Meet Our Team

You will find an instructor or practitioner that is the right fit for you.

Instructors

True North provides all types of yoga and mediation classes to find your flexibility, strength and inner calm. From beginners yoga through to Ashtanga Improv, you will find a class and instructor that is a right fit for you. For the schedule and description of classes, please go to our class schedule.

HILLARY ROBERTSON-FOREST

Yoga Instructor

As a Richmond native, Hillary’s first foray into yoga was ironically in the basement of Nesbit’s Hair Salon as a sixth grader. Yoga effortlessly found its way back to Hillary; later taking yoga, dance, and expressive art therapies where she graduated from Guilford College. In her move to Philadelphia to work for the Maternity Care Coalition, Hillary served as social worker, educator, and grant writer. Stumbling upon an apartment situated 100 ft from an incredible studio embodying teachings of Ana Forrest – after 3 years under Studio 34’s tutelage, she decided to explore teacher training programs. Upon her move back to Richmond in 2015, Hillary immediately enrolled in Karuna Yoga program at True North, learning compassionate yoga with a focus on anatomical awareness, gentle and restorative practices, and Hillary individually pursued kids yoga.

In addition to earning her RYT-200, Hillary spent 80 hour concentrations in both yin yoga and prenatal immersions. Hillary’s diverse background allows her to best serve populations with unique needs or physical limitations. She firmly believes that first and foremost, “yoga is freedom, and everybody is welcome in the practice of freedom.”

ANNIE PEACE

YTT Instructor

Annie Peace has been practicing yoga since age 12 when a kind PE teacher began offering Hatha yoga as an alternative to dodgeball! She quickly fell in love with the practice. Her personal practice and teaching range from serene Restorative yoga to vigorous Rocket Vinyasa, always with a focus on yoga as a mindful, therapeutic practice. Having recovered from an injury herself, she believes everyone can do yoga, starting from where they are and expanding what they can do. An E-RYT-200, she trained here in Richmond at Karuna as well as The Yoga Dojo. Prior to teaching yoga, Annie was a massage therapist with a focus on healing, physical comfort, and a peaceful state of mind. She hopes to bring those same qualities into her yoga classes. She lives in Richmond with her daughter, making art, playing board games, and trying to grow plants.

LAUREN VAUGHAN

Yoga Instructor

Lauren developed a love for yoga during the early years of college. In the yoga studio she found self confidence, strength, and a way to quiet the stress of her outside life. As she continued her practice, she wanted to bring this sense of self to others. She enrolled in a 200 hour yoga teacher training program her senior year of college at Zenya Yoga Academy in Newport News, Virginia. She graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelors Degree, and two days later became a certified yoga teacher.

Now a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher, her hope is to help her students find their own peace and clarity on the mat. She truly believes yoga is for every body, and aims to create classes that make her students feel strong and confident, leaving them happier and relieve built-up stress. Her classes are a fun flow, with a strong focus on alignment and finding a deeper understanding of yourself, with the occasional lighthearted joke thrown in.

When she’s not teaching yoga, you can find her spending time with her adorable dog Maisie, volunteering at the local animal shelter, or curled up with a cup of chai tea and a good book.

HEATHER JASZEWSKI

Yoga Instructor

Heather has been teaching since summer of 2016, after she graduated from our own Karuna School of Yoga. When she began working for chiropractors, she was able to do yoga with patients and discovered a strength in teaching about joint health and balancing muscles through asana. Although she enjoys teaching this type of yoga one-on-one, her favorite class to teach is yummy restorative.

SARAH FISCHER

Yoga Instructor

Since she started teaching yoga in 2007, Sarah has worked with hundreds of students at all-levels of practice. So, she knows your practice is unique and is skilled at meeting you where you are on your yoga journey. Sarah believes you don’t need another place where you have to perform or strive to measure up. That’s why she offers classes that give you the room to explore and embody sacred alignment while confidently building a life-long practice.
Sarah teaches Heart-Centered Alignment-Based yoga. Classes are the sweet spot between an Iyengar class and a Vinyasa – it’s aligned and it flows.  She draws on her early years as a dancer and dance/movement therapist to create yoga practices that challenge and inspire. She’s best known for offering detailed alignment, skillful sequencing, and relatable storytelling.  Students say she has a way of bringing the yoga philosophy to life so that it makes sense and applies to modern life.
Sarah’s yoga background includes extensive study and teaching of Anusara and Ashaya Yoga® – along with some Vinyasa.  She has completed multiple yoga teacher trainings and has been a teacher trainer and teacher training assistant for several teacher training programs.
Sarah has been a proud Northside resident since 2005.  She lives a few blocks from True North with her husband, two children, and rescue dog, Sam.

