200-Hr Live & Virtual Swan Yoga Teacher Training

Begins March 2022

In Person & Virtual (In person sessions at Grace Yoga, New Orleans)

Meeting some Thursdays, some weekends

6 months

For more details and to register, click on the button: Join US

Swan school collage

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

Since its start in 2007, Swan School has been a place of transformation, inspiration, and change.

It was the first Yoga Teacher Training in New Orleans and has brought hundreds of beings together shift radically in the personal way that serves them. Swan School has been a shelter of deep inner growth as well as a trade school for learning. Numerous community leaders, parents, and successful teachers have come out of Swan School.

Age, background, experience, ideology and touching your toes are secondary, as yoga is a trans-science. A desire to serve, to learn the deeply rooted spiritual teachings, to gain serious skill of the physical body and to articulate with confidence, intelligence, clarity, kindness and compassion are the aim.

“Body is the bow, asana is the arrow, & the soul is the target.” BKS Iyengar

We are a collective group of diverse individuals who advocate being the best so that we can offer the best. We aim to dig deep, be present, reach far, accept struggle with tolerance for the sake of growth and assist beings to uncover a new, truer, naturally liberated version of themselves.

“May you naturally liberate whomever you meet.” Ram Dass

Our foundation and lineage are potent. We are backed by a stronghold of longstanding, timeless teachers that have come before us straight to the heart of India and in our modern times. We educate ourselves deeply and regularly and practice yoga each day in numerous ways as to best serve you with accessible authenticity in honor or nature and our lives together.

“I was so much older then I’m younger than that now.” Bob Dylan

Read about our Swan Lineage in The Teachings tab.

Our yoga teacher training is devoted to cultivating community, or what we often call “satsang.”

We believe that when individuals are tapped into the best and most authentic version of themselves, when they are given the opportunity to expand into their fullest potential and capabilities, that the larger community always benefits.

Our training has brought numerous powerfully charged relationships together into the community, all of them proficient, creative, intelligent, diverse and forward thinking. Each participant has grown into being a more optimal version of themselves and 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 beyond a yoga class), to find a supportive community that is trustworthy and reliable, to delve into a university-like educational setting where deep philosophical discussions will take place, this Swan set up is for you.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to gain the confidence and inspiration to dive into your unique and diverse skills and talents.

This might include learning another language, playing music and mantra or a new instrument, understanding the workings of your mind in meditation, writing, learning energy-clearing techniques, studying ancient indigenous medicine such as Ayurveda, or practicing healing touch techniques in the art of assists with Thai Yoga. In India, these are the all inclusive parts to yoga!

The bottom line is, we’ve seen time and time again that going through our yoga teacher training equips individuals with the opportunity to honor who they truly are, to find their individual path, and to offer their gifts to the world.

swan image

Welcome to Swan School. Swans Take Flight!

Swan School was born out of the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Two years later, in 2007, the first teacher training in the city of New Orleans began.
Each year, numerous beings from around the Gulf Region have attended and graduated this teacher training in order to better honor their personal purpose, to enrich their lives and to serve their communities.

Co-directed by Michelle Baker & the blessings of Grace, the primary purpose of Swan School is to create and activate 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 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 who feel magnetized to live their Truth.

At Swan School, we are committed to keeping the teachings honest and authentic, 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 their adult “Life Immersion” studies. Come one, come all. The curriculum of this training will instigate growth and deep self reflection, making evolution inevitable.

If you want the real and deep deal, this life college is for you. 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

Yogis were historically considered radical beings. The word radical means “forming the roots.” We find it important to respect the roots of the teachings and therefore honor yoga in its many ancient forms.

The Bhagavad Gita also states that the very first attribute to be embodied by 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, of Yoga: 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 traditions free of sterilization. The key lectures, inspirations and books in this training come from direct and hands-on influences, inner and outer travels, and the lineage and teachers in our family tree. It is an honor to be connected to numerous deeply steeped forces still present in our lives.

Another translation of yoga is integration, stemming from the root word integrity. Swan School will be a purification process and is meant to integrate yoga into our everyday lives, diminishing separateness, or self-serving motives, 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.

Once you step into the teachings, they will begin to establish a more present, steady and resilient mind, 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 and 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

    • 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.

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).

What to Expect:

Once a month weekend seminars
Partner practice teaching
Weekly homework
Observation hours
Group classes
Assistant Teaching


47 hours of lecture
40 hours of labs (most labs are included in the weekend seminars, some are separate)
28 hours of homework
21 hours of partner works, observations, video, assistant teaching
48 hours of required classes (3 a week for 16 weeks)

Training Schedule:

March 18th-20th
April 9th & 10th
April 21st
May 14th &15th
May 19th
June 18th &19th
June 23rd
July 9th &10th
July 21st
August 4th
August 13th &14th


Homework Includes:

Reading assignments
Written assignments
Video recording
Partner work

Recommended Reading:

1. Jivamukti Yoga by Sharon Gannon and David Life
2. Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
3. Paths to God by Ram Dass
4. Yoga; The Path to Holistic Health by BKS Iyengar


1. 8-1hr pre-recorded videos
2. Teaching one public community class with a group of your fellow TTs

Your Investment & Registration:


Full Tuition Paid in Full: $3,500 (Must be paid in full)
Full Tuition Payment Plan: $3,600
Non-Refundable Deposit: $600

***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.

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.

To join learn more or to register visit https://choosegrace.org/yoga-training/