450-Hr Swan Yoga Teacher Training

2018 Training Dates:
May 23 – November 14, 2018
Classes are on Wednesdays from 6-10pm with some additional workshops on the weekends
Summer Break – August 2 -16, 2018

Additional weekend workshops (included in tuition):

  • Yoga Anatomy with John- July 13 – 15
  • Yoga Alignment with Kelly Haas- August 17 & 18
  • Yoga Therapeutics with Kelly Haas – September 21 & 22

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Welcome to Swan School. Swans Take Flight!

Our 11th year running and offering yoga full-time in the city of New Orleans since 1998, we are honored to be a part of numerous adults taking flight into their lives and serving their community.

This training is an offering of community, called “satsang” as it’s first tenet. It has brought numerously powerfully charged relationships together into the community, all of them proficient, creative, intelligent, diverse and forward thinking. Each of them has grown into levels of being the most optimal version of themselves imaginable and have worked very hard to do so. Each of them continue to offer their best afterward as free, independent, compassionate and liberated examples of service in their homes, neighborhood, schools, hospitals, work environments, yoga studios and communities.

If your desire is to deepen the impact of your offerings within your life (even if it is not just a yoga class), find an outlet to do so that is trustworthy and reliable, have a chance to delve into a university type educational setting where deep philosophical discussions will take place, this swan set up is for you.

Perhaps you have wished to gain inspiration to delve into your diverse skills and talents, such a learning another language, playing music and mantra or a new instrument, getting more into the stillness of the workings of your mind in meditation, writing, learning energy clearing techniques such as Reiki, ancient indigenous medicine such as Ayurveda, conscious diet and care of the earth, or healing touch techniques in the art of assists with Thai Yoga. This too is for you! In India, these are the all inclusive parts to yoga.

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A Swan in the making….A history of Swan School…

Swan School was born from the ashes of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It began 2 years later in 2007. Each year, numerous beings from around the Gulf Region have attended and graduated in hopes to better serve their personal purpose, enrich their lives and serve their communities. Swan School was the very first Yoga Teacher Training in New Orleans and one of the first in the region.

Co-directed by Michelle Baker & the blessings of Grace, the primary purpose of Swan School is to create and activate the importance of Satsang, to build and develop like-hearted and creatively expressed family and relationships in our lives, and then to walk each other hOMe. Michelle Baker, the River guide of this upcoming 9 year and running Life Immersion and University, assisted in making Yoga Teacher Trainings legal in the state of Louisiana. She is committed to activating the dharma (purpose) of all beings magnetized to live their Truth.

Of primary importance in Swan School is that the teachings remain honest and respected, so that we may offer others all of the foundational components of what yoga really is in our modern lives. We assume that other beings are highly intelligent. For this reason we wish to never dumb down the teachings, but strive to remain clear and transparent in offering real yoga with high aim.

We have also noted that not everyone wishes to be a yoga teacher. What they crave is the permission and means to grow and to continue the adult “Life Immersion”. Come one, come all. This will instigate growth and deep self reflection in the curriculum, where evolution is inevitable. If you want the real and deep deal, this life college is for you as we will do our best through many years of experience and transmission to encapsulate the essence of yoga.

To read more about the training, visit Michelle’s blog.

The Teachings

teachertraining-2017Yogis were historically considered radical beings. The word radical means “forming the roots.” We find it important to respect the roots of the teachings. The Bhagavad Gita also states that the very first attribute that is to be embodied as a “yogi” is courage, having valor and boldly dropping all that one has been taught to get the unveiling of the Truth.

For this reason, some key components to the teachings of this training are all of the primary “margas,” or roads, namely Bhakti, Raja, Jnana, Nada, Hatha and Karma/Seva, or practices in devotion, meditation, the study of scriptures, sound, asana, and selfless service without the expectation of result. Each of these paths will be studied and practiced.

