“If love is not allowed to flow, it becomes fear.
If love is allowed to flow, fear disappears.”

-Osho

Our Story

Teaching a physically challenging yoga class with an emphasis on mindfulness isn’t easy in a culture driven by competition and speed.

In a difficult experience with a rude student at the start of her career, Dori Thomsen, Owner of the Soluna Yoga+Spa in Jacksonville, Fla., demonstrated that she can pull it off with grace.

In 2010, Dori began teaching yoga in a glass-enclosed studio in a lush, Costa Rican jungle. Into this paradise walked a student who had just flown into town from a big American city.

To set the tone and intention for the class, Dori began with a 5-minute meditation. It quickly became clear that the student, who was chewing gum, tapping her toes and drumming her fingers on her lap, could become a disruptive force in the class.

As the class continued, the student ploughed through the poses, rolled her eyes and groaned to express her annoyance. Tension was building. The other students sensed it.

“She really threw me off my game,” Dori said. “I was new and a little insecure as a teacher.  I didn’t know how to hold space. My voice was shaky and nervous.”

Dori wanted to handle the situation peacefully, but a flurry of questions ran through her mind. Should she ramp up the pace? Ask the woman to leave? Was she really cut out to teach yoga?

Dori took a deep breath and the path became clear: “I’m not going to let this one disruptive person change who I am.”

With a heart of compassion for the woman, and the experiences that shaped her, Dori asked the class to take child’s pose. She approached the woman, gave her a tissue, and in a soft whisper asked her to spit out her gum.

Thus began what felt like the longest hour of Dori’s life. Several times the woman broke out of pose and started to walk out. Several times Dori nearly asked her to leave.

Surprisingly, the student stuck with it, all the way through Savasana. She was uncharacteristically still as she rested in corpse pose.

Afterward, as other students hugged Dori and said goodbye, the woman stood off to the side with her mat.  Dori was stunned when the woman came up, with tears in her eyes, and thanked her.

“You know, I needed that,” Dori recalled the woman saying. “I needed to slow things down. It wasn’t until Savasana that I realized how grateful I was for not walking out.”

Then she reached out and gave Dori a huge hug.

“That class was very life changing,” Dori said. “That’s when I really stepped into my power as a teacher and developed confidence and ease. At that moment I realized, ‘Yes! This is why I’m teaching yoga.’ ”



Our Mission

Offering Yoga & Wellness for all Stages of Life.

Yoga and wellness is a process of self-exploration that clears mental obstacles and false identities, offering a direct experience of who we are at our deepest level.

Our Company Values:

·      We nurture a heart-centered studio that raises the intention of love.

·      Our approach to wellness nurtures the body, mind, and soul - the whole person.

·      We promote authentic connection, engagement, and building community.

·      We believe anybody can do yoga, regardless of limitations, weight, gender or beliefs.

·      We’re mindful of alignment, physiology, safety, and studio cleanliness.

·      We honor all styles of yoga. It’s not the interpretation that matters, it’s the intention.

·      We fully believe in the importance of making time for you.

·      We advocate a Pura Vida lifestyle: Love the life you live!

·      We invite you to unplug from daily life tasks and to do’s and plug into you.