KATHLEEN BRADY

Yoga Instructor

Kathleen’s personal practice began around 2002 by memorizing sequences from a VHS tape (!) and hunting down 30-year-old books in her university’s library stacks. Eventually, in 2009, she decided to become certified and began teaching. Yoga is not a one size fits all scenario, but there is Yoga for each of us who is interested in investing time and establishing and deepening a practice. After teaching full time for many years, Kathleen took some time away from teaching publicly. She is excited about the opportunity to share all the things she has learned on and off the mat while continuing to discover more with her students.

VERONICA LACHAPPELLE

YTT Instructor

Veronica LaChapelle began yoga in her 20’s and returned to yoga after a severe automobile accident in 1996 left her compromised, utilizing yoga to assist her recovery.

In the 1990’s she graduated with a doctoral degree in Natural Medicine, opening a successful 3000 square foot Natural Medicine Clinic in Austin, Texas where she was the clinical director for over 15 years. After leaving the practice and moving to Charlottesville, VA, she further developed her yoga practice by becoming a yoga instructor. As a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Nutritionist, and Yoga Educator, she now runs and is the lead trainer for Karuna Yoga School of Teacher Training (KYTT), a school that has been Yoga Alliance certified for roughly 13 years. If you are interested in hearing more about the YTT at True North Yoga & Wellness, please email her at: abalancedhealthylife@gmail.com.

MONIKA GADRE

Yoga and Meditation Instructor

Monika believes there are two important days in our life. The day we are born; and the day when we discover why we are born. Currently, Monika is leading to a path to self-discovery. With Yogasan and Ayurveda running in family; she grew up with strong yoga roots. For her, yoga has been a daily routine since childhood. In her non-yoga life, Monika is an IT professional, a wife and a mother. She enrolled in Karuna Yoga teacher training to further her craving for deeper understanding of this practice. Now, certified to teach Hatha, Vinyasa, Chair, Yin, Restorative and Yoga Nidra, Monika cannot wait to share it with her community. Feeling stressed from your job or afraid of certain yoga poses? Come join Monika to overcome the physical and mental stressors and find a release within; a release to help you Be Present – on and off the yoga mat.

PATRICIA KINSER

Yoga Instructor

Patricia Kinser, PhD, WHNP-BC, RN, has been teaching yoga in Richmond since 2005. She loves teaching gentle yoga and creating a warm, positive environment to help students find balance, peace, and joy. Her gentle classes incorporate a mix of styles, given her training in Kripalu yoga (a non-sectarian approach that celebrates diversity and cultivates inner wellness), LifeForce yoga (a compassionate practice that supports self-regulation and self-awareness), Iyengar yoga (a practice that involves props to support alignment), and Prenatal/ Postpartum yoga. A professor at VCU, her research focuses on the biobehavioral effects of yoga and mindfulness for various populations. She maintains a clinical practice as a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner and she lectures nationally and internationally about research on yoga and mindfulness. She enjoys hiking, cycling, cooking, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

NITYA GRIFFITH

Yoga Instructor

Nitya Griffith, E-RYT200 CRYT completed the Integral Yoga 200hr Teacher Training in 2005, then was certified to teach Yin by Biff Mithoefer in 2012, and is also a self-trained kids yoga teacher. Nitya offers mindfulness yoga programs for children ages 2 – 13 and kids yoga teacher trainings through her business Nitya Living. She is passionate about sharing the wisdom of living yoga on and off the mat. Her classes are deeply inspiring, rejuvenating, and spiritual.

Nitya has published “A Child’s Journey into Yoga”, “The Yogaville Coloring Book”, “The Yoga with Nitya Cookbook; Seasonal, Local, Vegetarian Meals for a Healthy Family”, and her newly released, “Musings from the Mat; Inspirations and Poetry”.

