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.
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 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 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 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.
Sara first got into yoga after needing a real mental shift in thinking. She started off with online classes and loved how the movement and breath work got her out of her head and into her body. She kept a strong home practice for several years before finally receiving her 200 hour vinyasa training at The Yoga Dojo. Yoga has single handedly changed her perspective on life. She enjoys teaching from a place of compassion, where everyone in her class can be at ease with how they feel in that moment. After completing level 1 + 2 of Meridian Yoga Therapy, Sara likes to add this healing practice to all the flows she teaches, whether through acupressure points, the slapping technique, or specific stretches of the meridian energy lines. Sara is excited to continue to learn and grow as a teacher and a forever student.
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: email@example.com
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, 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.
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!
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!
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.
Shannah discovered her passion for yoga in 2018 through an online yoga subscription. She was inspired by the idea of “yoga for everybody” and wanted to become a teacher to bring accessibility of all kinds to yoga. Her belief in yoga can be best defined as, “Yoga is not about touching your toes, it’s about what you learn on the way down.”
Shannah was certified during the summer of 2020 through The Yoga Dojo in Richmond. Her classes always have a vinyasa-style base with bits of yin & restorative sprinkled in. By creating organic sequencing journeys accompanied by thoughtful playlists, Shannah’s classes allow people to shape their own uniquely valuable yoga experience. Amplifications and modifications are always provided to bring accessibility and growth to each class.
Off the mat, Shannah is a born-and-raised New Yorker with a passion for learning. You can often find her with coffee and a good book, on a walk with her dog, Ziggy, or binging a new BBC show. During the day, Shannah works as an Employee Experience Manager for a tech company in Richmond where she creates an authentic, engaging, and inclusive workspace.
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.