Free or Donation-based Yoga in New Orleans

Frequent yoga really helps me keep my anxiety levels and moods in check, and it staves off my otherwise fairly constant shoulder/neck pain—the price I pay for spending sunny hours hunched-over-a-computer.

Sometimes I do 15 minute internet yoga in the comfort of my own home (shout-out Yoga With Adriene and, for a more intensive few minutes, Boho Beautiful.)

But when I need a full hour or more, when I want to try something new-to-me (like Aqua or Kundalini yoga), or when I just need to see people—since, as a work-from-homer, I may not have talked to anyone but my dog in 20 hours—I head to a class.

And New Orleans has some fantastic studios, often with great first-month cheap/free packages, but what about after that first month? I know yoga teachers need to pay their bills like the rest of us, but I can definitely not afford a $100/week investment for yoga, which is what I’d be spending if I shelled out $20 (the going rate) for five classes.

Lucky for me, New Orleans also has amazing free and donation-based yoga, to the tune of classes everyday, and many of these are complements of Jai Bhakti Yoga Foundation—a fantastic nonprofit that runs entirely on donations, but doesn’t solicit donations at classes.

I’ve compiled the free/donation classes I know about, as a resource for myself and others. Let me know about any ongoing classes I missed in the comments.

NEW ORLEANS YOGA FOR $5 & UNDER 

SUNDAY

5-6:30am Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

12pm Vinyasa/ $5 donation:  Rhythmic Arts Center, 2358 St Claude Ave.

4pm Restorative / FREE: Bastion Community of Resilience (in the community room, and you don’t have to live in Bastion to attend), 1901 Mirabeau Ave./ compliments of Jai Bhakti Yoga Foundation

5pm Beginners  / FREE: Church of Yoga, 1480 N Rocheblave St.

MONDAY

5-6:30am Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St. (yes, I know, this looks like a private house…it’s actually a complex belonging to the Tibetan Foundation of Louisiana)

9am Aqua / FREE (to NOLA residents): Treme Rec Center NORD, 900 N Villere St.

10:30am Gentle Yoga / FREE (to NOLA residents) : Annunciation Rec Center NORD, 800 Race St.

5:30pm Kundalini / Donation $5-20: Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

6pm Restorative / FREE: Esplanade at City Park, 3443 Esplande Ave. (outdoors); from JBYF

TUESDAY

5-6:30am Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

12pm Connected Warriors / FREE but ONLY open to veterans & their families: Higher Power Yoga & Cycle, 514 City Park Ave.

4pm Community Flow  / FREE: Church of Yoga, 1480 N Rocheblave St.

6pm Flow/ FREE: Popp’s Bandstand, City Park (outdoors, in front of the old Morning Call. coffee shop); from JBYF

WEDNESDAY

5-6:30am Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

6:30am Sunrise Yoga / FREE: Riverwalk Outlets, 500 Port of New Orleans Pl. (Park in the lot and get your ticket validated at the end of class); from JBYF

10:30am Gentle Yoga / FREE: Lyons Rec Center NORD, 624 Louisiana Ave.

6pm African Kemetic / FREE: Treme Rec Center NORD, 900 N Villere St.

6pm Vinyasa/ FREE: Lyons Rec Center NORD, 624 Louisiana Ave.

6:30pm Flow / $5 (21+ only): The Tribe Yard, 405 3rd St.

7:30-8:45pm Vinyasa / Donation: Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

THURSDAY

5-6:30am Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

6:30pm Hatha / FREE: Bastion Community of Resilience, 1901 Mirabeau Ave.; from JBYF

7-8:30pm Yin / Donation: Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

FRIDAY

9am Aqua / FREE: Treme Rec Center NORD, 900 N Villere St.

10:30am Chair Yoga (for seniors or disabled)/ FREE: Milne Rec Center, 5420 Franklin Ave.

4pm Community Flow  / FREE: Church of Yoga, 1480 N Rocheblave St.

5-6:30pm Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

SATURDAY

5-6:30am Kundalini Sadhana / FREE:  Swaha Yoga, 623 N. Rendon St.

9am Flow / Donation: Crescent Park, entrance at Marigny and N. Peter St. (outside & you need your own mat)

9am Yoga w/ Kittens / $20: Okay, so this is not donation-based, and you have to pre-sign up online, but I’m including it here because the money goes to the Louisiana SPCA, so a super-great cause. And because, hello, kittens?!

5pm Yoga for Kids / FREE: Church of Yoga, 1480 N Rocheblave St.

6:30pm Vinyasa / FREE: Lyons Rec Center NORD, Lyons Rec Center NORD, 624 Louisiana Ave.

Just Sayin’…

For the record, Swaha never turns anyone away for lack of funds (and you put your money in a box, so no one is watching to make sure you do this), but they do ask that you pay as much as you are able.

Local breweries often host free or donation based yoga on weekends, followed by pint specials. Facebook event searches are a good way to find out about what’s happening this weekend. Similarly, Drifter Hotel often hosts yoga/swimming events for $10. Payment gets you access to the class and the (heated) pool.

Any class on the Swan River Yoga schedule labeled “community” costs $8.

Reyn Studios hosts community Bikram (hot yoga, at 90 degrees) classes for $9 Mondays through Fridays at 4pm.

All NORD fitness classes are free for New Orleans residents, but you need a membership card. You can get this with a state-issued ID or through showing your name an official piece of mail, such as an utility bill.

And, as I mentioned earlier, Jai Bhakti Yoga Foundation runs entirely on donations, but all of its (nomadic) classes are free. They often host special events (moonlight yoga, yoga in coffee houses, etc.), so check their FB listing here.

Namaste, y’all! 

 

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