“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 + 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 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. She cannot wait to practice her art of massage in a new space and help be a part of a community raising the vibration.

Alex - Massage Therapist

Alex began his journey of massage therapy with an extensive knowledge and passion for movement. At a young age his interests grew heavy in dance and gymnastics, later venturing into contortion and aerial arts in Montreal. After countless years training, teaching, and competing, he realized self-care had been low on his priority list. With Alex's deep connection to emotion and energy, combined with personal fulfillment to heal, massage therapy was his guiding light. After completing Alpha School of Massage, the paths merged and his craft began to flourish. Alex believes his skill set and gentle nature will harness healing throughout the community.

Sammi - Massage Therapist

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.

Alice - Massage Therapist

Alice graduated from Florida School of Massage in Summer of 2013 and has since taken her love of raising the collective frequencies through touch and sound all over the country. With a certification from Bodhi Sangha School of Thai Massage, she has an Ayurvedic centered practice that offers a wide range of modalities from the table to the mat including Thai Yoga, Thai Foot Reflexology, Neuromuscular Therapy and Swedish relaxing massage. In her time away from the spa, Alice focuses on raising her two sons independently, healing dance & all of the time in nature's rebalancing & healing energies she can.

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.

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.

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.

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 200-hour certification training through Regenerative Living School and is currently in the 300-hour training. 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.

Corey - Yoga Teacher

Corey has been a practicing Yogi since 2005. Her practice initially started when she got diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a doctor recommended daily yoga to help with chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms she struggled with. Frustrated that she could hardly even touch her toes in her condition, she began practicing at home here and there until she moved to Austin TX from Massachusetts in 2014 and started practicing every single day at local donation studios. She quickly fell so in love with the way yoga made her feel, the community, & the varieties of yoga she was introduced to. In 2016 she had the opportunity to further her goals and took her yoga training at Sukha Yoga in ATX. She is currently a 200 hour certified yoga instructor, personal trainer and forever student always eager to learn more. She enjoys teaching classes that are playful, challenging, and accessible. She hopes to further her training with yoga therapy so she can continue to help others who struggle with similar symptoms to help them find what feels good in their own body to get relief. As someone who suffers from fibromyalgia, chronic pain and all the symptoms that tag along, she learned that yoga is an unending discovery of self-awareness and self-discovery. Most importantly, yoga taught her to listen to her body and respect it’s conditions. Corey believes that anyone can practice yoga, and everyone should, you just have to find the style that is right for you! In her free time you can find her sipping kava at Wildcrafters, at the beach with her boyfriend, friends and 3 dogs or saving foster pups through our local dog rescue Hope for Pits. Corey is honored and excited to be a part of the Soluna family.

Christie - Yoga Teacher

Christie is a celebrated Holistic Health Coach, Yoga & SUP Yoga Instructor passionate about empowering her community to live a healthy, balanced life which incorporates individualized functional nutrition, yoga and healthy lifestyle habits. Christie’s inspirational style of teaching yoga is rooted in ashtanga and vinyasa style flow. Her style emphasizes the fusion of alignment, balance, strength and breath, while encouraging her students to remain intuitive and playful as they grow in their practice. She will encourage you to own your practice and to explore the capabilities of your uniqueness. Christie believes that yoga is an influential path to personal discovery and that the practice can serve as a teacher, leading one to their full potential. She also believes, "Yoga has the ability to reveal many deep rooted secrets within the practitioner. It is an exciting and fulfilling journey!" When Christie is not counseling, interpreting labs, teaching or guiding others into a healthy, balanced life, she enjoys connecting with nature. She loves to hike, mountain bike, ski and paddle board her four children, ages 10 to 20. She feels blessed to be alive and well and to have a career that serves herself and others.

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 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.