“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.

Crystal - Licensed Massage Therapist


Hello everyone! My name is Crystal, and I have been a massage therapist since 2015. I am originally from Atlanta and have now made Jacksonville my home. What has brought me the most joy of being a Massage Therapist is hearing the clients say “They feel so much better than when they walked in”. I’m certified for Prenatal, Sports, Reflexology and Hot Stone Massage. I am currently working on Thai Massage, Oncology Massage and Lymphatic Drainage. I look forward to many years providing therapeutic bodywork for clients and continuing my education in this field. MA85807

Justin - Licensed Massage Therapist


Justin started her path of holistic healing at a young age. She was involved in a car accident suffering from neck issues and chronic migraines. Her mother scheduled multiple visits for chiropractic and massage therapy. Her vision from healing from pain and traumas continues from the age of 12 as she she was captivated to learn every aspect of massage therapy that could help others with their healing journey. After earning her associates in Massage Therapy Science in 2010 she started her career in the medical industry working at multiple injury clinics and chiropractic offices. With her in depth knowledge of various modalities in her field, some of which include Neuromuscular (trigger point) therapy, Myofascial Decompression with various cupping techniques, gua sha scraping, deep tissue, range of motion release, prenatal massage, and lighter polarity therapies for for autoimmune issues and arthritis. Her therapeutic approach to influence energy flow and restore balance through a healing touch can be felt in your session with her. MA62314

Chey - Licensed Massage Therapist


Chey is a mom, a massage therapist, and crochet enthusiast. Chey knew at a young age she was going to be a massage therapist, and that dream came into fruition when she graduated from the Florida School of Massage in Gainesville in November 2019. As a practicing therapist, she specializes in therapeutic massage, assisting her clients in correcting dysfunction in the muscles that keep them from being able to do their everyday activities. When she’s not massaging, Chey spends time with her daughter, reading, or crocheting ducks and other items for friends and family! MA94332

Nikole - Licensed Massage Therapist


Nikole is a Jacksonville native who is certified in Pilates and licensed in massage therapy in the state of Florida. Graduating from Florida State University in 2019 with her BFA in dance performance studies allowed her to make meaningful connections that lead her to Pilates and yoga practices and eventually, massage. Studying the mind-body-spirit connection through her schooling and her Pilates training has confirmed what she already felt to be true, which is that the physical body is a point of access for one’s entire being. Nikole has always been a dancer and has accessed healing through movement and somatic practices, and is passionate about sharing the joy of movement with everyone she can. Since graduating from the Florida School of Advanced Bodywork for massage, she hopes to facilitate healing during sessions. She loves leading her massage practice with this quote from an unknown source; “Healing is in your hands, though I touch as if to make you whole.” Nikole loves to spend time in nature, playing and being present, where she can appreciate the beauty in every being. MA100272

Matthew - Licensed Massage Therapist


Matthew has returned to Jacksonville after dancing professionally across the world for 16 years. Matthew brings a rare lens to one’s holistic healing journey with a tool bag of certifications, a BA in Dance Pedagogy from Butler University, & teaching professionally for 12 years. His practice; Unwind Freedom focuses in rehabilitative and preventative medicine. His studies began in 2016 in San Francisco at the National Holistic Institute’s Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy Program NMT. In 2023, Matthew premiered his bodywork in Tulum, Mexico with an interdisciplinary holistic center; Qifulness, and with Tulum’s First International Dance Festival. Matthew is a Soft Tissue Specialist committed to helping his client’s pain disappear for good. His matrix of modalities includes full rehabilitation from chronic and acute pain with Structural Energetic Therapy, Active Isolated Stretching & Strengthening, Advanced Emotional Release Breath Work, and Microcurrent Neurostimulation Scar Tissue Release. He is thrilled to finally be home in Duval to share his passions for bodywork at Soluna.

Elizabeth - Yoga Teacher + Ayurvedic Consultant


Elizabeth Henrichsen is an Experienced Yoga Instructor, having received her RYT Yoga Teacher Certification 240 hours with Highest Distinction from Himalayan Yoga Academy, Rishikesh, India and 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, Kerala, India. She is a Professional Yoga Wellness Instructor, Level 2, designated by the Yoga Certification Board, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. Elizabeth completed Yin Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga University of Florida and is a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Instructor. She has trained in Trauma Informed Yoga Teaching with Yoga4Change and is a Certified Specialized Advanced Pranayama Teacher and Yoga Nidra Teacher through Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Nasik, India, where she also received her Yoga Philosophy Psychology Certification. Elizabeth received her Diploma in Yoga Therapy from the esteemed Yoga Vidya Gurukul in Nasik, India, where she interned with Yoga Therapy patients. At Kerala Ayurveda Academy in Kerala, India, Elizabeth completed the Primary Awareness Course in Ayurveda and an Intensive Training Program on Ayurvedic Diet and Women Care, learning theoretical and practical aspects. She is a Certified Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Consultant from American Institute of Vedic Studies, taught by Dr. David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri). Through conducting Yoga Teacher Training Courses in association with Yoga Vidya Gurukul, Elizabeth educates participants holistically in the teachings, practices and wisdom of Yoga. Elizabeth facilitates retreats in the USA and India. Elizabeth believes Yoga is accessible to all and joyfully teaches a variety of forms of Yoga to people of all ages, levels, and conditions. Elizabeth’s group Yoga classes are energetically balanced, allowing students to develop physically while focusing on breath awareness and meditation to create happiness in daily life. She conducts private Yoga classes; provides individual Yoga Therapy for management of common conditions and diseases. She offers basic Ayurvedic lifestyle consultations with an emphasis on diet, daily routine as well as yoga asana (physical practice), pranayama (breath practice) and meditation guidance. Through an integrative approach, she seeks to link the ancient wisdoms of Yoga and Ayurveda to create and maintain balance in each individual. Elizabeth has been practicing yoga since 2004. Her study, practice, life experience and Yoga masters have guided her toward sharing Yoga and Ayurveda with others. She honors her teachers and appreciates the teacher in every student.

