“Our need to connect is as fundamental
as our need for food or water.”

-Matthew Lieberman, PhD

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, Founder 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 a Therapeutic approach to Yoga and Well Being.

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 cultivate a heart-centered space that raises the frequency of love.

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

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

·      Our studio and spa cleanliness is held in the highest regard.

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

·      We stand against racism and bigotry of any kind and it is not tolerated at our studio.

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

·      Moving with intention and all styles and lineages of Yoga are honored.

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

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

Our Team

Dori - Yoga Teacher + Founder


Florida native Dori Thomsen, is the Co-Founder of Soluna Yoga+Spa with her husband Christian Thomsen. Dori is a 500 Hour experienced Yoga Teacher. Her yoga practice began in 2000 but took flight in 2010 becoming certified to teach by Paula Tursi in Guatemala. She has advancing her studies, immersing herself in the practice in yoga schools from India to Costa Rica and in the USA. The doors to Soluna Yoga+Spa opened in December of 2014. Dori and Christian spent 5 years living abroad in Costa Rica before rooting down in Jacksonville, FL. Living in Central America taught them the value of community, slowing down, connecting to nature, and having a yoga & meditation practice. They opened Soluna Yoga+Spa as a mini oasis and retreat center to share these values. You can find Dori teaching classes and workshops at Soluna and leading Yoga Retreats and Prenatal Yoga Teacher Trainings in Jacksonville & Costa Rica. When Dori is not at Soluna, she enjoys spending time traveling with her family, gardening, and pressing pause.

Christian - Co-Founder


Christian and Dori opened Soluna in 2014, as not only a means for a vocation but also as a vehicle to raise the frequency of Love in the community with a place the people can come to connect and make time for themselves. His journey to the East originated as a youth growing up in New Orleans with the practice of Karate while earning a Black Belt. He was introduced to Yoga in college in Jacksonville and his practice chrystalized while living in Costa Rica for 5 years. Yoga to him is a journey to the center of oneself in order to realize Oneness with all beings and things in the Universe. And anticipates when the practice of Yoga becomes not so intimidating to the population at large. He believes a simple 30 minutes per day of asana, pranayama, and meditation does wonders for the feelings of happiness, balance, joy, acceptance, and gratitude in life. The focal point of Christian’s world is his family, and his daughter, Olive, is the light in his eyes. Christian also dabbles as a singer/songwriter with his musical project SPARS and has had a passion for the sport of golf since boyhood. His inspiration is nature in all her forms.

Nicolette - Massage Therapist


Nicolette began her journey into wellness in 2014 when she graduated with her Massage Certification from the Florida State College in Jacksonville. She began her practice working at a premier spa in Key West, Florida. Nicolette has had the honor to heal people from around the world who were on vacation visiting the Southernmost Point. Nicolette believes there is a huge consciousness shift happening in the world today and is inspired to bring healing through the art of massage. She uses a myriad range of modalities from Thai Massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Trigger Point, and Swedish to reach maximum relaxation; allowing for an opportunity to be truly present in the Now. Her goal is to leave you feeling lighter physically, mentally, and emotionally. She sets intentions before every massage to allow in more love and light to enter the room. When she is not massaging clients she is out chasing the stars with her son, Orion. They love being adventurous and exploring all Jacksonville has to offer, especially the beach! She is excited and blessed to be a part of the Soluna family. MA81890

Sammi - Massage Therapist + Yoga Teacher


As a high school student, Sammi played team sports year-round, teaching her the importance of self-care at an early age. Sammi began her journey as a healer with her decision to major in Psychology at UNF. After procuring her Bachelors, she began to work in high-stress service industry jobs while searching for her life's purpose. Through therapy and healing her own anxiety and depression, Sammi found herself drawn back to her passion for helping others heal. She began school at Alpha School of Massage at age 29 and realized that massage was the life purpose she had been looking for all along. Through her studies, she believes that trauma, stress and emotions bury themselves in our muscles. With her relaxing energy and empathetic nature she is driven to helping the body heal itself mentally and physically by helping each person lower stress, create healthier routines and set intentional boundaries. In massage, she concentrates on relaxation, deep tissue, and pain management modalities. She hopes to help facilitate healing through energy work and trigger-point release therapies in the near future. She is excited to further her education in Reiki and Kinesthesiology to practice additional holistic approaches to healing and wellness. MA97084

