest from seasoned yogis?
MG: We have gotten several seasoned yogis, but the majority of our students are new to yoga altogether. Which is fantastic! It is quite common to hear the students say that they have always wanted to try yoga but just couldn’t fit the travel to the Eastbank into their schedule.

SBB: How do you want people to feel when they enter and leave Yoga Krewe?
MG: We want everyone who comes through our door to feel welcomed and comfortable, just like they would walking into their family home. And when they leave, we hope they will feel centered and secure knowing there is always a place to practice yoga just around the corner!

SBB: What kind of impact do you hope Yoga Krewe can make on the Westbank?
MG: We hope Yoga Krewe can have a strong and lasting impact on the Westbank by spreading the love of yoga so that it becomes a part of people’s lives.

Lagniappe: The first 10 YL Subscribers that mention this interview when they arrive at Yoga Krewe will receive their first yoga class FREE!


Studio Name: Life Yoga + Boutique
Owners: Suzy Rivera and Florecita Rivera
Studio Manager: Christine Durant
Location: 5422 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
Phone Number: (504) 267-0380

Life Yoga + Boutique is a one stop shop for those interested in yoga and wellness in Uptown, New Orleans. The studio and boutique are located at the very popular intersection of Magazine and Jefferson streets. With a variety of yoga classes held upstairs and top name brands plus one-of-a-kind finds downstairs in the boutique, Life makes it easy for you to be healthy and look good at the same timeHere’s what Co-Owner Suzy River told us about the Life experience.

Can you give us a little background about how the studio and boutique got started and why the name Life was chosen?
The boutique came about first as an idea/concept to show people how they could lead active lifestyles without cramping their everyday fashion. We wanted to offer options such as wraps, sweaters, leggings and tunics that could easily transition from yoga wear to everyday wear. the big thing was transitional apparel that looked good and felt good. The name Life came from the idea that we grow in our yoga practice just as we grow every day in life, continual GROWTH was the main concept! I had been practicing yoga for awhile and was eager to provide quality yoga classes for everyone that were very accessible. I’ve seen how yoga can change lives and bring positivity to people and wanted very much to bring that to our community.

Life offers an array of yoga classes many of which do not fall under a particular style of yoga, but instead follow a general flow that is suitable for a variety of physical abilities. How does this philosophy of yoga for everyone effect the vibe of the studio?
All of our classes at Life are open to students of all levels. We offer vinyasa flow classes which are based on breath work and physical movement that link the body, mind and spirit. The wonderful thing about our all levels, all-are-welcome public classes is that everyone comes together as a community and receives the type of class that they need. We have people from all ages and walks of life flowing together and uplifting each other in the same room!



The studio has been running a 30 Day Yoga Challenge for over two years now. Tell us how this program has evolved and what benefits students can experience if they participate.
The 30 day challenge began as a way to help students create healthy habits, as well as to set and reach their goal of developing a daily yoga practice. From the beginning this program has been embraced by beginners who are looking to develop a practice and regulars who are needing help finding a more consistent practice. Just this year the program has developed two more options including a 21-day yoga challenge and a 30 day yoga challenge plus smoothies from Raw Republic. The 21 day option gives students the full 30 days to complete it and is very good for those who are new to yoga as well as during holiday times like Mardi Gras. The 30 day plus smoothie challenge was brought about by our students. They were looking for a way to increase their health and wellness and Life wanted to make it easier for them by bringing it all together at one stop!

We have heard from students that our yoga challenges have improved their sleep, breathing, sense of peace, anxiety, anger, weight-loss, strength, flexibility, aches and pains, and also lead them to a community of like-minded yogis!

What do you hope students leave Life with?
I hope that students leave Life feeling inspired and supported while they live a life of health and wellness. We love the sense of family and community that our student bring to the studio and hope that they feel uplifted by it too.


