Valerie McMillan – Director

                                                                         lifeValerie first experienced yoga in 2007, while living in Chicago and undergoing a complete lifestyle change. She lost over 70lbs and transitioned from a meat based to a plant based diet.  In 2011, she developed a full time  yoga practice after completing her first 30 day challenge at Life Yoga in New Orleans.

At the time, Valerie noticed she was often the only women of color in the classes she was taking and was determined to help the culture of yoga evolve in New Orleans. In late 2013, Valerie immersed herself in a 200 hour power yoga training with Free to Be Power Yoga. Valerie launched the Ohm Well in early 2015, which is a yoga and holistic wellness company designed to help clients heal themselves from the inside out.

Valerie collaborated with Wildseeds, the New Orleans Octavia Butler Emergent Strategy Collective to create a weekly Black and Brown Bodies in Motion Class (BBM), which centralizes the complex identities of Black and Brown individuals and is open to self-identified persons of color only.  BBM is a direct response to the marginalization and or invisibility of yogis of color in traditional yoga studios and classes.

warriorIn addition to teaching yoga, Valerie is an urban planner, domestic violence counselor, educator and level IV Reiki master.  She served for five years as a Civil Servant with the City of New Orleans, with the last two and a half years as a Senior City Planner.  While working with the City, Valerie  launched the first ever yoga wellness program for city employees at New Orleans’ City Hall, which is in collaboration with the Chief Administrative office and the New Orleans Health Department. Valerie has led classes at various locations throughout the City of New Orleans including Life Yoga Studio, FitNola parks, Dancing Grounds, Swan River Arabi, Longue Vue House and Gardens , Lululemon Athletica and Reyn Studios.  Valerie is eager to share her love of life with others and is committed to creating a safe space for all of her students on and off the mat. Her classes are a combination of poetic sequences and infectious rhythms designed to ignite the fire within each of us.