Christine - Massage Therapist


Christine began experiencing the power of the mind-body connection and it’s importance to wellness at an early age, which ultimately guided her into becoming a massage therapist. She studied dance for most of her life and began practicing yoga during her college years. She was a member of FSCJ’s dance company, and graduated from UNF with a Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology. Christine is naturally empathetic and has always felt drawn to the healthcare field, but struggled to find where she fit in until she pursued massage therapy at Alpha School of Massage. To her, bodywork aligns perfectly with her passions and values. She can’t think of anything better than to help her community heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. Through therapeutic and deep tissue massage, she hopes to ease the body, which will ease the mind, and help reduce the stress, anxiety, and depression that so many struggle with. In her spare time you can find Christine enjoying life with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. She also loves to travel, practice photography, paddle the springs, and connect with nature. MA99518

Holly - Massage Therapist


Meet Holly! She is a Kentucky transplant now rooted here in Jacksonville since 2017. Her passion is everything “massage” and overall well-being of one self. She would describe her massage technique as therapeutically well rounded with a soothing & gentle touch. She is well versed in Therapeutic massage, Sports massage, and Prenatal massage. Holly graduated from massage school in 2013 from Spencerian College, in Louisville, Ky. While living in Kentucky, she worked with the University of Louisville's Swim and Football teams offering Sports & Therapeutic Massage. In Holly's spare time, she spends as much of it with her 2 year old granddaughter and also enjoys sitting on the shoreline with her fishing pole in hand. MA85319

Courtland - Massage Therapist


Courtland is a Clinical Neuromuscular specialist, Clinical Massage Therapist, Touch for Health Specialist & Reiki Master. A second-generation bodyworker from Canada, Graduating from Florida School of Advanced Bodywork. His passion is a holistic whole-body approach, body, mind, and spirit. Utilizing Structural bodywork, neuromuscular massage, myofascial release & other techniques to correct postural distortions, managing and resolving significant chronic pain, posture and dysfunction issues. Treating issues like, frozen shoulder, poor posture, disc-related issues, trigger points or referred pain, plantar fasciitis, sport-related injuries, etc. Courtland works with the mind-body connection further with Touch for Health “Energetic Muscle Bio-feedback sessions.” A system of balancing posture, attitude/perspectives, and life energy. Touch for Health is a concise, hands-on health maintenance system utilizing the postural and energetic balancing techniques of applied kinesiology in a holistic, non-diagnostic model of wellness. MA98858

Elizabeth - Yoga Teacher + Ayurvedic Consultant


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. She has trained in Trauma Informed Yoga Teaching with Yoga4Change. Elizabeth received her Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India, where she interned with Yoga Therapy patients. Through workshops and master classes, she has studied Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Power, Kundalini, Acro, Chair, Trauma Informed Yoga and Yin Yoga as well as Ayurveda and Yoga Therapy study. Elizabeth’s group Yoga 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 has studied with numerous esteemed Yoga teachers throughout the world. Elizabeth received a BA in Journalism from New York University. She lives in Jacksonville, FL with her husband, has two children and a sweet dog. In addition to yoga, she is passionate about Ayurveda and travel and she has working knowledge of Spanish. Elizabeth believes yoga can be accessible to all. She honors her teachers and appreciates the teacher in every student. Elizabeth also conducts private Yoga classes, provides individual Yoga Therapy for management of common conditions and diseases and offers private Ayurvedic consultations.

Victoria - Yoga Teacher


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.