Unique to some western teacher trainings, knowledge and articulation of each will be required to graduate from Swan School as Swan School will continue to share yoga’s tradition free of sterilization. The key lectures, inspirations and books in this training come from direct and hands on influence, inner and outer travel, lineage and teachers in our family tree. It is an honor to be connected to numerous deeply steeped forces still present in our lives.

Integration is another translation of yoga, stemming from the root integrity. The Swan School will be a purification process and is meant to integrate yoga into our every day lives, diminishing separateness or self-serving motives, self interpretations or lack of Self acceptance within us. If you desire to be creative and honored for your unique expression of the Whole, you are in the right place. Waking up is the goal of Swan School.

The word Apocalypse can be translated as “the uncovering”. It is stated that if you are even at all interested in the yogic teachings, then you have been a yogi for many lifetimes and may just now be remembering. Congratulations on your recognition! You have been through so much to get here and now here you are. Your luminosity is ready to be revealed after so much concealment.

Just as a star in the constellation of the sky, may these teachings contribute to lighting up the Whole in all of its many parts (which are YOU) as YOU too tell the story of the Divine. Welcome to the starry teachings.

Some of the lineages that are very first and hands-on over a long period of personal time that influence this training are Sivananda, Jivamukti Yoga and personal association with Sharon Gannon since 1998, Initiation in Ram Dass’ lineage with Neem Karoli Baba, personal association with Radhanath Swami including Bhakti Yoga, numerous trips to India and the teachings of the Motherland, Tibetan Buddhist lineages, direct Anusara trainings, Reiki Trainings, Thai Yoga Massage in Thailand and the US, Ayurvedic Trainings and Council, Restorative Yoga Trainings, Ashtanga at the source in Mysore, India with Shri K. Pattahbhi Jois and his entire family, Sanskrit with Jaya Shree and numerous other humble beings.

In steeping into the teachings, it will establish a more present, steady and resilient mind, of which affects everything that we do. An aspiring yoga teacher or community leader or epic being must do all that they can to preserve the innate sweetness of the mind with thoughtfulness and authenticity of heart by working hard, walking our talk so that others are moved and might hear the inspiration that depth and Self acceptance brings.

Group gatherings and trainings also elevate your frequency through entrainment. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Offer your best version of yourself. You are exemplifying what yoga is in your very practices, experiences, words, thoughts, actions, training and being.

Especially as a yoga teacher, since your art medium is your voice, what you say matters. May you naturally liberate whomever you meet!

There is no time like Now in serving your community. Every experience you have had before has lead you to this point here and now. Now, you are ready to begin and to share, taking your seat as the teacher.

Atha Yoga Nushashanam. Now this is Yoga as I have perceived it in the natural world.
Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1:1

Michelle’s personal Timeline; A Swan School Background:

1996: Exposure to yoga
1998: Certification in Sivananda Yoga
2002: Certification in Jivamukti Yoga and Reiki Master Level III
2006: Initiation into Neem Karoli Baba’s lineage through Ram Dass
2007: Swan River Yoga Opens. The First Swan School Teacher Training emerges.
2008: Inspired status certification in Anusara Yoga
2010: First Journey to India, the Motherland.
2011: Introduction to Bhakti Yoga, ISKON and Radhanath Swami
2012: Certification in Vedic Thai Yoga Massage
2013: Acceptance at Shri K. Pattabhi Jois’ Shala in Ashtanga.
2014: Introduction to Jaya Shree, world-renowned Sanskrit teacher in India.
2016: Certification in Ayurvedic Medicine

    • Our Family Tree

Our personal family tree at Swan River Yoga includes personal initiations, certifications, and gatherings with chosen company at the feet of a Master. You are now a part of this lineage:

    • Swami Sivananda and his current lineage of Swami Swaroopananda
    • Ram Dass (initiation in the Neem Karoli Baba lineage)
    • Shri K. Pattabhi Jois ( the direct disciple of Krishnamacharya) and his grandson, Sarath Jois)
    • Sharon Gannon and David Life of Jivamukti Yoga
    • Anusara Yoga teachings
    • Radhanath Swami of the ISKON movement ( International Society for Krishna Consciousness)
    • Amma, the hugging Saint
    • Jaya Shree, the Sanskrit scholar
    • Tibetan Buddhist lineages and teachers
    • Ayurvedic Studies & Reiki Energy Healing Studies
    • The numerous silent Sages encountered in all travels and on a daily basis.