Our Team

Dori


Florida native Dori Thomsen, is a 500-hr ERYT, Founder of Your Zen Yoga and Co-Founder of Soluna Yoga + Spa with her husband, Christian. She first entered a yoga class over a decade ago, while a freshman in college at UNF, but found her true calling to teach yoga while living in Costa Rica. Dori gained the 200-hr Registered Yoga Teacher certification in 2010 with the Yoga Alliance, at an ashram in Guatemala, under the guidance of her teacher Paula Tursi of Reflections Yoga. She lived in Costa Rica for 5 years and taught for 3 of those years before returning back to the States. While living there, she continued her studies and earned a certificate in Prenatal Yoga & Restorative Yoga in 2011 and to also lead Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga in 2012. She is considered a pioneer of SUP Yoga in Central America, while living and teaching there and has now returned to Jacksonville with her family. In February of 2016, she completed her 500-hr advanced training, humbly earning the certificate of Yoga Acharya (Yoga Master) with Bhooma Chaitanaya and Swami Yogeshananda Saraswati at Aarsha Yoga Vidya Peetham in Kerala, India. Dori is passionate about teaching Meditation, Pranayama, and all styles of yoga and incorporates this free form expression of yoga in her classes, while encouraging her students to connect to the root and explore the practice. She became a Mother in 2013 and met her greatest teacher when they welcomed a baby girl into this world. To this day, she considers her daughter, Olive, to be her Guru. Olive continually teaches Dori how to love unconditionally and how to create authentic connection through communication, movement and breath. Olive also taught her how to lead Mommy & Me Yoga and attends these classes with Dori regularly. The doors to Soluna Yoga + Spa opened in December of 2014 and was recently voted #1 Yoga Studio by Jacksonville Magazine! You can find Dori teaching classes and workshops at Soluna and leading Yoga & SUP Yoga Retreats in the States and Costa Rica. When Dori is not at Soluna, she enjoys spending time traveling with her family, planting seeds in their garden, and taking time to press pause.

Elizabeth


Elizabeth enjoys teaching a variety of forms of yoga to students of all ages, levels and conditions. She has been practicing yoga since 2004. Her study, practice, life experience and yoga masters have guided her toward teaching. Elizabeth received her RYT Advanced Yoga Teacher Certification 240 hours with Highest Distinction from Himalayan Yoga Academy, Rishikesh, India. She was bestowed the title of Yoga Acharya at her RYT 300 hour Advanced Yoga Teachers’ Training Course in Hatha Yoga at Aarsha Yoga Vidya Peetham in Kerala, India. Elizabeth completed her 40 hour Yin Yoga Teacher Training with Joe Barnett at Yoga University of Florida and is a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Instructor. Elizabeth’s classes are energetically balanced, allowing students to develop physically while focusing on breath awareness, meditation, vibrational energy and creating happiness in our daily lives. Through an integrative approach, she seeks to link the ancient wisdoms of Yoga and Ayurveda as a way to create and maintain balance in each individual. Ayurveda contributes significantly to Elizabeth’s studies and teaching. At Kerala Ayurveda Academy in Kerala, India, she completed Primary Awareness Course in Ayurveda and an Intensive Training Program on Ayurvedic Diet and Women Care, learning both theoretical and practical aspects. She offers basic Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations with an emphasis on diet, daily routine as well as yoga asana, pranayama and meditation guidance. Elizabeth lives in Jacksonville, FL with her husband, two children and sweet dog. In addition to yoga, she is passionate about Ayurveda and travel. Elizabeth believes yoga can be accessible to all. She honors her teachers and appreciates the teacher in every student.

Dr. Marie


Dr. Marie Bailey, RYT-500 has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and spent many years in her first career as a psychologist working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons during which time she brought Yoga to the inmates at several security levels. She discovered and became intrigued with Yoga Therapy in 2007 while still a practicing psychologist. While she sought her first 200-hour certification in Vinyasa Flow Yoga in 2007, she met the creator of Kripalu Yoga and the Integrated Amrit Method of Yoga, Amrit Desai in 2009 and a beautiful collaboration began. A Yogi through and through, Marie is a senior faculty member at the Amrit Yoga Institute in Salt Springs, Florida where she co-teaches Amrit Method Yoga Therapy with its creator, Kamini Desai and is a trainer in Amrit Method Yoga Nidra Professional Trainings. Marie is a practicing Yoga Therapist, Yoga Nidra facilitator, and Yoga teacher.

Katie


Katie’s decision to begin practicing massage was inspired by an increasing interest in healing approaches that offered an alternative to western medicine and therapies. Knowing that the body has amazing potential to heal on its own, she believes in encouraging these natural healing processes through massage, and whenever possible, avoiding more invasive practices that suppress them. Katie's massage is often a therapeutic blend of gentle techniques based on her intuition and understanding of each individual. She is trained in Swedish massage and is certified in Indian head, neck & face massage, Chinese reflexology, and Thai Yoga massage.

