Yogi Michele Baker began teaching yoga at a New Orleans athletic club in 1998. Ten years later, after Hurricane Katrina forced Baker to evacuate her home, she started writing a yoga-instruction training manual. She soon put it to use, using it as a guide to lead her staff at Swan River Yoga, which she opened with business partner Keith Porteous. Today, the yoga center helps pupils practice yoga and guides aspiring instructors as they hone their craft and nurture the third eye that sprouts from their forehead.
Yoga classes are suitable for a variety of skill levels, and range from prenatal and beginners’ yoga to Anusara yoga—a class that focuses on flowing movements and proper alignment. Swan River Yoga also provides holistic services such as massage, reiki, and acupuncture.
Balance Yoga & Wellness hosts a multitude of classes seven days a week within its sunny studio. Impassioned, knowledgeable instructors teach students of all fitness levels to flow in and out of sun salutations and standing postures while maintaining strong breath. They also teach other classes, such as Anusara Level 1??which introduces poses and breathing techniques slowly over time??or the fluid vinyasa yoga, where one pose gracefully melts into another. Otherwise, students can soothe muscles with the restorative yoga class, which uses blankets, blocks, and straps to support the body so that it can stretch more deeply. Check out the schedule for a full list of class times.
Zesty aromas of jambalaya, gumbo, corn crab bisque, and pralines fill the air of the New Orleans School of Cooking. It's here where a talented team of local chefs share their culinary insights while teaching the basics of Louisiana cooking with flavorful fervor. Since 1980, scores of well-known talent have demonstrated bayou?style cooking in their home base: a renovated French Quarter molasses warehouse, originally built in the 1800s.
Like their building, the dishes they teach are part of long-standing New Orleans traditions. Their demonstrations cover dishes from gumbo to jambalaya to crawfish etoufee. As they teach, the chefs weave in elements of local history, trivia, and legend, too, painting a portrait of the city that extends beyond its edibles.
Dubbed a “powerhouse of comedy” by the Austin Chronicle, The New Movement unleashes a dizzying number of comedy shows that belie the institution’s young age. Founded in 2009 by improvisers Chris Trew and Tami Nelson, the theater and conservatory has already established itself in two cities, training fledgling performers in the art of the extemporaneous by inspiring them to take comedic risks on stage, whether it’s connecting emotionally with a character or performing actual surgery. Whether or not the performers are costumed or bearing props, they aim to create a fully realized world on stage through grounded situations and elegant but always creative transitions between scenes.
Life Fitness treadmills and Cybex weight equipment complement the rows of elliptical machines and recumbent bikes at Downtown Fitness Center’s studios. Personal televisions transform machines into teeny, tiny home theaters. For structured workouts, visitors can opt for classes that impart yoga, and cardio routines, or trainers can tailor custom programs to achieve individual fitness goals.