Instructors

NANCY SESSOMS, OWNER

Nancy believes that each class belongs to the participant. She cultivates an atmosphere where each individual is challenged, yet comfortable, in his or her poses. She understands that every person is unique and that there are many reasons for participating in yoga.

Whether it is to improve one’s overall health, for socialization, or to find those pockets of tranquility in a busy life, she is there to help guide you along your path as you discover yoga’s healing powers and what it means to you.

Nancy received her 200-hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher Designation with Yoga Alliance) in April of 2013 and has been teaching ever since. She received her E-RYT 200 designation in July, 2017 and completed her 300-hour advanced teacher training to receive her RYT 500 designation in December 2018. Nancy is certified by Dr. Loren Fishman to teach his 12 pose program for osteoporosis.

As a third generation scoliotic child, with a moderate “S” curve, Nancy started floor exercise early in her life to keep her back and body strong. After running track in high school and continuing on for several decades thereafter, she found that her maturing body yearned for a physical workout program without the repetitive impact to her spine.

Nancy began practicing yoga in 2006 by watching the instructional yoga television series Namaste Yoga. From there, she found an instructor whose style she enjoyed and attended yoga classes on a regular basis eventually deciding to pursue teacher training. Her decision came at a critical point in her life. After losing her beloved mother who had been her cheerleader through life, Nancy needed to find a way to restore her inner strength. Yoga has provided her a means to regain strength and improve balance in her life physically, mentally and spiritually. In 2018 she was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Since yoga has been proven to slow or reverse the effects of bone loss, another personal purpose for yoga has surfaced.

Nancy grew up in Two Rivers, Wisconsin. She earned a business degree from CNU and retired from NASA after 35 years with the Federal Government. She is a wife and mother and currently resides in Gloucester with her very supportive husband and three wonderful four-footed beings.

NICHOLE KNOTT

Nichole completed her 200-hour teacher training under Anne Van Valkenburg through yogaworks in Richmond. She worked as a paramedic for many years in the critical care transport field and in ER at Cape Fear North Carolina. Nichole is a runner and practices yoga to create a space to be still and anchored to the present while cultivating physical strength and flexibility: The perfect practice to support whatever she’s doing.

Nichole teaches to provide a safe space for others to find how yoga can benefit each student's individual needs. Nichole passionately believes everybody can access the mental, physical, and spiritual elements of yoga to achieve balanced energy, a healthy challenge, and good fun.

Her degree in communication studies has enhanced her talent of articulating instructions so that each student can easily understand.

APRIL WOBKEN

April was introduced to yoga in 2011 by her mother as a idea to help with her scoliosis-induced pain. She started off slowly but as her practice became more consistent she noticed that her constant lower back pain greatly diminished. Yoga also added spiritual, emotional, and physical benefits to her life. These benefits inspired her to teach and she completed her 200-hour teacher training at Hot Yoga and Massage in Newport News.

April feels that there is much to be learned about the spiritual aspect of yoga such as: breath work, chakra work and meditation. Becoming more aware of the senses can bring great peace to the student's mind. She offers variations for the poses and encourages the student to choose what feels best. Yoga is her passion as it has greatly touched her life. April strives to share yoga's benefits with others. April is currently attending University of Mary Washington.

DANNA KELLEY

Danna completed her 200-hour teacher training in 2014 under Kristie Reid-Barton at It's Yoga! Studio in Greenville, South Carolina. She has completed additional yoga training and is a Yoga For All certified instructor. Her original goal was to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits of yoga and improve her practice. This knowledge inspired her to share the power and benefits of yoga with others.

Danna believes that yoga is for everyone, every shape, size, age and background. She teaches to ensure everyone has the opportunity to experience the power of yoga to calm the mind, relax and strengthen the body.

Danna has lived throughout the Southern U.S. including Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor and a Master degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She currently lives in Gloucester.

JOE BEAUFAIT

Joe began his yoga journey as his weight neared 400 pounds. Unable to withstand high impact forms of exercise he turned to something gentler but challenging - Vinyasa yoga. After 5 years of practice and losing over 100 pounds, he was called to undergo the teaching curriculum at Yandara Institute in Baja, Mexico, where he completed his 200-hour teacher training. Joe is in the process of completing his 300-hour teacher training.

Joe quickly learned that he loved to teach. Now 125 pounds lighter than when he started, Joe has a unique perspective of the challenges that can face a yoga student along their path and endeavors to make yoga accessible to all.

GRETCHEN BROWN

Gretchen has lived in Gloucester for almost 30 years. She raised her children here and continues to expand her small farm, lovingly known as Brown Acres. Here she raises chickens, grows organic fruits and vegetables, and spends time hiking with her two dogs, Leroy and Buster.

Gretchen began her yoga practice at home almost 20 years ago as a compliment to her running. It became an integral part of her healthy lifestyle. Having never attended a formal class, Gretchen decided she was ready to deepen her understanding of yoga and enrolled in the teacher training program at Zenya Yoga Academy, where she completed her 200-hour teacher training in May of 2017. There she fell in love with all aspects of yoga and has committed to a life long study. In January 2019 she completed the 300-hour advanced training to receive her RYT 500 designation . She plans to continue education through workshops and classes so that she is able to bring the benefits of yoga to all populations. One of Gretchen's favorite quotes: "If you can breathe, you can do yoga."

PAULA STEFANIC

Paula is a wife and mother, who found herself home schooling her youngest child with special needs. Over time her teaching grew to include small groups of local teens with special needs. With a very blessed, but busy life, her love of fitness came later in life and only after a doctor’s warning. Exercise turned out to be a much needed piece of the puzzle for not only improved physical health, but also mental/spiritual health.

Her very first class in her fitness journey was an Iyengar Yoga class. And her passion for yoga has only increased. It is not too surprising that eventually her calling of teaching and love of fitness crossed paths. Over the past hand full of years, Paula has completed more than a dozen certifications in many areas and is teaching a variety of fitness classes.

It is with great excitement that she is going to be teaching the first barre class in our area. Barre is a fusion class that mixes some of her greatest loves all into one challenging yet fun class. Her belief that physical and mental/spiritual health are equally important has led to a strong passion for all things yoga. Her education and experience have led her to believe that just as the body, mind, and spirit are equally important, cardiovascular fitness, strength training, and flexibility are all equally important when it comes to her fitness regime. She has a strong interest in core work and body weight exercises along with a special interest in teaching special populations. She believes the key to enjoying fitness is to let your inner child come out to play.

GALINA MACKEY

Galina was born and raised in Russia. As a child she found herself doing random poses in which she would find peace. She would find the highest point she could find, interlace her arms and legs and balance in peace. Later in life she discovered that all those poses were yoga poses and her favorite pose at that time was the Eagle.

Galina received her RYT 200–hour teacher training at Zenya Yoga Academy in September 2018. She works at Patriots Colony, a decorated military officer retirement community in Williamsburg. Galina teaches chair yoga once a week to the residents, and a weekly yoga session for her team members who would like to decompress after work. She enjoys teaching a variety of yoga flows for different ages. She plans to continue her yoga education.

Galina believes that all people can experience inner peace and emotional tranquility if they just let themselves experience the joys of Yoga.

Galina has two beautiful daughters who also like it when mom spends time teaching them yoga.