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.

CLAIRE MCGOWAN

Yoga Instructor

Claire began her practice of yoga to gain better balance and strength for horseback riding while away at college. By 2015 yoga moved to the forefront of her workouts as she felt the immense transformation in her fitness as well as her mental health; so much so that she felt driven to go for her teacher training so that she could “pay forward“ the benefits she had received. She was certified during summer 2017 through The Yoga Dojo in Richmond. Trained in Ashtanga Yoga, with an understanding at rocket, she enjoys teaching in a similar style with a little gentle flow mixed in. She also loves practicing gentle and restorative classes from her yogi peers whenever possible.Claire was born in raised in the Richmond area. In her free time she can be found with her dogs, and her horse, and enjoys spending as much time outside as she can when the weather is nice!

GABRIELA ORTIZ

Yoga Instructor

Gabriela started her practice while in high school learning from one of her mentors the importance of meditation. Sparking the knowledge of Buddhism and using meditation and physical asana practice she has been on the journey of development of this practice through the years. She took her teacher training at Karuna Yoga here at the studio. Her emphasis and passion lies within the Karuna teaching of compassion and nurturing of the self in practice as well as the focus of meditation. Her personal practice includes Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, and Restorative. Traveling, family, anything with nature, and finding new vegan recipes are some of the things she loves. By embodying her practice and continuing her education, she hopes to be a positive guide for each person she meets to help them start their journey or continue a long practice on and off the mat

ANNIE PEACE

Yoga and Meditation 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.

ZOE KLUG

Yoga Instructor

Zoe has always been moving. Growing up she was enchanted by the gracefulness of dancing, and in high school, it was the perseverance in running and swimming. She stumbled upon yoga in college. After graduating from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Fine Art, she moved to Richmond in search of culture, art, and delicious vegan food. Zoe has her 200-hour yoga teaching training with Om On Yoga, under the direction of Yogi J Miles, Kelly Kostecki, and Jane Bahneman. Zoe truly believes in the connection of body, mind, and spirit. Through psychology, she learned the sway that the mind carries over the body, but it was not until diving into yoga philosophy and mindfulness when the power of the body really revealed itself. Zoe believes both movement and stillness have the power to heal and transform our thoughts, bodies, and feelings. She thrives off of the sacredness yoga brings to life and loves sharing this with others so they can create their own experience. Zoe can often be found trailing the banks of the river, cycling and running around the city, or hula hooping in a park. She has a love of photography, coffee shops, and hot tea.

CLAIRE CARRICO

Yoga Instructor

Claire began seriously practicing yoga during her senior year of college. She immediately gravitated towards the full body and mind wellness aspects of yoga. While obtaining her M.Ed from the University of Mary Washington Claire simultaneously pursued her 200 hour RYT certificate from Dragonfly Yoga Studio in Fredericksburg, VA. Claire firmly believes that yoga is for every body, and can be done in any atmosphere. Her classes tend to embrace a spirit of playfulness and ease. When not on the mat, Claire can be found teaching high school students with disabilities or walking her dog around the Richmond area.

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.

SONDRA SEALINE

Qigong and Tai Chi Instructor

Sondra believes that “balanced living is healthy living”. We have 100% control of our own health and need to develop habits and practices that keep us not only healthy and well, but allow us to live life with ease and contentment. Zero Balancing (ZB) and Qigong help us achieve this. Sondra has enjoyed first-hand the benefits of each. Sondra has had a life-long interest in martial arts and has studied judo and isshin-ryu karate. She joined a tai chi class after moving to Richmond and after a few years was invited to become a teacher. More recently, Sondra has started teaching Qigong as well. During ZB, Sondra focuses on the bone and the skeletal system, including ligaments and joints with “structural acupressure”. This is done through clothing and no messy oils are used, yet helps the body to heal itself. Try ZB to help with headaches, backaches, fatigue, tension, insomnia, nervousness, and more. Contact Sondra directly on her website: www.abalancedhealthylife.com or email her at: abalancedhealthylife@gmail.com.

KORANTEMAH PIERCE WILLIAMS

Reiki & Meditation Instructor

For more than 20 years Korantemah, Akan Priestess and spiritualist, has championed community sustainability through the healing arts. With training in traditional and western healing modalities, it was in her youth that Korantemah first learned there was a connection between healing touch and the positive feedback she received from her parents. This understanding served as a foundation for her life in the healing arts. An advocate for alternative modalities including meditation, therapeutic massage & bodywork, transformational wellness coaching, and energetic healing, Korantemah utilizes each as an approach to healing empowerment and wellness. Additionally, she has spearheaded sacred healing rites for individuals and organizations. Currently pursuing doctoral studies in Integrative Medicine, her body of work includes 10 years professional, therapeutic bodywork; an ever-expanding development with both individual and collective mindfulness and self-care practices. In addition to working with private clients, Korantemah also serves as a consultant at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, where she leads meditation classes for both novice and experienced practitioners. Korantemah is a mother, wife, sister, daughter, godmother, healer, educator, and life-long learner, who remains humbled by the healing power of compassion, forgiveness, and love.

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”.

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.

JOANNA SCHNEIDER

Pilates Instructor

Joanna began practicing Pilates once her four children were in school and she finally had time for herself. She found it a great method for regaining strength and flexibility, as well as reducing stress. Joanna’s background was in dance, studying classical ballet at the Hampton Roads Civic Ballet and minoring in modern dance at the College of William and Mary. After graduation she taught youth and adult ballet. When she took up Pilates in 2009 she was encouraged by a teacher to obtain her certification, so in 2010 she studied under Nancy Sanchez through Balanced Body University. After receiving her Pilates Mat 1 and Mat 2 certificates she began teaching at the Dale City Recreation Center in Woodbridge, VA. When her daughter began ballet, Joanna returned to teaching dance, as well as teaching a Pilates class for dancers at Dance, Etc in Prince William County. Joanna and her family moved to Richmond in 2016. She believes strongly in the benefits of Pilates for people of all ages. Pilates strengthens the core, improves balance, increases coordination and reduces stress. In her free time Joanna enjoys spending time with her family, travel, reading and thrifting.

