300-Hr Virtual Swan School


Begins March 24, 2021

This training will be hosted on the Zoom platform.
Classes are on Wednesdays from 5:00-8:00pm (CST) with some additional workshops on the weekends


4 Additional weekend workshops (included in tuition):
Details coming soon!

To join the Swan River Yoga Teacher Training, click on the button to register thru Mindbody: Join US

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.

Swan School Logo

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 300 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.

Virtual Swan School Presents

Michelle Baker | Director

Kelly Haas | Asana Alignment & Therapeutic Applicaton

Katherine Wilder | Anatomy & Postural Analysis

Jai Uttal | The Bhagavad Gita

Mychal Bryan | Iyengar Yoga Class

Haiyan Khan | Seva


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

Training Schedule:

Swan School 2021 300 hr

Begins March 24. 2021

Location: Swan River VIRTUAL and an in Studio once per month option

Meeting generally once per week, Wednesdays 5pm-8pm CST
4 weekends and once per month on Fridays also for an in studio option


This first weekend with be in studio optional as well as virtual.

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.

    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 in monthly.
    *You must sign the Swan River Yoga Code of Ethics form.
    *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. 1 swan River Yoga Open w/ Michelle. 2 others with Swan School faculty.
    *Meditate, chant, commune with nature and be kind to others daily
    *Read all required books
    *Hand in all homework assignments on time, such as 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
    *Write a 2 page paper from the book Paths to God as though you were leading a dharma talk, similar to all of the focuses of the month on our website. Include all 3 bindhu’s for leading a philosophical discussion in class.
    *350 question take home test completed
    *Final Exam Passed

    Required 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
    5. Bhakti Book by Michelle Baker

    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:

    Universality Scholarship – Read more to see if you are eligible to apply.
    *Submission deadline is March. 1st.


    Dates and Meeting Times:

    *300 Total Hours
    *1 Thursday per week
    *4 other full weekend trainings.


    To hold a space, a non-refundable deposit of $600 is required.

    4 Monthly installments of $600 (April 1, May 1, June 1, July 1)
    Payments are accepted in the form of 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.

    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.

    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 the Swan River Yoga Teacher Training, click on the button to register thru Mindbody: Join US

    Swan School Contributors: Breakdown of Teachings

    Lead Faculty

    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

    Kelly Haas

    Kelly Katherine Wilder

    Jai Uttal

    Bill Mahoney

    Mychal Bryan

    Haiyan Khan

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


    Swan School Contributors: About the Teachers

    Swan Michelle

    Swan Michelle lives the practices that she hopes to share with you daily. Her adoration of the art of yoga is so enthusiastic she can’t help but to share it. She is determined, transparent, and genuine, a devoted warrioress committed to regularly and consistently showing up for the community. She has influenced, inspired, and connected numerous beings in the realm of all things yoga, thanks to the guidance of the Divine.

    Swan Michelle leads, creates, researches, writes, organizes, markets, employs, downloads and initiates international and local life immersions and yoga teacher trainings, retreats, workshops and schools that supply trades, certifications, empowerment, mindful talks, conscious music concerts, lectures, energy practices, recordings and writings on all the paths of yoga, holistic health, and spirituality in a conscious, mindful business that is committed to loving kindness, inclusiveness, and philanthropy.

    She is the director and creator of Swan School, the very first yoga teacher training in the city of New Orleans. She is the founder and co-owner of Swan River Yoga.

    Swan Michelle enjoys this transformative journey of life and its educational rights of passage. She finds it creative, exhilarating, informative, and whole. She goes within often to listen, just as the original yogis did in the forest.

    Here is a list of the lineage you are now connected to, beyond loving David Bowie, Nick Cave, hiking in the forest, singing to the ocean, and traveling this resplendent world creating her story.

    • Swan Michelle’s Credentials Timeline:

