Sean Johnson, 1997
Wild Lotus Yoga/Sean Johnson And The Wild Lotus Band
Type of Business
Personal Care and Service
Date of Operation
Description of Business or Organization
Wild Lotus Yoga: Welcome to Wild Lotus Yoga. Serving yoga to New Orleans since 2002 and sharing the most extensive selection of yoga offerings in the Gulf South. Our intention is to turn ourselves and our community on to living an inspired, creative, and passionate life through yoga and related healing arts. We offer a wide variety of over 50 classes a week for all levels of experience including daily discounted and donation-based community classes. Classes are guided by a friendly staff of skilled teachers sharing inspiration through diverse styles of yoga. Home of our signature Soul School Teacher Training Program which emphasizes the art of bringing soul and imagination to teaching yoga. More than a yoga studio - also a home to integrative holistic workshops, music concerts, films, community service, and other special events to nourish the body, mind, and soul. Sean Johnson And The Wild Lotus Band: New Orleans mantra musicians Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band are a critically acclaimed kirtan trio appreciated equally for the spiritual depth and dynamic musicality of their sound. Yoga Journal has praised the band, “A joy to listen to whether you’re a yogi or anyone who appreciates wildly creative music.” Yoga Chicago says, "Their music will ignite the world...a hybrid of East and West that will bring joy to your heart and get your body boogieing." Sean and the band's latest album Devaloka was released by Nettwerk/Nutone Music- home of Sarah McLaughlin, Barenaked Ladies, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal and many other great artists. The band’s unique music evocatively blends ancient eastern mantras with western musical taste, passionate vocals, funky grooves, and dreamy melodies. Their innovative approach to chant music transcends genres—shades of rock, jazz, funk, choral, Indian, Irish, Middle Eastern, and folk styles merge effortlessly with the magic of the mantras. Yoga City NYC says, “Their music is capable of being energetic, grounding, mellow, tender, sweet- eerie, rapturous and blissful all at once.” Vocalist and harmonium player Sean Johnson is the founder of the band. He’s been leading kirtan across the U.S. and abroad for over a decade. His voice is equally influenced by vocal exploration of his ancestral Irish heritage as well as study in Indian vocal music and love of the path of bhakti yoga-- the yoga of the heart. Sean is also the founder of Wild Lotus Yoga Studio and Soul School, a yoga and spirituality teacher training program in his native New Orleans. He has a Master’s degree from The Naropa Institute with a focus on teaching chant as spiritual practice. He shares the practice of mantra in an inviting and accessible way that taps into the universal spirit of life and music- weaving stories, myths, and poetry. Grammy nominated kirtan artist Jai Uttal says “Sean’s voice is a warm, soothing river of serenity.” Bass and guitar player and New Orleans' native Alvin Young spent years on the fabled Crescent City music scene playing with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, local legends James Booker and James Black and many more. His voice on bass and guitar weaves the jazz, rock, classical, and folk styles he's been immersed in for the last 35 years. The hallmark of Alvin's expression on the bass is a rare and deeply melodic quality that illuminates the trio's sound. Percussionist and singer Gwendolyn Colman brings a unique ethnic sound to the band with years of experience drumming with Middle Eastern ensembles, flamenco troupes, and avant garde bands. Her ‘ride’ includes frame drums, cajon, high hat, kick drum, doumbek, and karkobs, playing with merging ancient rhythms with a modern, urban flare. Gwendolyn can move seamlessly from a traditional middle eastern trance rhythm, to subtle jazz brushwork, to a New Orleans hip hop street groove. Her powerful vocals are influenced by early opera training. Together Sean, Alvin, and Gwendolyn create a contemporary world-spirit music that evokes and expands on the magic and mystical feelings first stirred in the pioneering golden age of East-West musical exploration in the 1960's. The soul of New Orleans meets the spirit of India. The band tours worldwide playing at music festivals, yoga studios, concert halls, retreat centers, and yoga conferences.
How did Evergreen prepare you for your professional life?
Not a day goes by when I don't think about or do something that was sparked by my education at Evergreen. The experiential interdisciplinary approach to spirituality, art, cultural studies, and leadership that were such a deep part of my Evergreen education have had a wide ranging influence on my life and work as a yoga teacher, musician, yoga studio owner and teacher training guide. I feel great gratitude for Evergreen and particularly wish to thank and honor several teachers who have made a long-standing impact: Doranne Crable, Sean Williams, and Patrick Hill. Thank you.