ANNA BENNETT

Yoga Instructor

Anna Bennett, MAT, BCBA, LBA, has been teaching yoga since 2010 in Kentucky, Georgia, and now here in Richmond, Virginia. With a wide variety of classes taught, including power yoga, vinyasa, hatha, yin, ashtanga, restorative, and children’s dance, her classes focus on improving alignment and increasing endurance as well as flexibility. She truly believes yoga is for anyone and has tailored instruction through teaching classes to the UGA football team, children and adolescents, and individuals with physical and developmental disabilities. Anna even completed her thesis study on the acquisition of novel yoga poses in children with developmental disabilities comparing video and live modeling instructional methods. Through her work in Applied Behavior Analysis and yoga instruction, Anna is passionate about fostering positive change in her community. At True North, Anna’s classes emphasize the power of breath and intention, while simultaneously building stamina of the mind and body. She’s excited to have you join her in class!

ALIZA STERLING

Yoga Instructor

Influenced by teachers, peers, students, 200YTT in Integral Yoga in Rishikesh, India, and other travels, Aliza creates a supportive environment with a focus on individual empowerment in the classroom. Through pranayama (breathing), asana (poses), meditation, relaxing music and descriptive cues, she challenges her students both physically and mentally, providing variations to eventually calm the mind and achieve steady and comfortable postures. She started True North Yoga and Wellness with the desire to bring the Northside community together. Providing a space to find a better sense of your body and take control of your health – this sense of community and personal development is felt in her class.

SEAN ORR

Acupuncturist & TCM Instructor

Sean’s previous careers and education in Psychology, Ecology, and Architecture as well as his personal experiences in Yoga and Meditation all coalesced in his pursuit of a MA and Doctorate in Chinese Medicine at AOMA in Austin, TX. As a Virginia licensed practitioner he feels honored to be able to use this powerful medicine to help clients with issues ranging from the physiological (e.g. pain, weight loss, infertility) to the psychological (e.g.depression, anxiety, addictions, insomnia). Sean employs an expansive set of skills including Acupuncture, Asian Body Work, Moxa, Cupping, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Qigong, Tai Qi, Nutritional Counseling, Emotional Counseling, & NADA. His absolute belief that there is nothing this medicine cannot do and that all ailments are connected, like the layers of an onion. His background in Counseling Psychology and client-centered approach means he’s willing to start the exploration of your wellness wherever you chose and serve as a constant champion in your journey. As an homage to the history of TCM Sean also believes in making this medicine affordable and accessible to as many clients as possible.

MARY-LYNNE WILLIAMS

Meditation Instructor

Mary-Lynne is the founder of Buffalo Firefly, an energy wellness company. She is trained as a Reiki Master Teacher/Practitioner and Meditation Teacher. She relocated to Richmond in 2021 after working in design leadership in the tech industry in Seattle and New York. She’s returning home to Virginia where she grew up and is so happy to call north side her new home! She is trained primarily in Insight/Vipassana Meditation style which is Buddhist practice of meditation from which secular Mindfulness practices are derived. Mary-Lynne came to energy work, mindfulness and meditation as a way to calm the anxiety she experienced working in a high stress corporate environment.

She is currently in a continuing education program for Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification with Jack Kornfield, founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California and Tara Brach of the Insight Meditation Society in Washington, DC.

When people tell her they can’t meditate because they aren’t able to stop thinking, she always says, “That’s it! That means you’re doing it right!” Awareness that you’re thinking is the first step. Mindfulness/Insight Meditation is all about bringing awareness to this present moment. Practice helps to calm the automatic, repetitive thinking in our daily lives and allows us to become aware of our thoughts when we are not on the cushion. This allows us to take a moment to see if a thought is even true.

Practitioners

From Reiki and Zero Balancing to Acupuncture and Massage Therapy, we have a practitioner to meet your health needs. Feel free to read about each of our practitioners and reach out directly to schedule an appointment.
Tamara Robinson

TAMARA ROBINSON

Reiki, Sound Healing, & Chakra Balancing Practitioner

Tamara is an intuitive healer, clairvoyant and Richmond native. As a continuous student, she has studied metaphysics, the healing arts and trained with Shaman and medicine woman, Aja Fiyah of Winston-Salem North Carolina. Tamara’s areas of expertise include Reiki, Sound Healing, and Chakra Balancing.

The certified Reiki Practioner allows the clients’ energy and spirit to conduct the session which creates a truly unique experience for each individual.

To book an appointment with Tamara you can contact her via email at tamara@time2balancerva or through the web at time2balancerva.com.