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 has over 800 hours of yoga training, studying several styles and lineages of yoga with multiple teachers including the world renowned Kamini Desai of the Amrit Yoga Institute. She teaches weekly yoga therapy classes, workshops and yoga nidra meditation classes. Along with being a certified yoga instructor Sonya is a yoga therapy facilitator, yoga nidra facilitator, level 2 reiki practitioner and a certified life coach. Throughout her time at Soluna Sonya has dropped over 70 pounds, weaned off of all prescription medications, let go of harsh self-criticism and has learned to cope with major depressive disorder, severe anxiety and CPTSD stemming from a history of complex trauma. She credits the majority of her success to the practice of yoga therapy- which involves an intense focus on sensation to help release emotional pain trapped in the body. Having overcome these physical and emotional challenges Sonya wants to help people find their truth and to understand that they are much more than what their minds and others tell them they are. When Sonya is not teaching yoga classes or offering private sessions you can find her in the fields as part of the Juicy Roots Farm Collective. She and her partner are co-owners of Be Well Greens Company; a microgreens and produce farm growing ethical and sustainable greens for the Northeast Florida area. She is also the mother of two amazing daughters, two chickens and a sweet baby boy kitty. Sonya is humbly privileged to be able to share these life changing practices with you. She is available for private yoga therapy and yoga nidra 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 PE 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 from the native lands of Timicua, now known as Jacksonville, FL and is a full time School Counselor in Duval County. She is 500 Hr RYT teaching yoga at Soluna Yoga and Spa 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 has experienced trainings with Baron Baptiste, the founder of Baptiste Yoga and James Fox with Prison Yoga project. She has also co-led trauma informed yoga trainings with Yoga 4 Change, and facilitated a training for trauma informed yoga in the classroom for Teach For America. She has recently become a mother to her first child.

Sam B. - Yoga Teacher


Sam is a yoga teacher, Reiki master and IET 1 practitioner with a bachelors degree in psychology. After a back injury and a life changing trip to Bali, she realized that the mind-body connection was exactly what she needed to begin healing from the pain and grief that was holding her back in life. This healing journey led her to completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2018. Sam loves to teach all levels vinyasa, slow flow, and yoga nidra meditation. Her intention is to create a safe environment for you to be comfortable just as you are, so that you feel free to express yourself through movement, breath and/or emotion. In her classes you can expect breathwork, mindful movement, visualization and a juicy savasana!

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.

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.’

Shyenne - Yoga Teacher


Shyenne’s yoga journey began in 2013, after discovering an ad for a local yoga studio. Four years after a life changing car accident, she was hoping to find relief from long term injuries and connect with a spiritual community. Upon taking her first class, she was immediately intrigued by the mind-body connection and physical challenges yoga had to offer. After two years of a consistent practice, she was amazed at the healing benefits of yoga and became eager to deepen her knowledge. In 2015 she found herself on her first solo, international flight to Costa Rica. She spent the next two months traveling and completing her 200 hour teacher training. Although trained in an alignment-based/hatha practice, a mindful vinyasa flow is her favorite style to lead. Her class invites you to flow, sweat, play and find your balance between effort and ease. Outside of the yoga studio, you can find her exploring nature, floating in a spring, dancing to live music and rollerskating.

Kayla - Yoga Teacher


Consumed with depression and anxiety at the age of 20, Kayla stumbled into a yoga class one Sunday in 2015 with a coupon for a free class and a world of baggage. All it took was 90 minutes of vinyasa to teach Kayla that her life was more than sitting behind a desk and trying not to be noticed. Yoga became a salvation for Kayla, where she ventured out of her comfort zone and into a world of self-care and self-realization. Kayla began teaching yoga in 2016. She has studied primarily in Jacksonville and in Bali, completing her 500-hour teacher training in 2017. Kayla expanded her teaching to prenatal yoga in 2019, opening a new door for personal and spiritual growth. In her free time, Kayla enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and spending time with her dog, Lobo.

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.

Spencer - Yoga Teacher


Spencer began practicing yoga in 2017. At first yoga was a way for her to get some relief from aches and pains, after dealing with years of lingering pain from doing competitive cheerleading growing up for 15 years. However, it quickly became a way of life and a much needed outlet for her to get grounded outside of her career in corporate finance and commercial broking. After five years of practicing yoga regularly, she pursued her 200 RYT yoga teacher training. Since becoming a yoga instructor, Spencer loves to teach classes that are full of fun vibes, lots of power and the perfect balance of peace. Spencer’s goal in teaching is to help every yogi feel a little lighter and fuller than when he/she/they entered the studio. She’s a proud mama to her vibrant daughter, wife to her husband, Tad, and owner of an awesome Irish Setter, Scout. She hopes to see you on the mat soon!