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: 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.



Studio: Swan River Arabi Community Center

Co-owners: Michele Baker, Haiyan Khan, and Keith Porteous

Interviewee: Haiyan Khan  Interviewer: S. Brooke Bailey

Location: 7011 St. Claude Avenue, Arabi, LA 70032


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 up in New Orleans and how did yoga become a part of your life?

Haiyan: I have always been very curious about life and our reasons for being in this world. I would often think about such fundamental questions. It wasn’t until an ex-girlfriend of mine introduced me to some books on meditation and yoga that I realized that yoga was about answering these questions through experiencing them. I found yoga to be the science that I was looking for. The science of body and mind. I was hooked instantly.
I came to New Orleans to help rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina. I worked with many local organizations, including Common Ground and Emergency Communities, mostly around providing food and shelter. It took me a few years to realize that I had fallen in love with this beautiful city and decided to call it home.

Brooke: The third anniversary of the studio is coming up in January. Can you tell us how Swan River Arabi got started? 

Haiyan: A friend asked me if I wanted to partner with her in opening a yoga studio in St. Bernard. While things didn’t work out with that friend, fate would have it that I got an opportunity to partner with my teachers at Swan River (Michele and Keith). That’s how Swan River Arabi was born.
Our vision for the space in Arabi was a very unique one. It was to open a professional grade studio that provided yoga to all, regardless of their ability to pay. We had all experienced the magic of yoga and wanted to give back. The concept of seva (giving without expecting anything in return) is at the heart of the studio.

Brooke: It seems that you are providing a great service for St. Bernard and probably introducing many people to yoga for the very first time. How does the studio help beginners get an understanding of yoga and its benefits?

Haiyan: Yes, it’s not uncommon to see a person or two who are doing yoga for the very first time in our classes!
Yoga promises transformation for the body, mind, and soul. To really experience this one has to have a regular practice over a sustained period of time. Since all our scheduled classes are donation based, it makes yoga accessible to all budgets.
To get a true sense of the benefits, we tell new yogis to do yoga three times a week for three months. Almost everyone I know who has done this has truly experienced the transformative power of yoga.

Brooke: Can you give us some other examples of how Swan River Arabi has contributed to the St. Bernard community through yoga?

Haiyan: We are humbly working to rebuild the individual. Each individual in turn then has a chance to rebuild the community. There are many examples of individuals we have helped over time.
A starving writer who lives in the area shared with me how her regular practice at our studio allowed her to be less stressed and more relaxed as she went through the process of finding a publicist.
Chalmette High students from the drama, theater, and cheerleading clubs attend yoga class regularly, especially during exam time. They’ve told us how yoga makes them less angry and more focused.
An older student, who attends regularly, has seen tremendous benefit in her physical health and strength through yoga.
I even know of a yoga teacher/lawyer, who learned how to mediate through one of our special courses, who told me that mediation has changed her life for good.

Brooke: You obviously have a very special resource that you and your teachers are offering people. It’s a unique concept. How can the Yoga Lagniappe community help your studio spread the word, or the “yoga lagniappe” as we like to say?

Haiyan: Swan River Arabi truly is an affordable resource bringing yoga to the people. By helping spread the word that such a resource exists in St. Bernard, members of the YL community would be of great service. The more people become aware of our daily class offerings and begin to reap the benefits, the stronger our entire community will become.

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]

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

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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

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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]

Balance Yoga & Wellness


Studio Name: Balance Yoga & Wellness Owner: Jessica Blanchard Location: Mid-City 120 S. Cotez Street, New Orleans, LA 70119 ½ block from Canal St., easily accessible by the Canal St. Streetcar Website: Phone Number: (504) 309-9618 Balance offers a wide variety of classes in different yoga styles (Ashtanga, Kundalini, Anusara, Restorative, Vinyasa, etc.) as well as other branches of… [Continue Reading]