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Training Overview

Delve more deeply into your practice, discover your inner teacher, and learn to serve your community. We will explore the fundamentals of yoga, chanting, voice, meditation, philosophy, anatomy, asana alignment, yoga assists, asana sequencing, ayurvedic medicine, esoteric anatomy, breathing techniques, and community service (seva).

This 450 Hour Training will include:
Philosophy Topics considered are: being a community member, energetic clearing, shat karma kriyas, ethics, subtle anatomy, the chakra system, prana, pranayama, nadis, granthis, doshas, koshas, jnanas, raja, meditation, mantra, mala, japa, bhakti, Sanskrit, Karma Yoga, history of Asana, Vinyasa Krama (the art of sequencing asana), karma, gunas, ahimsa, the Bhagavad Gita, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the margas, classical Advaita Vedanta, Tantra, Hindu Mythology, contemporary styles and masters, yoga history, periods/schools of yoga, satsang, diksha, and puja.
You will receive a mantra, learn numerous chants, and learn how to set up an altar. Hands-on and In-Class Observations one of the major benefits of this teacher training is the amount of hands-on, experiential learning that takes place with Michelle Baker. These sessions take place weekly.

Michelle Baker; Director and River Guide. Ethics, Asana Lab, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Nada Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Subte Body Anatomy, Hatha Yoga Pradipika Practices, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Mantra, Meditation, Leading a Swan River Yoga Class, Community Satsang , River Guide emotional support, life break throughs and life vest/safety belt/key holder


Brigitte Martin; Teacher Training Assistant. Chakras, Subtle Anatomy, Chakras, Shakti, Nadis, Gunas,  Trauma recovery, Public In class observations & feedback,  River Guide emotional support, life break throughs and life saver


Lead Faculty: Kelly Haas  Asana Alignment and Therapetuics


Supporting Faculty:

John DeMahy Anatomy

Keith Porteous Yoga Sutras

JackSun sLaughter Heavy Metta & Inclusivity

Serra Wobbema Applied Anatomy

Lindsey Crow  The Power of Myth

Robacharya Dill Bhakti Yoga

Meghan Hays Ayurveda

Sughosh Berg Devotional Music

Haiyan Khan Seva & Selfless Service

Rachele Judd Trauma Awareness

Training Schedule:

May 23 Introductions, Ethics, Curriculum Overview Michelle
May 30 Taking Your Seat, Margas Overview Bhakti Nada, Raja Hatha Karma Nada Michelle
June 6
June 13 Leading Sun Salutations, 2 mantras, Giving a dharma talk, meditation & 1 pranayama Michelle
June 20 Asana Background, History, Sanskrit Michelle
June 27 Mountain Pose, Shavasana, Yoga Nidra Michelle
July 6 Asana Lab Standing Poses Laura
July 13, 14, 15 Yoga Anatomy John DeMahy
July 18 Asana Lab Backbend Meghan
July 25 Asana Lab Forward Folds/Hip Openers Michelle
Aug 1 Asana Lab Inversions/Twists Michelle