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.”

Practitioners

From Reiki, Access Bars 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.

SONDRA SEALINE

Zero Balancing Therapist, Qigong & T’ai Chi Instructor

Sondra believes that “balanced living is healthy living”. We have 100% control of our own health and need to develop habits and practices that keep us not only healthy and well, but allow us to live life with ease and contentment. Zero Balancing (ZB) and Qigong help us achieve this. Sondra has enjoyed first-hand the benefits of each. Sondra has had a life-long interest in martial arts and has studied judo and isshin-ryu karate. She joined a tai chi class after moving to Richmond and after a few years was invited to become a teacher. More recently, Sondra has started teaching Qigong as well. During ZB, Sondra focuses on the bone and the skeletal system, including ligaments and joints with “structural acupressure”. This is done through clothing and no messy oils are used, yet helps the body to heal itself. Try ZB to help with headaches, backaches, fatigue, tension, insomnia, nervousness, and more. Contact Sondra directly on her website: www.abalancedhealthylife.com or email her at: abalancedhealthylife@gmail.com

KORANTEMAH PIERCE WILLIAMS

Massage Therapist, Meditation Instructor & Life Coach

For more than 20 years Korantemah, Akan Priestess and spiritualist, has championed community sustainability through the healing arts. With training in traditional and western healing modalities, it was in her youth that Korantemah first learned there was a connection between healing touch and the positive feedback she received from her parents. This understanding served as a foundation for her life in the healing arts. An advocate for alternative modalities including meditation, therapeutic massage & bodywork, transformational wellness coaching, and energetic healing, Korantemah utilizes each as an approach to healing empowerment and wellness. Additionally, she has spearheaded sacred healing rites for individuals and organizations. Currently pursuing doctoral studies in Integrative Medicine, her body of work includes 10 years professional, therapeutic bodywork; an ever-expanding development with both individual and collective mindfulness and self-care practices. In addition to working with private clients, Korantemah also serves as a consultant at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, where she leads meditation classes for both novice and experienced practitioners. Korantemah is a wife, sister, daughter, godmother, healer, educator, and life-long learner, who remains humbled by the healing power of compassion, forgiveness, and love. You can schedule an appointment with Korantemah by email conjureworks@gmail.com or by phone 804-334-6301.

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.

Tekia Lewis

Reiki, Foot Bath Cleanse & Cupping

Tekia has been fighting this healing thing for some time now, and finally has come into fully knowing her responsibility in facilitating people’s healing. Accepting her charge, she’s been trained in Reiki, Foot Bath Cleanse, Aroma Touch Techniques, Polarity Therapy, Reflexology, Cupping and other modalities.

She is a mother of two special needs children and anything else she needs to be at any given time. Reading, exploring, being a lifetime student and helping people are her favorite pass times.

She looks forward to facilitating your healing through reoccurring appointments, fundraisers, customer and client appreciation days, spa days, employee appreciation days and more. Call to book your appointment or event today by phone 804-439-2461or by email wellnessabound@yahoo.com.

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.

Courtney Cothran

Massage Therapist

Massage Therapy Courtney’s passion. This career has changed her understanding of the human mind and body, and helped her heal physically, mentally, and emotionally. Massage Therapy drives her to self-educate daily to better help others through their pain.  She has been trained, and continue to study Swedish Massage, Therapeutic Massage, Sports Massage, Deep Tissue Massage and Thai Massage.Trust is the foundation of not only massage therapy, but the healing process itself. She seeks to provide ease and time to you pre and post consultation to understand where you are physically, mentally, and emotionally.  This extra time helps build a better foundation in trust and understanding prior to the session, allowing both Courtney and client to set goals and boundaries for session success that is attuned to your needs. This allows your mind and body to relax, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.Her own life consists of reading, writing, drawing, cooking, and exercising almost every day of the week to balance her mind and spirit. She enjoys hiking and traveling when time allows. She hopes to be of assistance on your path. You can reach Courtney by phone (804) 887-9153 and email Relaxresetrenew@gmail.com.

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 kizmetorange@gmail.com.

Anna Marie Heaton

Massage Therapist

Anna Marie graduated from Brian Utting School of Massage in Seattle, WA in 2007 and opened her private practice in early 2008. She is certified through the Virginia Board of Nursing and a member of Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. She offers intuitive, client-centered, therapeutic massage with a particular focus on anxiety and stress management.

Anna Marie’s modalities include Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Treatment, Sports, rehabilitative, therapeutic massage, and she is a student studying under Damion Bond in the Shivagokomarpaj Old Medicine Hospital lineage of Thai Folk Medicine and hoping to begin offering Thai Massage in the near future!

Her clients are a lively combination of desk jockeys, athletes, busy parents, and folks of all ages, shapes, and abilities. She believes in the body’s innate ability to heal itself–so it’s her job to help ease stress, un-kink tight muscles, and unwind frayed nerves to help make that healing possible. She’ll work with you to help you be as comfortable, present, and joyful in your body as possible!

While a massage therapist by trade, she’s also an RVA transplant by way of Seattle, a mother to two little people, a yoga enthusiast, and an alignment nerd. You can contact Anna Marie at www.anchormassagetherapy.com, AnnaMarie@anchormassagetherapy.com or 804-833-6334.