Darcy


Darcy is a Licensed Facial Specialist and a Certified Dr. Hauschka Esthetician. She enjoys sharing the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care line and their holistic philosophy with everyone, especially helping others to formulate a daily routine to help them look (and feel) their best. A lover of gardening and art, she also studied art history and horticulture at Smith College. Darcy also completed her 200 RYT in the summer of 2014 with the Integral Yoga at Satchidananda Ashram.

Tamara


Tamara is a real sun native to Florida, honored to be a part of Soluna Yoga and Spa. She obtained her Massage Therapy license in 2004 at Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy, Inc in Jacksonville, FL. Moving to Oregon inspired her to further her dedicated Yoga practice. Therefore, in 2013 she completed a Yoga Alliance-Approved RYT 200 Teacher Training Program at Flow Yoga in Hood River, OR. Living life one breath at a time, she will forever be a student of Yoga, grateful for all the lessons along the way.

Victoria


Victoria began practicing yoga in 2000 and has been teaching since 2006. She has studied with a variety of teachers and completed her 500 hour teacher training at Bliss in August 2012. In early 2012, she took mantra initiation with Rolf Sovik, Spiritual Director at the Himalayan Institute. Victoria’s yoga and meditation practice has been a transformative force in her life, and she hopes to help her students find what they need in their practice. Her recognition of the therapeutic aspects of yoga has encouraged her to pursue the Degree of Doctor of Physical Therapy. Victoria plans to use the knowledge gained from these studies to help her students at a deeper level.

Melissa


Melissa is originally from Colombia, but has been living in the USA for 11 years. Melissa's first encounter with yoga was in a South Florida gym, after that she felt in love with the practice and continued attending every class she could. Melissa started looking for a spiritual guidance in every class, and in 2013, she decided to go to India to explore more her spiritual path. After falling in love with Indian culture, she decided that she wanted to become a yoga teacher, but she wanted to study a type of yoga that has linage rooted in India. That's when she enrolled to attend a Sivananda's TTC in Uttarkashi, India, located in the Himalayas. She submerged in a spiritual journey in an ashram devoting the days to asana practice, kriyas, and sadhana. She brought back all the knowledge acquired there with the intention of spreading love and peace to everyone, including Latin community.

Nicole


Nicole discovered Yoga in 2012, during a challenging time of her life. Inspired by her teachers and fellow yogi warriors, her practice deepened, and she found a new way of being. In 2014, she completed her 200 RYT in Power/Vinyasa Flow with the hope to help spread some love and light. As an instructor, Nicole strives to help others to unlock strength, freedom, healing, and self-acceptance on and off the mat. She enjoys a variety of yoga styles and continues to develop her practice through study, practice, and meditation.

Rachel


Rachel’s life experiences have been diverse but the one constant has always been massage. It began with shoulder rubs for family and friends as a teenager, leading then to her training at the Core Institute of Massage in her early 20's, to her now working in both spa and chiropractic settings. Along the way, Rachel received her AA in Communications, worked for over two years as a Licensed Practical Nurse, and, just for kicks, she joined the Jacksonville Roller Girls! She is trained in Swedish, Prenatal and Deep Tissue/Therapeutic massage and has traveled to Thailand completing the comprehensive program at the Thai Massage School of Chiang Mai. She looks forward to growing and learning from and within the Soluna community--a community full of warmth and light.

Jay


Jay is a graduate of the Two Suns Rising school of yoga, as well as being a nationally certified massage therapist and certified personal trainer. His training and experience range from gentle, internal traditions, (Siddha yoga, Taoist NeiKung) to challenging, physical practices (Bikram yoga, Tibetan Yantra). Jay is the founder of CO-OHM, a research group dedicated to combining eastern yogic traditions and western medical science to combat diseases such as type II diabetes. His widely varied background is especially helpful for students with unique needs, injuries, or goals.