NANCY SESSOMS, OWNER , E-RYT 500
Nancy started her training in 2012, has taught over 2,200 hours and in January 2020 earned the designation of E-RYT 500. Nancy is certified by Dr. Loren Fishman to teach his 12 pose program for osteoporosis.
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.
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. She is currently in Dr. Fishman's second study and practices the 12 poses on an almost daily basis.
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.
APRIL WOBKEN, 200 HR
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, RYT 200
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, RYT 200
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, RYT 500
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."
GALINA MACKEY, RYT 200
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.
CHERYL BROWN, RYT 200
Cheryl is an RYT 200 and a certified health coach. She loves all things health and wellness and has a passion for empowering people in their health and wellness journey. Cheryl has been doing yoga personally for over 10 years and in 2020 decided to take her practice to the next level and become a yoga instructor. She enjoys the variety that yoga offers, from a high-energy Vinyasa class, to the slower paced, more mindful practice of Yin... and everything in between. She plans to become a certified Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Instructor next summer.
Cheryl believes living a healthy lifestyle is attainable for everyone. “Yoga is accessible to everyone; daily movement is one of the keys to making changes in your life that will affect your tomorrows. Being mindful of how you live, how you move (exercise), how you think, and how you eat all come together to create a zenful life.”
Cheryl is an Air Force wife as well as a proud mom to twin boys who also serve in the Air Force and Army. She comes from Kansas, but now considers Virginia home. “Being a military spouse is a wonderful opportunity to meet amazing people, embrace different experiences, serve in the community, and create growth in your life.”