About Wild Lotus
Wild Lotus was founded by Sean Johnson, a proud native of New Orleans. We love New Orleans and the way that the spirit of yoga blends so sweetly with the soul of our beloved city. We experience yoga as one of many ways to celebrate life here. Sean moved back to New Orleans in 1999 and 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 Johnson 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 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 which years ago was a neighborhood soul food stand. 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. We are proud to have helped introduce yoga to thousands of New Orleanians over the years and blaze the trail for the current yoga boom that is happening in New Orleans. We have also hosted countless workshops and events, bringing in teachers and artists from all over the country to share their wisdom and art. Today the studio offers over seventy diverse classes a week and has a team of twenty-plus skilled teachers and office staff. We still like to think of ourselves as a kind of grocery and neighborhood soul food stand, offering food for the spirit through yoga.
Wild Lotus Yoga Downtown
Following Hurricane Katrina, a group of concerned citizens, academics, engineers, writers, artists, developers, physicians, and architects came together to form a salon think tank. The members met to explore creative solutions to New Orleans’ vast recovery challenges. Out of that salon developed a multi-media cultural project, proposed energy policy for the city, and a plan for The New Orleans Healing Center, an urban healing center like no other. Sean was invited to join the Salon and commit to opening Wild Lotus Yoga Downtown as an integral part of the New Orleans Healing Center.
After years of dreaming and planning, Wild Lotus Yoga – Downtown is now open. In addition to Wild Lotus Yoga, the 55,000 square foot building on the corner of Saint Claude and Saint Roch Avenues will also house The New Orleans Food Co-Op, an organic restaurant/coffeeshop/juicebar, an arts bazaar, a performance hall, healing arts center, street university, bookstore, women’s center, interfaith space, dance studio, an incubator project for businesses specializing in sustainability and green projects, a police sub-station, gardens, and more. The New Orleans Healing Center is one of the most ambitious and progressive recovery projects in the city, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. For two years prior to The New Orleans Healing Center’s opening our teachers volunteered to guide 5 donation-based yoga classes a week held at Holy Angels Chapel in the neighborhood.