Break: August 2-16

Aug 17-18 Yoga Alignment Kelly Haas
Aug 22 Subtle Anatomy; Prana, Pranayama, Nadis, Kundalini & leading breathing exercises Brig
Aug 29 Subtle Anatomy; Chakras & a Chakra Yoga based Swan Class Brig
Sept 5 Raja Yoga ; Bandhas, Meditation, practicum leading meditation Laura
Sept 12 Yoga Sutras & Jnana Yoga, practice leading a dharma talk Keith
Sept 19 Practicum; Eagle Eye, staging, practice Leading Brigitte
Sept 21-22 Yoga Therapeutics Kelly Haas
Sept 26 Applied Anatomy Review Serra
Oct 3 Seva, Selfness Service, Karma Yoga Jackie & Haiyan
Oct 5, 6,7 Ayurveda 1 Weekend Meghan ( 4 hours Michelle, 12 hours Meghan)
Oct 10 Serving Everyone Equally; Jackie
Oct 17 Trauma Senstivity; Rachele. The Bhagavad Gita Michelle
Oct 24 Basic Hands On Assists & Verbal Cues: Michelle
Nov 4 Nada Yoga, Sound, Spoken Word, Restorative Yoga Donald, Michelle *meet on a Sunday night since its Halloween
Nov 7 Mythology, Sargam, Rhythm, Harmonium Michelle, Rob, Goshi (Bhakti Caravan)
Nov14 Michelle The Yoga of Business, Serving a Whole community, Taking Your Seat as Teacher & Review MIchelle & Brig
Nov 16 Final Exam
Nov 17 Graduation


Yoga Class Attendance Requirements:

Attendance of 3 Swan River Open yoga classes a week is required during Teacher Training.


    A DEFINITION OF A SWAN RIVER YOGA CLASS (what you will be teaching):

    A Swan River Yoga Class is a unique creative fusion inspired by many backgrounds and teachers. This class is open to all levels and will offer numerous choices for both the beginner and seasoned practitioner. Along with an artful flow-based sequence, specific detailed alignment attention will also be included to bring you a well-rounded, authentic experience of yoga.
    Be ready to listen to traditional yogic teachings and personal story-telling, observe the mind in movement and meditation, bring awareness to the breath, sing mantras in Sanskrit and/or English, and optimize the body’s health in challenging physical poses using disciplined strength and flowing movement.

    A Swan River Yoga class will always have the following:

    • Theme: a reference to the ancient and modern philosophy of yoga to inspire higher purpose (Jnana Yoga)
    • Song: mind-clearing mantra to set an elevated mood (Bhakti Yoga)
    • Physical asana: a flow-based (vinyasa) practice with emphasis on physical alignment and breath (Hatha Yoga)
    • Meditation and/or breathing exercises known as pranayama. (Raja Yoga)

    5 Elements of a Swan River Class: (for you to know)
    1. Dharma Talk. Inspire their mind. Air/Vayu
    2. Chant/Devotion. Stoke their heart. Fire/Agni
    3. Breath and/or meditation. Give them grounded tools of independence. Earth/Prathivi
    4. Equal balance of alignment instruction and flowing asana. Neither one nor the other is to be left out. This creates a balance of Shiva/Shakti. Water/Jala
    5. Theme infused 3 times throughout the class. Tell them why they are doing all of this. Ether
    *You will also be given very clear transcriptions and instruction in this book comprised by the director and many senior swan teachers on teaching numerous classes that we offer at Swan River Yoga.

    This list includes very carefully laid out transcriptions that have come through years of experience, skill and technique for effectively teaching Beginners Yoga, Slow Flow Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Open Level, Prenatal Yoga, Advanced Level Classes and Private or Specialized Yoga Classes of which all will be important in a growing yoga community. Our goal at Swan River Yoga is that in the clear and steep incline of growth in the world of yoga, that we do not water down the teachings or lessen our quality. Each of these types of yoga also lends itself to encouraging a greater yoga teacher population and many fields from which to specialize in and grow.

    Code of Ethics & Dharma:
    Also quite unique to Swan River Yoga is our Code of Ethics. It is a very thorough and concise list comprised through years of observation of where yoga communities can, in all humanness, lower or dilute the teachings or diminish the experience into disappointing, self serving, self-interpreted choices and behavior. Taking the seat of a teacher is a very High responsibility. It is stated in the laws of karma too that taking advantage of ones seat or “power” plays on other reaps a very low karma. Quality, intentionality and integrity are vitality provoking, like lamps getting plugged into a wall.
    This code of ethics is available to you at any time for review and you will be asked to sign it before we get into our public integration where you are a part of the director, Michelle Baker’s, public classes.

