“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, 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 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 + Co-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. 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 feel good about 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 its 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. She cannot wait to practice her art of massage in a new space and help be a part of a community raising the vibration.

Colette - Massage Therapist

Colette has been passionate about healing through touch her whole life. Since the age of 7, she has been attentively working on family and friends, fascinated by the mysteries of the musculoskeletal system. After being told all her life to be a practitioner, she finally decided to attend the Florida School of Advanced Bodywork. She looks at the body from a physiological standpoint; Heavily focused on healing through posture correction, myofascial release and trigger point therapy. Her approach is to release emotional and physical trauma through attention to deep and often ignored muscle groups. She also practices as a Clinical Bodyworker and is looking forward to learning and growing as a therapist for many years to come.

Brandy - Massage Therapist

Brandy has always been passionate about remaining connected to life’s calling and using that passion to serve others. At 29, she decided to channel her experiences into becoming a massage therapist and enrolled at the Alpha School of Massage. Brandy’s approach is based on an understanding of the body’s incredible ability to heal itself. She focuses on actively collaborating with her clients and meeting them where they're at in order to help them achieve their personal wellness goals. Brandy believes in encouraging clients to listen to their body’s needs through posture correction, positive affirmations, and conscious work with the musculoskeletal system. Brandy loves to find and release areas of tension, push your body's reset button through stretch and contact techniques, and resolve your body’s tension through deep tissue massage. When she is away from work, Brandy spends her time adventuring with her fiancé and their dogs. Her life motto is: “To stay kind, committed to love, and free in my authenticity. To encourage others to be their best self. To be inspired by the distance between where I am and where I want to be."

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.

Tamara D. - Yoga Teacher

Tamara is honored to be part of the Soluna family. The practice of yoga initiated a deep sense of peace within her and a calling to help others. Tamara was inspired to complete her massage therapy training in 2004 from Southeastern School of Neuromuscular and Massage Therapy in Jacksonville. Her training has since expanded to include Reiki, Myofascial Release Approach, Thai massage, and Reflexology. She also offers Ayurvedic services, such as Abhyanga and Shirodhara, at the Amrit Yoga Institute in Salt Springs, Fl. In 2013, Tamara fulfilled her heart's desire to share the ancient practice of yoga, earning her RYT 200 in Jaya Yoga at Flow Yoga in Hood River, Or. She is now also certified to teach Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, Integrative Amrit Method of Yoga Therapy and Yoga Nidra. She teaches Kid’s Yoga for CEW at Trinity Lutheran Church as well. Tamara graduated with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of North Florida and continues to expand her knowledge in well-being. Confident she is living her life’s purpose to help others graciously live theirs.

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.

Hannah - Yoga Teacher

For Hannah, yoga has been an important tool of self-discovery, expression and change. Her own growth through yoga, meditation and embodiment practices spurred a longing to share these tools with others. Since her 200-hour YTT in 2016, she has continued studying and experimenting in various modalities. She is a Functional Range Conditioning mobility specialist, is trained and experienced in teaching adaptive yoga to those with varying disabilities and earned her 500-hour certification through Heart + Bones yoga of Toronto. In 2018 she studied Embodied Yoga Principles (EYP) in Brighton, UK with founder Mark Walsh and became the very first person in the North American continent to be certified in EYP. This psychologically deep approach to yoga focuses on working through the body to gain personal insight and build skills to change your life. She is currently earning her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Jacksonville University. Hannah integrates all of her studies to bring modern movement science and psychological inquiry into her classes and private sessions to increase the individual’s awareness, access potential, and build resilience at the physical and emotional levels. Her creative style of teaching emphasizes self-awareness, curiosity, empowerment, and playfulness. Hannah is most passionate about bridging the gap between practice on the yoga mat and what happens in real life.

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, the studio manager at Soluna Yoga + Spa, 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 recently 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.

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

Samantha - Yoga Teacher

Samantha was initially drawn to yoga for its physical benefits, but what made her fall deeply in love with the practice were the mental and spiritual shifts she experienced. With a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling, as a Reiki Master and Transformational Wellness Advocate, her Amrit Yoga training complements her purpose and set of tools to help you make an impact in your life. Driven by the desire to help and work with others, and with the strong belief that we can all create a life we feel passionate about, Samantha decided to dedicate her life to support others to ignite their transformation. A proud graduate of Amrit YTT. Samantha also has completed Amrit Method Yoga Therapy training. As a result, she has a deep understanding of the energetics of yoga. She now considers yoga to be a ‘work-in’ as opposed to just a ‘work-out.’ The physical aspect of the practice is the gateway to a deeper connection with one’s true nature. Samantha is a self-professed lifetime learner and strives to continually grow and refine her daily practice and her teaching. Her next great adventure will be to study Amrit’s Yoga Nidra in India in February. Samantha aims to offer classes that provide students with the opportunity to transform themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. Through mindful movements, conscious breathing, and yogic philosophy, students will have the opportunity to move toward a deeper sense of stability, peace, and calm. Samantha strives to embody the essence of yoga both on and off the mat and encourages her students to do the same. She is thrilled and delighted to be a part of the teaching team at Soluna.

Vaneshia - Yoga Teacher

Vaneshia is a Jacksonville native. She began practicing yoga in 2015 due to having a severe case of scoliosis and found transformation, enlightenment and healing that developed her spiritual journey. She found a piece of peace and began sharing it with her community by teaching classes in the park and hosting yoga events throughout Jacksonville, FL. Seeking progression in her practice and teaching style, she completed her 200 YTT in Spring 2019 and became certified in Ashtanga Yoga. Vaneshia considers herself a permanent student of life and yoga, learning from both her practice and her students. She has a passion for sharing the peace, love and connection yoga helped her cultivate within her life. She is excited to share her passion with the Soluna Yoga Community. Her teaching style is a mix of mind body and gentle vinyasa with a focus on breath transition and flow. She seeks to help students find a deeper connection to self and the Universe we occupy by combining ancient yoga wisdom and metaphysical connection. Vaneshia loves all things natural, especially the beach! When she's not teaching yoga, she's traveling, spending time with family, and studying herbalism. She is available for private sessions.

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.

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.