      1996 Discovered Yoga at the Sivananda Ashram in Woodburn NY
      1998 Certified in Sivananda 200 hour YTT
      2000 Completed all 3 Levels as a Reiki Master
      2001 Met Ram Dass, my first teacher
      2002 Certified in the Jivamukti Yoga Method
      2002 I have been self employed since this year
      2003 Begin taking students on International Yoga Retreat Journeys starting in Costa Rica
      2004 Became an Anusara Inspired Teacher
      2005 Lost my home in Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans
      2006 Began studying Kabbalah Tree of Life Program
      2006 Became an Advanced Jivamukti Yoga Teacher
      2006 Wrote a book on Bhakti music and mantras
      2007 Became initiated in the Neem Karoli Baba lineage with Ram Dass
      2008 Opened our first Yoga Studio in New Orleans, Swan River Yoga as the Founder
      2008 Created Swan School Yoga Teacher Training & wrote a manual
      2009 Completed Advanced Studies of Anusara Yoga
      2010 Assisted the first donation based Yoga studio opening, Swan River Yoga Arabi
      2010 Traveled to South America to sit with shamans
      2010 Created the Swan River Yoga Reiki Program & manuals
      2010 Created Sound Bath journeys with Crystal Bowls in New Orleans
      2011 Traveled to India for first time & met Dalai Lama
      2011 Met Radhanath Swami in India in Mayapur, India at ISKCON
      2011 Created the Restorative Yoga program at Swan River New Orleans
      2012 Tree of Life Energy Medicine Program
      2013 Certification at Sunshine School in Thai Massage in Thailand
      2014 Travel to Indonesia to learn Reiki from Shamans
      2014 Travel to India to train in Sanskrit with Dr. M.A. Jayashree
      2014 Travel to Mumbai India to train in Bhakti with Radhanath Swami & Sharon Gannon
      2014 Accepted to train with Sarath Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Mysore India
      2015 Certification as an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist CCA and in Yoga Nidra
      2016 Certification in Ayurveda from David Frawley
      2016 Certification in Restorative Yoga through Judith Lasater’s program in Bali Indo.
      2017 Release of 2 CD’s in Mantra Music and Yoga Nidr
      2017 Certification in Pranic Healing & Pranic Psychotherapy
      2017 Completed Kirtan Camp with Jai Uttal
      2018 Certification in Sound Therapy with tuning forks with John Beulauie
      2018 Certification in Polarity Therapy Energy Medicine
      2018 Certification Yoga Nidra Sivananda Bahamas
      2018 Certification in Restorative Yoga with Judith Lasater
      2018 Studied Medical Yoga with Advanced Iyengar students
      2018 Completed The Judgement Detox Master Class with Gabrielle Bernstein
      2018 Completed B-School with Marie Farleo, an International Consciousness Business School


    Keith Porteous

    Co-owner of Swan River Yoga in New Orleans, Keith is a yoga student and teacher, singer and mother of three. With many advanced yoga trainings and a background in music, she enjoys the intersection of movement, song, and philosophy within group classes. She also works privately drawing on studies with Tias and Surya Little as well as Kelly Haas. With many years devoted to studying the dharma, she also leads a dharma class and offers private meditation and dharma sessions.

    A graduate of Princeton with a Masters from New York University, she is currently enrolled in a Masters at Loyola University’s Music Therapy program. She looks forward to continued studies and service as a student, teacher, singer and and support within the Swan River Yoga community.


    Kelly Haas

    Kelly Haas, Certified Internationally Associated Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT), Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher, Certified Osteoporosis Yoga Teacher, Certified Adapative Yoga Teacher & Thai Massage Therapist, excels at creating beginners programs, adaptive yoga practices, and individualized programs for healing, injury recovery, aging, and overall wellbeing.

    Kelly has 20 years of experience practicing and teaching the art of yoga. She is known for her skilled eyes and hands to assess postural imbalances and her clear, articulate, compassionate communication when connecting with students.

    At Swan River, Kelly offers public classes and workshops in the art of alignment, aging consciously, and therapeutics. She also manages her practice of offering integrative privates. She developed a 30-hour Therapeutics Teacher Training with manual that is offered annually at the studio. She also collaborated in developing and facilitating a Prenatal Teacher Training and Restorative Teacher Training program.

    Besides finding her in New Orleans, Kelly enjoys traveling the globe and offering the practice of yoga in workshops around the world.


    Laura Johanna

    Laura has been teaching yoga in New Orleans since 2013. Since her initial 350-hour certification, her passion for yoga has only deepened, and she has since pursued additional trainings in Restorative Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and more. Laura’s classes combine mindfulness, music, play, and breath with the modern-day application of ancient yogic teachings. She aims to create a space where students feel grounded, supported, empowered, and tapped into their own internal wisdom.

    Laura believes that yoga is for all beings. She teaches yoga classes of all levels and draws on the use of props, breathwork, meditation, singing, and more to provide a layered experience of inner exploration. Laura trusts in yoga’s ability to transform our relationship with life so that we are able to feel more deeply, recognize unhelpful tendencies, learn from discomfort, and appreciate every moment.

    Laura is honored to be a Swan River Yoga Senior Teacher, the Swan River Yoga Communications Manager, and a faculty member in the Swan River Yoga Teacher Trainings. You can often find her at Good Karma Cafe enjoying a matcha latte and reading yet another book about yoga.