    In-Class Observations:
    This is a very unique part of the Swan School Yoga Trainings. After the summer break, you take up offering a class with Michelle, where you observe and offer parts of the class, be it a meditation, breathing exercise, standing sequence, etc. This is rarely done in beginner Teacher Trainings but shows you our level of trust and readiness in YOU due to the level of proficiency we will offer you with our stellar faculty.

    The standards that we wish to uphold at Swan River and the level of practice and observation you will receive in a public setting will indeed make you very ready to teach a class right away after these 7 months and 500 hours, where many trainings will ask that you later do apprenticeships or do not have enough time for this type of feedback with so much curriculum to cover.

    “Love not anyone, for your picking and choosing bring nothing but misery. Instead, Love God. Instead, be Love itself.” –Swami Nirmalananda
    “Welcome aboard your Swan flight. Be sure to place your own oxygen mask on before assisting others… Namaste!” — Michelle Baker

    YOUR REQUIREMENTS to graduate:

    Prerequisites for Swan School:

    *You must have maintained a steady asana practice (recommended for at least two years). You must have a currently consistent yoga practice of at least three classes per week. You must begin to come to Michelle’s classes now. You must maintain a daily meditation practice.
    *During Swan School, you must: Establish your personal practice at Swan River Yoga. You must attend classes at SRY three times per week. One of those classes MUST be with Michelle. You will be asked to create a log of your classes (signed by each instructor, which is to be turned into Michelle monthly.
    *You must pay your $600 (non-refundable) deposit.
    *You must sign the Swan River Yoga Code of Ethics form.
    *Participate in your in-class observations for the duration of your apprenticeship once a week. You will be taking notes, assisting, leading talks, leading chants, guiding asana, leading meditation, and leading pranayama.
    *After each in-class observation you will receive an informal evaluation from Michelle. Be sure to schedule time for this each week.
    *Complete ALL homework assignments. Take careful note of the list of books that must be read before you begin, what must be completed for you to graduate, and weekly assignments on the topics we are covering.
    Attend one four-hour group meeting per week as well as specific workshops, movie screenings, community classes, Satsangs, and group meditations.
    *Complete a three-day take home test with 350 questions that must be 100% correct to pass.
    *Transcribe a 1.5 hour class of your own, created according to SRY guidelines. Make a 1.5 hour video of a class, created according to SRY guidelines.
    *Pass an in-class Final Exam of 50 questions. This must be 80% correct to pass.

    Required of You to Graduate:

    *Attend 3 Swan River Open classes per week.
    *Meditate, chant, commune with nature and be kind to others daily
    *Read all required books and write 2 in-depth papers
    *Hand in all homework assignments on time, such as the Anatomy coloring book, Asana/Sanskrit flashcards, Dosha diagnosis and more
    *Write a paper for missing lectures and missing no more than 4 to graduate
    *Approved Open Level Swan River Yoga video accepted
    *In-class observation attendance after the break where public offerings of dharma, bhakti pranayama ext are offered
    *1 Seva (selfless service) activity is required to graduate
    *350 question take home test completed
    *Final Exam Passed

    Required Reading (for essays):

    You can choose to write 2 in-depth papaers out of the 4 required books.
    1. Jivamukti Yoga by Sharon Gannon and David Life
    2. The Journey Home by Radhanath Swami
    3. Paths To God by Ram Dass
    4. Yoga Sutras translated by Barbara Stoler Miller
    5. “Anatomy & Yoga” by Ellen Saltonstall

    Required Reading (for Topics of Discussion):

    1. Swan Songs; The Bhakti Book by Michelle Baker
    2. The Bhagavad Gita Translated by Eknath Easwaran or Juan Mascaro
    3. The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
    4. Yoga Therapy by Kelly Haas
    5. Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Manual by Michelle Baker and Kelly Haas
    6. Suggested Reading to Enhance Your Life Immersion Experience
    7. Hatha Yoga Pradipika translated by BKS Iyengar
    8. Yoga Mala by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois
    9. The Wheels of Life by Anodea Judith
    *Any book by our above family tree teachers will highly benefit you.