Sonya - Yoga Teacher


Having experienced a great personal and spiritual transformation with yoga, Sonya is eager to share her message of hope with others. Sonya completed her 200-hour CYT training through Tara Rawson’s Regenerative Living School. She teaches gentle/restorative yoga classes that are spiritually and mentally aligned with a focus on breath and meditation. Sonya also credits much of her success to yoga therapy, which involves an intense focus on sensation to help release emotional pain trapped in the body – Sonya completed her Amrit Method Yoga Therapy training and is excited to be offering this life changing practice with others. In her time at Soluna, Sonya has dropped 70 pounds, weaned off medications, let go of harsh self-criticism and learned to cope with anxiety, depression from complex trauma. Having overcome these physical and emotional challenges, she wants to help people find their truth and to understand they are more than what their minds, and others, tell them they are. Sonya is earning a bachelor’s degree in human services at FSCJ and has enrolled in professional life coaching courses. She is available for private yoga therapy sessions at Soluna.

Tamara B. - Yoga Teacher


Tamara found herself on the mat for the first in 2012 at Ananda Kula with an Ashtanga class. Little did she know the transformative effect yoga would have on her body, mind, and spirit. Initially, she relied heavily on her flexibility to get through a class but soon realized that can lead to strained muscles and injury. So, Tamara shifted her focus on the mat to proper alignment and breath, and soon thereafter felt many of the residual benefits of yoga: mental clarity, patience, and a better sense of self and others. As a Regenerative Living School 300RYT and a Yoga Den 200RYT, Tamara is excited to share her insight and experience with those she encounters. Aside from yoga, she is an elementary art teacher who loves the outdoors. She is often found hiking the Florida Trail and paddling Florida's waterways with her husband, Will.

Roslyn - Yoga Teacher


Roslyn was intrigued by Yoga due to becoming stressed at work and inflexible sitting at a desk all day. She has been practicing for over 20 years now. Roslyn noticed physical changes after about 3 classes and eventually found a calm, zen-like, one pointed focus during her practice. She has over 500 hours of training and certifications as well as taught over 1000 hours of classes. Her favorite aspect of yoga is simply moving the body with the flow of breath. One of her many mottos is to “let the breath lead and the body follow, like a dance”. Sometimes we can take ourselves too seriously so allowing a bit of humor, creativity and exploration in our practice proves to be a nice re-set for the spirit. In her opinion, yoga is not solely about a headstand or touching your toes but more about being mindful, calm, objective, in-the-present-moment. Quieting the mind to help reduce stress, distractions and anxiety as well as strengthen the body to help with balance, flexibility and agility. Roslyn’s flow classes are creative and unique. Her stretch and Yin classes are deep and rich. She encourages students to use a variety of modifications and adjustments along the way to really make their practice their own - allowing the movement, poses and stretches to evolve organically from within. This is important since we come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and have varied levels of strength and flexibility.

Nicole - Yoga Teacher


Nicole has had a long-time passion for teaching and helping others. Her yoga practice began in 2005. She recently completed her 500-hour certification training through Regenerative Living School. Nicole loves to hold space for others and cultivate a sense of community. She enjoys teaching classes that are playful, challenging, and accessible. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, being in nature and reading.

Jayme - Yoga Teacher


Jayme is a Jacksonville native and full time School Counselor in Duval County. She is 500 Hr RYT teaching yoga at different studios in Jacksonville and to people experiencing incarceration in Duval and Clay Counties through the nonprofit, Yoga 4 Change. Her foundation as a yoga instructor was originally in vinyasa and has expanded into trauma informed yoga, restorative, yin, and Yoga Nidra. Jayme also loves theatre and her pup, Baloo.