Yoga Krewe

Studio Name: Yoga Krewe Location: 2112 Belle Chasse Hwy, Suite 12 Gretna, LA 70056 Studio Owners: Michelle Gunnell (Mark’s wife and Jen’s sister-in-law) Mark Gunnell (Jen’s brother and Michelle’s husband) Jennifer Gunnell (Mark’s sister and Michelle’s sister-in-law) Website: Interviewee: Michelle Gunnell     Interviewer: S. Brooke Bailey The Westbank finally has it’s own yoga studio… [Continue Reading]

Life Yoga + Boutique


Studio Name: Life Yoga + Boutique Owners: Suzy Rivera and Florecita Rivera Studio Manager: Christine Durant Location: 5422 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 Website: Phone Number: (504) 267-0380 Life Yoga + Boutique is a one stop shop for those interested in yoga and wellness in Uptown, New Orleans. The studio and boutique are located… [Continue Reading]

Swan River Arabi Community Center

Swan River Arabi Small Logo

Studio: Swan River Arabi Community Center Co-owners: Michele Baker, Haiyan Kan, and Keith Porteous Interviewee: Haiyan Khan  Interviewer: Brooke Bailey Locations: 7011 St. Claude Avenue, Arabi, LA 70032 Website: Phone: (504) 598-4107 Brooke: Haiyan, you mentioned to me that you became a part of the Swan River community in 2009. How did you end… [Continue Reading]

Reyn Power Studios

Reyn Power Studios Logo

Studio: Reyn Power Studios Owner: Reyn Lambert Location: 725 Magazine St, 2nd Floor Website: Interview by Nikki Carter We are well into National Yoga Month, folks! Our hope is that you’ve been exploring the benefits of yoga for yourself and visiting local studios this month. In partnership with Reyn Power Studios, Yoga Lagniappe will be… [Continue Reading]

Heating Things Up: Bikram Yoga Uptown New Orleans


Name: Bikram Yoga Uptown New Orleans Co-Owners: Emily Johnston and Sarah Scharfenstein Location: 8338 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 Phone: 504-342-2743 Website: Bikram enthusiasts in the Uptown area can breathe a little easier, because Bikram Yoga Uptown New Orleans (BYUNO) is bringing hot yoga back to the area. The studio is currently offering 17 classes a… [Continue Reading]

The Yoga Room


      Studio: The Yoga Room Owner: Melanie Fawer Location: 4905 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 Website: After studying with the Ashtanga yoga master, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Guruji), in Mysore, India, Melanie Fawer became dedicated to the Ashtanga system. In 1996, with her teacher’s permission, she brought Ashtanga yoga to New Orleans…. [Continue Reading]

Freret Street Yoga


 Studio: Freret Street Yoga  Owner: Geoffrey Roniger  Location: 4608 Freret St., New Orleans, LA 70115  Website:   Geoffrey Roniger opened his studio on Freret Street as this Uptown corridor was just beginning to revitalize itself in 2011. Now the area is full of eateries and activities, including yoga. Geoffrey and the other teachers at… [Continue Reading]

Swan River Yoga

logo white and blue

Studio: Swan River Yoga Co-owners: Michele Baker and Keith Porteous  Interviewee: Michele Baker Locations: Mid-City Mandir: 2940 Canal Blvd. New Orleans, LA; Marigny: 2600 Chartres St. New Orleans, LA; Community Center-Yoga & Seva: 7011 St. Claude Ave. Arabi, LA Website:  Phone: (504) 301-3134 Michele Baker and Keith Porteous, both New Orleans natives, came together… [Continue Reading]

Bikram Yoga New Orleans

Bikram Yoga New Orleans Logo

Studio Name: Bikram Yoga New Orleans Owner’s Name: Krystall Snemyr Location: 638 Julia Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 Website: Krystall Snemyr recently opened the first Bikram Yoga studio in the Arts District of New Orleans. Her journey from teacher to studio owner was fraught with the typical set backs that come from launching a… [Continue Reading]

Transform NOLA


Studio Name: Transform NOLA Owner’s Name: Mia Oramous Location: 8422 Oak Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 Website: Email:   With a name like Transform NOLA it would seem that you were on a mission when you decided to open your own studio and training center. How does the concept of transformation fit into the… [Continue Reading]

Shanti Yoga Shala

Shanti Logo square

Studio Name: Shanti Yoga Shala Owner’s Name: Nathalie Croix Location: 3528 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115 Website: Studio Email: Having lived and practiced yoga in a variety of places around the world, what inspired you to open a yoga studio in New Orleans? I love New Orleans. I think New Orleans is a very unique city, full… [Continue Reading]