    Suggested Listening to enhance your experience in this course:

    Suggested listening tools to hear mantra, Sanskrit and kirtan recordings (a part of your requirement in a Swan River Yoga Class), Jaya Shree Sanskrit scholar, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits, The Mayapuris, Bhakti Caravan.

    Go to the Swan River Yoga Bhakti Club Channel with Michelle Baker and Keith Porteous on YouTube to view simple harmonium instructions with mantras.

    Suggested listening for good Dharma Talks, a part of your requirement in a Swan River Yoga Class (found on Sound Cloud or YouTube), Ram Dass, The Dalai Lama, Radhanath Swami, Sharon Gannon.

    What You Benefit After Graduation:

    *As a graduate, who has thoroughly turned in all homework assignments & payments, you will be added to the Sub list right away at Swan River Yoga
    *You will receive the teacher rate and a discounted teacher rate once placed on the schedule
    *You will receive numerous discounts on Events and International Retreats,
    *You will attend the yearly Swan Teachers Gathering in FL
    You will be offered opportunities to perform Seva in Mid-City, Arabi and our outreach programs.
    *You will be connected to some of the most epic beings you may ever meet right here in your community.
    *You will have a lovely Sanctuary to always call home and to continue educating oneself in.
    * You will have the opportunity to accept classes as well as eventually being a part of our Seva Arabi Yoga Teacher Training or Swan Staff.
    *Free concerts with Srikalogy, The Kirtaniyas & Bhakti Caravan
    *Camping/campfire Field Trip to the Krishna Farm in MS
    *You are also encouraged to teach other places and can announce your regular classes on our Private Facebook Teachers Page along with daily inspirations to keep you refreshed in your practice and life.

    Your Investment & Registration:

    Scholarships Available:

    Purple Reign Scholarship – Read more to see if you are eligible to apply.
    *Submission date is April 20th

    Dates and Meeting Times:

    *Meeting May 23 – November 14, 2018
    *450Total Hours (twice as long as most beginning Trainings, this is still meant to be very accessible to living your regular life and is spread out)
    *Over a 7 month period with a 2-week summer break (where no attendance at all is asked of you)
    *1 Wednesday per week from 6:00-10:00pm.
    *2 week summer break is August 2- 16, 2017
    *3 other full weekend trainings

    • Yoga Anatomy with John- July 13 – 15
    • Yoga Alignment with Kelly Haas- August 17 & 18
    • Yoga Therapeutics with Kelly Haas – September 21 & 22


    To hold a space, a non-refundable deposit of $608 is required.

    7 Monthly installments of $500 will then apply beginning May 23 and due at the middle of each month.
    Payments are accepted in the form of cash, check, credit or debit card. All payment arrangements must be made through Deb Pela, Michelle’s assistant, or online in our Mind-Body system. Please email Deb@swanriveryoga.com with any questions.

    Work-study options are available to help you pay for required classes at the studio. Please email Deb at
    Deb@swanriveryoga.com to inquire about available scholarship and work study positions.

    All of the instructors who teach as part of this program are of the highest integrity. This course is far above required standard 200 hour courses in its curriculum. It has some of the most rigorous quality standards you will find in this region. In other words, the teachings will be the real deal, and will reveal to you what yoga truly is.

    ***PLEASE NOTE This course is geared towards all students that want to deepen their practice in great service of their community. You will get a certificate upon completion that will be honored anywhere you go.
    You will be ready to serve fully after this course, as you will experience a personal clearing from the inside and more integration of your understanding and community on the out.

    Past students claim that this training is equivalent to years in therapy (at a fraction of the cost), as you will go deep into your own internal processing.

    Get ready to take a quantum leap in your personal evolution. This is the greatest thing you can do for all others.
    Make yoga into who you are instead of what you do.