Brenda Jo - Yoga Teacher


In 2014, Brenda Jo's son, who was taking yoga as an elective in college, encouraged her to try yoga. Memorial Day weekend she entered the Ananda Kula yoga studio and took not one, but three classes that weekend, all led by Dori Thomsen. The experience of that weekend fueled her curiosity to dive deeper into the practice. She held a consistent practice by attending Dori’s Wednesday night classes every week. Soluna opened their doors that year and Brenda became a Zen member of the studio attending and exploring all the classes on the schedule regularly. The Soluna community is a loving community where Brenda Jo grew in her practice and opened her mind to new ideas and practices. These transformations led Brenda Jo to take the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training through Tara Rawson’s Regenerative Living School in 2019 offered at Soluna, which she graduated from in July 2020. 2021 Brenda Jo felt the call to add Prenatal & Postnatal Training with Dori to her portfolio. She has been part of the Soluna family since Soluna opened and has now grown into not only being a member, but a teacher at the studio. Brenda Jo is a proud boy mom of Taylor who is a US Naval Officer and she is a dog mom of Millie, a Jack Russell Pointer mix. Off the mat, Brenda Jo’s 9 to 5 is being a Project Manager at Florida Blue. She loves reading, cooking, football and spending time with her family and friends.

Carmen - Yoga Teacher


Carmen started yoga in 2011, when her sister invited her to a class at Ananda Kula. Little did she know, these first steps on the mat would lead her down an amazing journey. After having postpartum depression and suffering the loss of her father, she went back to yoga to help cope with the stress. When Carmen lost her father, she felt she needed positive direction and somewhere to focus her energies. She continued practicing Yoga and it lead to completing her first 200 hours of Yoga teacher training with Tara Rawson, in May of 2019. Shortly after her training, she was guided to becoming a certified Doula which she accomplished in 2020. After going to several births, she finally understood more about the connection between movement in the body during pregnancy and breath work. So she decided to advance her yoga education and became a Prenatal/ Postpartum Yoga teacher. She stated: ‘I never felt better until all the pieces were put together.’

Samantha G. - Yoga Teacher


Samantha is a RYT 200, Birth and Postpartum Doula, Reiki I & II practitioner, and mom of 5 kids. From a young age she had an interest in yoga, using it to find peace and stillness during stressful times in her life. Her practice was deepened after the birth of her fourth son, and this is when it became clear that bringing yoga to others was her calling. The Universe finally aligned and she was able to take a training shortly after the birth of her fifth son. Since graduating, Samantha has enjoyed teaching yoga to children in a local community outreach program, holding popup classes in local parks, and even bringing yoga into a local elementary school for a day! In her free time she can be found homeschooling her kids, going to Disney, and cooking or baking cakes.

Kelly - Yoga Teacher


Kelly has practiced yoga for over ten years. While at an Ayurvedic retreat she was told by several people that she should become a yoga instructor. The universe aligned and brought her to Soluna Yoga+Spa and Tara Rawson’s Metamorphosis Yoga Teacher Training. Kelly has completed her 200-hour and 300-hour training with Tara through her Regenerative Living School. Kelly is a pediatric palliative care physician by day and has a deep and personal experience with the benefits of yoga as a healing art. She is excited to teach Vinyasa Yoga at Soluna Yoga+Spa with a focus of yoga as medicine for the body and mind.

Ashley - Yoga Teacher


Ashley is a licensed physical therapist assistant with a Bachelor's degree in health sciences. She fell in love with yoga during college as a means of healing from physical injuries as well as emotional traumas. She dedicated herself to a regular yoga practice and transformed her body, mind, and spirit. In 2020 she got her 200hr teacher training at Yoga Den of Jacksonville to help others find the love of yoga for themselves. One month later she found out she was pregnant…Thank you COVID-19 quarantine! Having a true understanding of yoga allowed her to not only maintain a healthy practice throughout pregnancy but also into postpartum, even having had an unplanned c-section. She then went on to get certified in prenatal, postnatal, and mommy & me yoga with Dori at Soluna Yoga & Spa! She feels that everything happens for a reason and that her story and background has equipped her to reach ALL people with the gift of yoga; To help people discover themselves and learn to listen to their bodies and minds in a whole new light. Ashley’s goal is to teach others the art, practice, and devotion of yoga both on the mat and within their daily lives. Join her on this beautiful journey.