For Tracy and Mitchel teaching Yoga was always a calling.
When they met in 2006, he was teaching workshops all over the country and she had just opened the first vinyasa yoga studio in Connecticut. He was a traveling yogi who had access to teach and study with some of the most luminary teachers of yoga at the time. She was a single mom who never stopped wanting to learn about the practice that opened her heart and changed her life.
They met at a workshop. Tracy was curious how Mitchel traversed different styles of yoga. He had once been a devoted Ashtanga yogi as she was at the time, but his practice had evolved to incorporate new teachings and philosophies. Tracy, a former high school English teacher felt pulled toward the more philosophical aspects of her practice. When she took Mitchel’s class for the first time, she realized the combination of fluid movement and heart-felt conversation was what she was craving to develop. She wanted what he was having.
They became friends. First, through email. For months, their exchanges served as a platform for the deeper conversations they built their friendship upon. They talked on the phone. It was during one conversation that lasted well into the early hours of the next morning where they realized they had fallen in love.
They could never have known how the next ten years would play out for them. They married. They had a son. They moved. They opened a new yoga studio together. They created community and hosted sacred events for people to learn and practice and share and grow. They created a space for people to come and feel safe and heard and available for themselves. They taught many, many classes. They led many, many trainings. They retreated and took time off. They questioned. They never stopped learning. Their life together as parents, as students, as husband and wife, as yogis, and now as recent business partners, combine to tell a story that spans beyond the biomechanics of the poses they spent years practicing and perfecting. Their story is a love story. A story who's narrative holds wisdom and experience. A story that is reflected in the words they share, and the teachings that have helped them grow into the individuals they are.
They will never tell you they know all the answers. They will never tell you there is one right way to practice Yoga. Being around them will remind you that what lives inside your heart holds our life’s greatest teaching.
Tracy Bleier, 500 ERYT
Tracy Bleier has been a local teacher and community leader/builder for the past twenty years. She has had many classrooms, from inside a traditional high school where she taught English Literature and writing to inside a yoga room where she taught people of all demographics the value that a yoga practice can bring to their lives. She has owned studios for decades, taught trainings and workshops and has spent most of her life as a voracious learner. She believes that our lives give us precious opportunities to learn about ourselves and she uses observations about her own life, refined from her years of practice, to tap into universal truths that feed the conversations she infuses into her classes.
Tracy teaches a range of yoga experiences, including the physical practices of Hatha Vinyasa yoga and functional movement and the contemplative practices of meditation and journaling. Tracy is happily married and is a proud mama to three boys, two dogs and a cat. She recently moved to Chicago where, in addition to teaching and caring for her family, she is writing her first book.
mitchel bleier, 500 ERYT
For over the last 20+ years, Mitchel Bleier has been teaching, training, and presenting his work to the world. He is an internationally known expert in yoga, posture, functional movement, Eastern Philosophies, meditation, biology, energy, and brain function.
Since 2000, Mitchel has been leading retreats and training all over the world. Mitchel has had the rare privilege of learning first hand from many of the world's great Masters, in a diversity of traditions, including an academic education of South Asian Philosophies and Sanskrit from the University of Rochester. His most current teacher is Master John Douglas, a world-renowned theologian, prophetic minister, spiritual healer and extraordinary teacher. Mitchel has taught over 10,000 people from all over the world and has trained thousands of teachers in science and faith-based practices for body and brain performance.
Mitchel is a former founder and CEO of the magazine company, Matrika; the CCO of the online wellness and video production company, Yo-Fi; and has been the owner or operator of yoga studios in Detroit, MI; Cincinnati, OH; Rochester, NY; and Fairfield County Connecticut.
Today, Mitchel actively mentors top executives, athletes, and parents across the country on the ways to be vital in all aspects of life, work, and health. His education and understanding into the human potential, emotion, mind and body is a rare gift, and his ability to teach people how to make simple changes has profound impacts on their overall performance.
Mitchel currently lives in Chicago, is a father and husband, and is deeply passionate about working with individuals and companies to transform their results, and to create more positive internal and external health.
Learn more at Live Superhuman
Lorin Roche, PhD
Dr. Roche has been exploring, researching and teaching meditation since 1968. After teaching with the Student’s International Meditation Society from 1970 through 1975, he went into private practice and started developing an approach, which he calls Instinctive Meditation, that works with the fine structure of individual uniqueness, rather than imposing a standardized, one-size-fits-all approach. He draws on insights into how people learn gained from the best of Western science and Eastern Yoga. This integrative approach results in straightforward ways for people to learn many different meditation techniques.
Instinctive Meditation tends to feel more like an innate skill that you are remembering than a technique that you are learning. Lorin's work is aimed at activating an individual's internal guidance systems and bringing forth your instinctive knowing, so that you can safely practice meditation without being dependent upon Gurus, systems or external authorities.
Lorin says, "Meditation can feel like it comes as a gift from the outside – from the lineage of monks, gurus and sages over the millennia. You become their servant and seek to kill off anything in you that does not fit into the aura of a meditation ashram, where the ideal is to be celibate and detached from it all. I have done this type of meditation and loved it. But it is for people who don't mind being dominated by dead Asian males.
"Meditation can feel like it comes from the inside, from your own inner knowing, your inner self, your instincts and body. Instinctive Meditation is based on what works for Westerners, and is for people who embrace the adventure of making it up for themselves."
Catch Lorin in SOULFUL.
Jessica Carlin, 500HR ERYT
Jessica is a registered yoga teacher, licensed massage therapist, and a certified functional range conditioning (FRC) coach. She blends the conscious breathing and postural practices of yoga with FRC’s joint training principles. Her goal is to support clients’ wellbeing through manual and movement therapy and empower yoga teachers with knowledge necessary to help keep students safe during yoga classes.
Jessica provides a combination of yoga, bodywork, and craniosacral therapy. She uses movement and soft tissue assessments as well as conscious breathing and relaxation practices to develop a program that is uniquely tailored to each client. She applies the science-based principles of Functional Range Conditioning which focuses on joint strength, mobility development, and body control. Her goal is to support her clients’ wellbeing through education, intentional manual and movement therapy as well the balancing effect of craniosacral therapy.(cst)
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
Sean Johnson, owner wild lotus yoga New Orleans & founder of Sean Johnson & Wild lotus band
In classes I merge vinyasa and bhakti yoga – the yoga of the heart – through storytelling, singing, evocative playlists, poetic language and creative yoga flows. I love to create the possibility for students to feel and tune more deeply into guidance and inspiration from within.
I am a proud native of New Orleans a graduate of NOLA public schools K-12. I have a B.A. in Cultural Studies from The Evergreen State College and an M.A. in Creation Spirituality from the Naropa Institute, where I studied yoga and spirituality with teachers from many traditions.
I founded Wild Lotus in 2002 and am deeply grateful for all the people – our teachers, staff, students, and my family – who make the studio such a loving place to be. It’s also a joy to sing, play, and tour around the country with The Wild Lotus Band merging ancient mantras, roots, rock, gospel, and world grooves. My wife Farah and our cat Sasha light up my heart.
Catch Sean in ROOTED.