    Register today through your MindBody account.

    Swan School Contributors: Breakdown of Teachings

    Michelle Baker; Director and River Guide. Ethics, Asana Lab, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Nada Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Subte Body Anatomy, Hatha Yoga Pradipika Practices, Ayurveda, Sanskrit, Mantra, Meditation, Leading a Swan River Yoga Class, Community Satsang , River Guide emotional support, life break throughs and life vest/safety belt/key holder


    Brigitte Martin; Teacher Training Assistant. Chakras, Subtle Anatomy, Chakras, Shakti, Nadis, Gunas,  Trauma recovery, Public In class observations & feedback,  River Guide emotional support, life break throughs and life saver

    Lead Faculty: Kelly Haas  Asana Alignment and Therapetuics

    Supporting Faculty: 

    John DeMahy Anatomy

    Keith Porteous Yoga Sutras

    JackSun sLaughter Heavy Metta & Inclusivity

    Serra Wobbema Applied Anatomy

    Lindsey Crow  The Power of Myth

    Thomas Sims Asana Lab & Hands On Assists

    Robacharya Dill Bhakti Yoga

    Meghan Hays Ayurveda

    Sughosh Berg Devotional Music

    Haiyan Khan Seva & Selfless Service

    Rachele Judd Trauma Awareness

    Swan School Faculty: To find out more about these teachers go to www.swanriveryoga.com/teachers.


    Swan School Contributors: About the Teachers

    About your co-pilot, Swan Michelle Baker:

    Michelle Baker began doing yoga in 1998 and has been teaching full time since. She created Swan School and was the very first Teacher Training to be lead in the city of New Orleans in 2007.
    She also assisted in making Yoga Teacher Trainings forever legal in the state of LA, free of governmental affiliation.

    Michelle also leads numerous Continuing Education programs, including an Advanced Teacher Training, Bhakti Immersion, Restorative Yoga Teacher Training, Prenatal Teacher Training and Reiki Energy Trainings in New Orleans and around the world after years of sitting very close to her Gurus to absorb the deep and Real teachings of yoga.
    Michelle is a Certified Jivamukti Teacher, Anusara Inspired Yoga Teacher, Level III Reiki Master, Advanced Raja Yoga Teacher, Thai Massage Practitioner, has received numerous teachings in the Bhagavad Gita and has served the gulf region, New Orleans, and international yoga communities since 1998.

    Michelle is the founder of both Swan River Yoga locations in New Orleans and the Director of the first Yoga Training Immersion in New Orleans. She has over 10,000 hours of teaching experience.


    Kelly Haas, offering Asana Alignment, Asana Therapeutics, Contra-indications and safety

    Offering 24 Hours; Kelly will teach you the fundamentals of asana alignment and show you how to use those alignment principles in a therapeutic setting or in a public class. Kelly is a Certified Anusara Teacher and travels the world sharing her comprehensive knowledge of alignment-based asana therapeutics.


    Brigitte Martin, Esoteric Anatomy of the Chakras. Infinite Hours.

    Brigitte Martin began dabbling in yoga in 2006 often using it as an outlet for stress from her job in the fashion industry in NYC. Finding herself in New Orleans, yoga continued to deeply influence her life and was often a source of peace and fulfillment. After giving birth to her baby boy, Briggs, and stepping back from the world of fashion, Brigitte realized her desire to share her passion and enthusiasm had grown and decided to dedicate her life to teaching yoga. A graduate from the Swan River 350 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and the Advanced Teacher Training, Brigitte is overwhelmed with gratitude to be teaching Swan River. She teaches Vigorous Vinyasa Flow Yoga at 6:15 AM on Wed and is serving as a mentor in the current Swan River Teacher Training. Brigitte can’t wait to share her knowledge and love for yoga with others.