    John DeMahy: Yoga Anatomy

    Serra Wobbema: Applied Anatomy


    “My experience as a student in Swan River Teacher Training gave me back my life.
    I left the training full of faith in myself and God; with God in myself and with the tools to create a life of harmony and peace.
    I learned Yoga is a way of life – it is a way to shape your life-it’s not about getting your body in a pose, it will change who you are. I knew that my time in the Teacher Training course would be life-changing, I just had no idea how it would all manifest. The breadth and depth of the program astounded me.
    I could not be happier with how it unfolded and unraveled and brought me back to what matters most.
    I was so inspired to give back, because what I had received was too much for me to keep locked inside of me. I wanted to stay woven in the community and in the teachings so l continued on after my own TT to become a mentor. I have been the Swan River lead mentor for the past 5 years and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I opened my eyes and I opened heart, and with overflowing joy I found a way to truly live and to support others as they embark on this incredible journey.
    Swan River TT not only teaches the students how to teach but more importantly how to deepen ones own practice so that you become what you are teaching.”

    –Brigitte Martin

    When I took swan school training back in 2009, my main motivation was to find a community of like minded people so that I could deepen my interest in spirituality. I specifically was looking at longer training’s such as the Swan Schools that would provide this time that I felt I needed to be in supportive community.

    Today I know that this was not an accident and I’m deeply grateful for this decision. Swan School training is an amazing crucible for transformation. For those who plan to take this training get ready for much more than just a teacher training. It is really an opportunity for a great personal shift.

    The ‘Swan River’ teaching syle itself is unique. Michelle has done a great job of combining many great things from her varied traditions into an easy holistic style. Namely, I love the combination of flow yoga and alignment based yoga for the asana portion of the class. As a teacher you learn really the pillars of these two styles of yoga. Furthermore in a Swan River Class, one learns to incorporate dharma, chanting, meditation and pranayama in their class which offers a rich and authentic experience.

    At the end of the 6 or so month training, what I cherished most was the community I had stumbled into. The Swan River community in specific and our New Orleans Yoga Sangha in general are one of the most amazing communities to be part of. Today 10 years later, I still love this community and how it has allowed me to continue to deepen my practice.

    If you are looking for a teacher training program then, congratulations on your journey, its going to be amazing. If you are lucky enough to do it in New Orleans, remember you cant go wrong, we have a great community. And if you are considering Swan River as your home for teacher training, then ………Welcome Home.

    –Haiyan Khan

    “This life immersion is an expansive 6-month program to steep in authentic yogic teachings with caring and knowledgeable guides. I cannot recommend this enough as a way to deepen your relationship with yourself, test your boundaries, overcome fears, and learn new skills to share yoga with others. 

    I am personally honored to be lead faculty for yoga asana, and to support this ever-evolving program. I promise you that all of your guides are sincere, dedicated to their practices and education, and because of this, each year the training is more elevated and refined.

    We grow together! Please join us!

    –Kelly Haas

    I could almost divide my life neatly in two: life before Swan School and life after Swan School. This training was such a complete pivot for me, where I finally, fully turned towards myself and towards everything that makes me feel most connected and complete. 

    As a result, I had a lot of fear surrounding signing up. It’s like finally getting something you’ve wanted for a very very long time, and then feeling frozen right before you accept it because of the sudden weightiness that this receiving indicates. The awareness of the massive risk and the massive reward can be daunting. 

    The risk of saying “yes” to these big moments in our lives involves dropping and letting go of the things you used to use to comfort you but that no longer serve you. The risk is being called towards vulnerability, strength, and a full showing up. The risk is being fully, wholly honest with yourself, and then opening yourself up to receive. 

    But the reward is great. I can’t speak exactly to what your rewards will be, but mine included finding an incomparable home and community. I found refuge in ancient teachings and practices and in holding integrity to them. I found my voice for the very first time in my life. I found teachers in all shapes and forms who encouraged me to step forward, who pushed me just the amount I needed so that I stopped avoiding real engagement with life in favor of safety. 

    That first teacher training and every training I’ve taken after have led to a pivot of some kind for me. Every sacred opportunity to learn provides me with a greater understanding of myself and how I wish to show up in this world. It’s an honor to be a part of a training that upholds this search for our own individual clarity and evolution, with deep respect for truth and the timelessness of these teachings. 

    If these teachings and practices call to you, I hope you’ll take this opportunity and step into your potential, step into your willingness to be brave and grow, and join us for a transformative journey.       -Laura Johanna