Humans are social animals. We like to hang out and talk.
We could, conceivably, create spaces where we could go, solely to talk to other people. But the way our society is structured, everything has to be paid for. Would people pay to go to a place just to talk to each other? Maybe. But that’s not what happens.
What happens is, we socialize with each other while doing an activity we’re prepared to pay for. Like eating. Drinking. Listening to music. Or going to a yoga class. And, like a lot of things these days, we start young. Take for example Lolo’s Youth Yoga and Art Studio, Uptown on Magazine Street.
Lolo’s, founded by Laurie Azzano, is New Orleans’ first yoga studio specifically for kids. Children – from three years old to teenagers – practice yoga, make art, do mindfulness exercises, and learn meditation in afterschool or full-day sessions.
Two places that adults like to congregate are bars and coffee shops. We go to a coffee shop where we like the taste of the coffee they serve. Bars all serve the same alcohol, so they compete with each other by providing “added value.” For example, live music.
For a combination of these business models – coffee and live music – you could go to Catahoula Tattoo, on Broad Street in Mid City. The coffee is their own blend – Catahoula Tattoo Select. And if you drink it at the studio, it’s free. The live music is free too.
While you’re hanging out at Catahoula’s self- described “tattoo lounge,” you could get a tattoo, right? Not so fast. Catahoula has 3 tattoo artists, but they won’t give you a tattoo on the spur of the moment. Your tattoo needs to be designed ahead of time, and you need an appointment to get it inked into your skin.
And in further market-differentiation, the owner of Catahoula Tattoo, Dominic Sgro, says, Catahoula is “not the kind of tattoo shop where the tattoo artists look like they belong in a circus.”
If you ever go to a Saints Game when the dome is sold out, the sheer mass of humanity can be overwhelming. That’s around 70,000 people. Each one of those people is on an individual life journey. So is every one of the 7 billion humans who aren’t in the dome on any given Sunday. And, because we’re human, that individual journey we’re all on can be physical, and spiritual.
One of the oldest ways of creating an individual difference between ourself and everyone else on earth, physically, is body art. And one of the oldest ways of developing our individual non-physical self, is Yoga. The practice of both of those pursuits is ever-evolving. Laurie Azzano and Dominic Srgo might be merely two individuals in the 21st Century in a small city in the south of the United States, but their respective contributions to the arts of tattooing and yoga are a part of ancient traditions, and uniquely their own.