    Yoganatomy with John DeMahy

    Offering 12 Hours of Anatomy; John’s course, Yoganatomy and Yoga To The Bone, teaches you to link the basic systems of the body to asana practice. Clearly spot and articulate healthy and dis-connected muscles arrangements in particular asanas. Study the Nervous, Cardiovascular, Lymphatic, Endrocine, Circulatory, Skeletal, & Muscular Systems as they relate to asana, injury response, and prevention.
    John DeMahy is an RN, and has been an Advanced Certified Rolfing Practitioner and Energy Healer for over 30 years. John DeMahy RN’s life long exploration into the structure of the human body and consciousness began in 1972 with his first yoga class. His study of practical anatomy includes two human cadaver dissections, and years of experience in both the conventional and the alternative medical fields. Over the years he has studied energy meditation practices with some of the country’s leading teachers. John has taught kinesiology (the science of human movement) at the Rolf Institute and at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has also taught courses in meditation and various energy practices. John is currently in the 28th year of his Rolfing, Structural Integration practice, and is the author of Joint Restriction in Structural Integration. We are blessed to have a local Master who is enthusiastic about creating an interesting, engaging anatomy class for the yoga and healing community.


    Keith Porteous, offering Basics & History of Buddhism

    Keith Porteous is the co-owner of Swan River Yoga. A graduate of Princeton, she has a Masters degree in Vocals. Keith is also a certified Jivamukti Yoga instructor who has trained in numerous continuing education programs for yoga teachers including: all three Anusara Immersions, Tibetan Heart Yoga immersions 4, 8, and 9, Swan River Advanced Teacher Training, philosophical study such as the Yoga Sutras, The Lam Rim, The Bhagavad Gita and A Guide to the Bodhisattvaís Way of Life. Her primary philosophical studies are with teachers of Tibetan Buddhism including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Michael Roach, Lama Marut, and Venerable Robina Courtin.


    Jackie Sumell, offering Inspirations on Seva

    Jackie believes love, light, & happiness can triumph all, and passes that message through her creative sequencing and true to life dharma. Since 2004 her teachers have included 120-years young Swami Bua and his student Angela Caruso from NY, her Jnana guru’s Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, Robert King, Mwalimu Johnson, Malik Rahim, geronimo jijaga & all those who continue to struggle against an unjust and oppressive prison system. She is grateful for the powerful inspiration of Dana Flynn, Keith Porteous & Libby Love, the great teachings from her life in the 7th ward, the gardens that grow between the hardship and of course the Morpheus guidance of Michele Baker. Since early 2011 Jacksun has been developing a supplemental healing program that pairs yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy called Schema Yoga in collaboration with Schema Therapist Jena Frederick. Ms. Slaughter’s Swan River classes embody her commitment to community, laughter, strength, struggle and the magedy (magic tragedy) that only a city like New Orleans could host. All Power to the People!


    Thomas Q Simms, offering Inspirations on Veganism & the Yamas

    Thomas Q. Sims is a graduate of the 300-hour Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training (2015) and the 350-hour Swan River Yoga Teacher Training (2012). He has also successfully completed the Swan River Advanced Teacher Training (2014), along with various workshops and trainings throughout the years. He works daily to refine his teaching skills and his personal practice through asana, studying scripture and sanskrit, meditation, karma yoga (service), and devotion. He bows to Sharon Gannon and David Life, with gratitude for the Jivamukti Yoga method. He is grateful to have had many great teachers guide him along his path: Michelle Baker, Keith Porteous, Rima Rani Rabbath, New Orleans, Shri Kitty (the cat who lives with him)… Thomas acknowledges that the True Teacher is alive within all of us and within all things, and he hopes to inspire that realization in those who come to his classes.


    Lindsey Crow, Introduction to Mythology.

    Lindsey Crow is a senior teacher at Reyn Studios and a first generation Swan! She is also a New Orleans native. Lindsey believes she was cosmically guided to the practice of yoga because she deeply needed a healthy way to stay wild and grow spiritually. She was inspired by the way yoga seemed to remove stress and create a sense of personal rhythm through intense situations. Lindsey graduated from the Swan River Yoga Teacher Training in 2008.