A born-and-raised Louisiana girl and a born-and-raised New England girl, with nothing more than passion and a vision to share power yoga and wellness, came together to create a boutique yoga and wellness brand based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and expanding across the country.
In five years, we went from one studio located in Uptown New Orleans to three locations across the greater New Orleans area. We have been recognized by the Gambit as one of the "Best of New Orleans" yoga studios three years in a row and have had over 10,000 people walk through our doors to experience sweaty, powerful yoga.
We also have a deep passion for developing leaders in the New Orleans community through our yoga teacher training. As a 200 Hour Yoga Alliance Registered School, we train teachers in Power Vinyasa Yoga with a focus on diving deep into self discovery through specific methodology, and the history and foundation of yoga. To date, we have trained over 100 teachers.
How did we get here?
Both Janae Holmes and I, Kelly Boudreaux, were looking for a place to belong as we moved to Louisiana. Janae moved to NOLA in 2012 with her husband, leaving her corporate Sports Marketing job in Chicago. I moved back home with my husband, Cleve, after living in Colorado for 8 years where I worked at a PR Firm and sold over $9 million in Real Estate per year. Coming to Louisiana we did not know each other, but we both had a passion for sharing the yoga practice that saved us for different reasons during our late 20s.
In 2013, Janae and I met through the greater Baptiste Yoga community. We were, and are, both certified Baptiste Yoga Teachers. Janae was teaching in the New Orleans community and I was working as Managing Director for Africa Yoga Project, a global non-profit creating wellness leaders. We instantly became friends and realized we had a shared love for building community, creating rich experiences through our business background, and were both looking for a place to belong in our new homes. Free To Be Power Yoga was born at this moment. And babies were born too!
Not only were we raising a business together, we raised children together. At the time Free To Be was born, I had Cooper and was pregnant with Henry. Janae was pregnant with Alexander. Let’s just say it was a blur and it was amazing!
Today, it is May of 2020. To think about what has happened in 5 years is pretty incredible. We now have three brick-and-mortar studios, and closed one down (Morgan City). I have three little boys and Janae has two children, a boy and a girl. Janae has become a Tier 3 Certified Baptiste Teacher and Legacy Lululemon Ambassador. I have become a Tier 2 Baptiste Yoga Teacher and IIN Certified Health Coach. We are navigating through the global pandemic and in 11 short weeks we have launched our fourth studio that is completely virtual: Free To Be Everywhere.
It has taken a lot of sweat, love, tears, joy, questions, learning and unlearning to get where we are today. We could not have done it without our community, staff, teachers, mentors, friends, husbands and family. Thank you!
Our commitment is to create rich experiences and whole freedom in your life through yoga. How we run our business comes from our core values which have been sourced by Janae and me, and our community.
FREE TO BE CORE VALUES
BELONGING | Free To Be creates a space where everyone feels they belong and are unconditionally accepted.
RESILIENCE | We look for the lessons in all circumstances and never give up.
COURAGE | We say “yes” if it supports our growth and allows us to evolve, even when we are scared/nervous.
IMPACT | Everything we do has intention and creates a lasting impression.
Today, I am excited to relaunch this blog in a whole new way. There will be many shared voices including mine, digging deep into yoga, meditation, wellness and personal discoveries.
If you are new here, WELCOME and know that you belong. If you frequent Free To Be, thank you for your contribution to how we got here and know that you belong.