“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.

Katie


Katie is a 500-hr certified yoga teacher and licensed massage therapist. She is driven by an interest in sustainable, healing practices that offer an alternative to quick-fix methodologies. By utilizing the transformative power of yoga and massage, she aims to assist each individual in supporting their body's natural ability to heal itself. As a teacher she designs classes for people with any level of yoga experience, focusing on therapeutics, the relationship between stretching and strengthening, and the importance of relieving mental stress. As a therapist she specializes in Thai Massage, the true intersection of yoga and bodywork. With over a decade of experience practicing Thai Massage in addition to many other modalities such as Swedish Massage, Reflexology, and Prenatal massage her sessions incorporate a therapeutic blend of techniques based on her intuition and understanding of each individual's needs.

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. Tamara has also completed the Level II Reiki Certification in Jan of 2017 and has been practicing since offering 1 hr Reiki sessions and workshops at Soluna. She is also knowledgeable and experienced in Prenatal massage. 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 12 years. Melissa's first encounter with yoga was in a South Florida gym, after that she fell 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. She wanted to study a type of yoga that had 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. Melissa is currently doing her 300-Hr Teacher Training in Ashtanga, and learning a lot more about Herbalism, Permaculture, and Advance Sanskrit.

Nicole


Nicole has been teaching a variety of yoga styles since 2014 and recently completed her 500-hour certification at the Shala. Yoga to Nicole is more than physical, it is a method of tuning into the self, observing and processing the thoughts, sensations, emotions, and memories that arise as we bring in the light of intentional awareness. Always a student, her hope is to share the physical and emotional healing she's gained from her studies and practice. Yoga is a lifelong journey and Nicole's teaching approach emphasizes therapeutic, mindful movement and breath to keep the body and mind healthy and safe for years to come.

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.

Kristina


Kristina is originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, and is a beach girl at heart. South Florida is where she fell in love with yoga a decade ago. She discovered it just before her TV news career took her away from home. Since then she has had to move every 2-3 years. She’s often had to live in undesirable places far away from her beloved ocean. However, no matter where she went or what crazy overnight shift she was working, yoga was her constant! It continued to offer her grounding, community and a sense of peace no matter where she found herself. In her classes at Soluna she strives to cultivate this same loving and nourishing environment that’s kept her on a healing journey. She has been teaching the gift of yoga for 7 years and received her 200 hour teacher training through the Kripalu Tradition. Kristina has been influenced by many other types of yoga and combines it all with her own creative and unique approach.

Deborah


Deborah has been an Esthetician since 2001, and a yoga teacher since 2014. In 2018 she completed the course and received a certificate in the Y12SR training, Yoga of 12-Step Recovery, a powerful framework for addiction recovery and relapse prevention which allows students to explore an addiction recovery model that connects the dots between the ancient wisdom of yoga, neuroscience breakthroughs, and the practical tools of 12-step programs. Deb has been striving for many years to become more aware and live a clean and sober lifestyle. She started doing yoga in 2009 and has not stopped. It has become a powerful tool in keeping her sober.... Her Mantra in yoga and in life: practice not perfection. As an Esthetician, Deb is able to intuitively guide her clients into a simple homecare routine that will boost the results you receive in the treatment room. She uses products, tricks and treatments that give real results, enhance your natural beauty and won't overwhelm. Deb's mottos is: K.I.S.S.; keep it simple sister! (or brother!). Deborah recently moved back to Jacksonville after many years in Portland, OR and most recently Atlanta, GA. She started her career in the Spa industry in Atlanta, in 2001, and has worked in the Med Spa industry for many years became an Oncology Esthetician in 2013, after receiving training with Touch for Cancer in Vancouver BC. She understands how chronic health issues, hormones, medications, and stress can affect the skin and the body. Deb is available for skin and body care treatments as well as Y12SR classes & private yoga sessions at Soluna Yoga+Spa and is happy to offer input and guidance to meet your unique needs.

Patricia


Patricia has deep love and gratitude for Soluna as the studio where she first experienced yoga therapy classes in 2014, practiced prenatal yoga during her second pregnancy the following year, and completed her 200-hr training with Regenerative Living School in 2017. A mother of two, she is honored to take the torch passed on from Dori and teach Mommy + Me Yoga classes at Soluna. She is also a mental health counselor in private practice specializing in Attachment Theory and is skilled in teaching moms about bonding with their babies to develop secure attachment. A trauma survivor and subsequent body nerd, Patricia has practiced yoga since 2010 as a healing mind-body therapy and brought it full circle with the discovery of the power of private yoga therapy sessions, yoga nidra meditation and a little trick called the psoas release. She teaches it is possible to heal, thrive, and absolutely love your life, and yoga offers one of the paths to get there.