Soul School Guides:
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.
Mitchel is the founder of The Yoga Teacher’s Lab, an online yoga teacher training resource for new and experienced teachers.
Seán Johnson, founder of Wild Lotus Yoga and Soul School, is a nationally respected yoga teacher whose passion is merging the heart of bhakti yoga with the sensuality of hatha yoga to bring more love, creativity, and depth to our lives. His classes focus on opening the heart through ecstatic chant, storytelling, mythology, creative vinyasa flows, mystical poetry, and enchanting music and this will be a large part of the focus of his teaching in Soul School. Seán and the Wild Lotus Band are celebrated as one of the leading voices in western kirtan music, known for their dynamic sound that merges mantra, rock, funk, and world grooves. The band is a favorite headliner at yoga festivals and conferences worldwide, including Yoga Journal, and they are also the first kirtan band to ever play The New Orleans Jazz Festival. Their music has appeared on Nettwerk/Nutone Records, home of Krishna Das and Jai Uttal, and their songs have been featured on Putumayo World Music’s compilation Yoga and World Yoga, and Sounds True’s album Kirtan Nation.
Seán’s unique yoga education began with intensive, experiential, interdisciplinary study of yoga and related spiritual traditions in college and in graduate school. He received a Master’s Degree in Creation Spirituality from The Naropa Institute where he apprenticed with South Indian teacher and yogi-musician Russill Paul. Sean is also gratefully inspired by his friendships and study with many heart-centered yoga teachers including his college mentor and first yoga teacher Doranne Crable and Soul School co-facilitator Mitchel Bleier. Seán has taught at conferences and centers worldwide including Yoga Journal, The German Yoga Conference, Bhakti Fest, Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health, The Telluride Yoga Festival, Midwest Yoga Conference, Art of Vinyasa Conference, The International Ojai Yoga Crib, and more. Seán is a Yoga Journal contributor and is the co-curator and writer for Putumayo World Music’s music for yoga series.
Dr. Anuradha Choudry
Sanskrit as Yoga & For Yoga
Is a highly motivated Sanskrit scholar dedicated to revealing the deeper secret of the Vedas and promoting Sanskrit as a living, modern, spoken language. She also seeks to create awareness about the power of ‘sounds’ from thoughts to languages in our lives with a special emphasis on the transformative power of Sanskrit sounds which can serve as an aid to a more peaceful and healthier individual and collective living. A graduate from the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, Puducherry, she completed her Ph.D in Sanskrit on Vedic Psychology under Dr. K.E Dharaneedharan from Pondicherry University where she sought to show the practical application of this new kind of psychology in our daily lives. As a volunteer with Samskrita Bharati, Anuradha is an active advocate of Spoken Sanskrit and has conducted many 10 day Spoken Sanskrit camps in Bharatam (India) and abroad.
Michelle Cassandra Johnson
Yoga & Social Justice
I am a social justice warrior, author, dismantling racism trainer, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner, and an intuitive healer. With over 20 years of experience leading dismantling racism work and working with clients as a licensed clinical social worker, I have a deep understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit, and heart. My awareness of the world through my own experience as a black woman allows me to know, first-hand, how privilege and power operate.
I have a Bachelors of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I have worked in several non-profits and served as an elected official and on many non-profit boards of directors. I have led Dismantling Racism Trainings with large corporations, small non-profits, and community groups, including the ACLU-WA, Duke University, Google, This American Life, The Center for Equity and Inclusion, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Church, Lululemon, and many others. I published Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World in 2017; I teach workshops in yoga studios and community spaces nationwide. I am on the faculty of Off the Mat Into the World, and serve as the Co-Director of 18 Springs Healing Center in Winston-Salem, NC. I was a Tedx speaker at Wake Forest University in 2019, and I have been interviewed on several podcasts in which I explore the premise and foundation of Skill in Action, along with creating ritual in justice spaces, our divine connection with nature and Spirit, and how we as a culture can heal.
I lead courageously from the heart with compassion and a commitment to address the heartbreak dominant culture causes for many because of the harm it creates. I inspire change that allows people to stand in their humanity and wholeness in a world that fragments most of us. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, the heart, healing and wholeness are at the center of how I approach all of my work in the world. There are myriad of ways to work with me. I hope to support you on your healing journey and path towards wholeness in whatever capacity allows you to live your fullest life. Visit Michelle’s website.
Dr. Lorin Roche
was lucky enough to begin practicing asana, pranayama, and meditation in 1968, and he still feels like a beginner – every day. He has been practicing, researching, and teaching meditation for 50+ years. Lorin is a pioneer in developing personalized meditation practices, designing the techniques around an individual’s inner nature. He is the founder of two related meditation systems: The Radiance Sutras®, which utilizes the richness of the Sanskrit language and is oriented toward the yoga community, and Instinctive Meditation™, an approach that uses common sense language and is designed to match one’s individual nature.
Lorin has a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, where he has done extensive research on meditation and meditative experiences. His books on meditation are treasured by meditation practitioners across the globe and have been widely recognized as a “must-read”.
Lorin Roche leads international meditation retreats and workshops, and trains meditation teachers in a 2-year meditation teacher training. Lorin lives in Marina del Rey, California with his yogini shaktini wife, Camille Maurine.
Dr. Roche also teaches and consults worldwide with individuals (private coaching), businesses, and universities to create custom meditation programs that suit their needs and cultures. Visit Lorin’s website.
Seán Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band
New Orleans’ Seán Johnson & The Wild Lotus Band create a universal style of spiritual music filtered through the depth, sincerity, and soul of their own American and ancestral roots. Their music merges conscious lyrics, sacred chants from the spiritual traditions of yoga and beyond, and roots, rock, gospel, and global grooves. They are known for creating interactive, soul-stirring songs to dance and sing along with as well as to grieve and heal.
In 2005, Seán founded the band as a post-hurricane Katrina philanthropic music project, raising funds across the country for relief from the devastation of the storm. The theme of searching for grace and inspiration amidst challenge and destruction has permeated their music ever since. In 2007, they released their first album, ‘Calling The Spirits’ which caught the ears of pioneering Canadian record producer Terry McBride, founder of Nettwerk Records and Lilith Fair. McBride signed the band to Nettwerk for the release of their follow-up album, ‘Devaloka.’ When Putumayo World Music founder, Dan Storper heard ‘Devaloka,’ he chose music off the record to be featured on Putumayo’s first compilation of music designed for yoga. Inclusion on three Putumayo albums has helped propel the band’s music to listeners across the globe. Their last album ‘Unity’ debuted #1 on the iTunes World Music Chart and #3 on Billboard. Their latest album ‘Mystery’ on Be Still Records was named one of the best albums of the year in Louisiana music by Offbeat Magazine. They are a favorite headliner at conscious music festivals across the U.S. and have played The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on multiple occasions.
The band features vocalist/lyricist/harmonium player Seán Johnson; Alvin Young on six string fretless bass and electric guitar; percussionist/vocalist Gwendolyn Colman, and Narada Wise on drums.