ANN D. BECK

Massage Therapist & Integrative Reflexologist

Ann graduated from the Institute of Massage Therapy (I.M.T.) in Richmond, VA in 2010 and began her massage therapy career working at a wellness clinic in the Fan. After a couple of years Ann started her own practice as Artful Hands Massage Therapy.

The program at I.M.T. provided a strong foundation in both therapeutic and relaxation techniques, including Swedish massage, deep tissue, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy. Over the last decade Ann has fine-tuned her artful hands by earning additional certifications in Integrative Reflexology, Perinatal Massage (Nurturing the Mother), Reiki (energy work), Aromatherapy, and Lymphatic Massage for Detox.

One of Ann’s favorite certifications so far has been Integrative Reflexology. Reflexology involves applying pressure to specific “reflex” points on the feet, hands and ears, which have peripheral nerves connected to the central nervous system. These reflex points relate to each muscle and organ in the body, and, when stimulated, can relieve pain, reduce stress, and improve sleep and digestion, among other health benefits.

Each session with Ann will incorporate a variety of massage therapy techniques and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Areas of pain and dysfunction will be addressed through gradually working deeper into the tissue to allow tension to melt away without being jarring. Ann has an inclusive practice that serves a diverse clientele ranging in age from 15 to 85.

To book an appointment with Ann, please email her at ArtfulHandsMassageTherapy@gmail.com, call 804.304.9838, or book now.

LISA ZAMORA

Massage Therapist

Lisa was introduced to massage therapy as a Chiropractic Assistant in the 1980’s. Amazed at the healing strength of bodywork on patients suffering from chronic/injury related pain, she decided to go into the field. In 1988 Lisa received her certificate in Massage & Hydrotherapy from the Florida School of Massage and continued advanced studies in soft tissue manipulation at the Cayce/Reilly School of Massotherapy in Virginia Beach. With blended modalities of deep Swedish, trigger point release and sports massage, Lisa provides a massage experience that is both therapeutic and deeply relaxing with a focus on relieving muscular tension, increasing blood circulation and range of motion. You can schedule an appointment with Lisa here. For questions, you can email her lisazamoralmt@gmail.com or call her 804.833.0574.

SEAN ORR

Acupuncturist & TCM Practitioner 

Sean’s previous careers and education in Psychology, Ecology, and Architecture as well as his personal experiences in Yoga and Meditation all coalesced in his pursuit of a MA and Doctorate in Chinese Medicine at AOMA in Austin, TX. As a Virginia licensed practitioner he feels honored to be able to use this powerful medicine to help clients with issues ranging from the physiological (e.g. pain, weight loss, infertility) to the psychological (e.g.depression, anxiety, addictions, insomnia). Sean employs an expansive set of skills including Acupuncture, Asian Body Work, Moxa, Cupping, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Qigong, Tai Qi, Nutritional Counseling, Emotional Counseling, & NADA. His absolute belief that there is nothing this medicine cannot do and that all ailments are connected, like the layers of an onion. His background in Counseling Psychology and client-centered approach means he’s willing to start the exploration of your wellness wherever you chose and serve as a constant champion in your journey. As an homage to the history of TCM Sean also believes in making this medicine affordable and accessible to as many clients as possible. He offers both individual appointments as well as community style acupuncture to conveniently fit your wellness practice. Contact Sean for a free phone consultation through web at www.praxisrva.com, email at praxisrva@gmail.com, or by phone at 804.203.2871.

ELAINE BRAGG

Massage Therapist & Reiki Practitioner

Elaine attended American Institute of Massage and received certification in 2007. She started her practice as Wellness of Being.

In the last eleven years, she has acquired tools for her practice in Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Reflexology, Myofascial Release, Thai Yoga Massage, and as a Reiki practitioner. Elaine completed Claire Marie Miller’s Prenatal Workshop for Nurturing the Mother and follows John Upledger’s Craniosacral ten-step protocol. She is excited to find time to pursue the healing work of John Upledger.

She has determined the direction of practice by listening to the clients on the table. She is grateful to her clients for this practice. How you, the client, navigate the world of your wellness is your decision to make. Wellness of Being is here to listen and guide you on your journey.

To schedule an appointment, you can reach out to Elaine by phone 804.402.5701 or email kizmetorange@gmail.com.