We believe yoga and other mindfulness practices can enhance peace, wellness, and health for Every Body. We also believe these practices can inspire unity and harmony while celebrating the diversity of our community.
While there are many places to practice yoga and meditation in our town, there are people who do not have access to learning about or experiencing these practices due to perceived or actual barriers of age, physical ability, income, or location. Having experienced ourselves the benefits of yoga and meditation, alongside other mindful practices, several friends and teachers came together to create Breathing Space so as to bridge the gap for under-served populations in our town.
Our Mission Statement is to share practices and resources to promote a ripple effect of wholeness and well-being in the Williamsburg area. To date, we are accomplishing this through free or donation-based meditation and chair yoga classes, and interactive community events, such as the connection through silent gazing activity of “In Plain Sight.” We have been pleased to offer and create “breathing spaces” in a variety of community locations, and continue to develop additional activities, services, and resources for wellness to be made available to everyone in Williamsburg and beyond.
Breathing Space Board
Amy Anderson teaches yoga and meditation in Williamsburg, with particular interest in the practices of yoga nidra and tonglen. She has completed additional training in Mindful Yoga Therapy for Veterans with PTSD. A professor of law with Thomas Nelson Community College’s Paralegal program, Amy has also designed and taught legal studies courses for several colleges and universities nationally as well as in the Hampton Roads area. She served in the military as a photojournalist and newspaper editor. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Amy has lived in Williamsburg since 2006, and is happy to call the art and culture-filled colonial capitol home. She is fond of the diversity of people and experiences to be enjoyed in “The ‘Burg,” and is a firm believer in the “ripple effect”—the notion that positive changes and growth of an individual promote the health and well-being of his and her community.
Secretary–Paul Crapol guides meditation, instructs yoga, and presents other mindfulness and “connection” experiences, such as In Plain Sight. Interested in having a program at your organization or want to offer one of your own, with help from Breathing Space? Get in touch!
Treasurer–Jenn Haynes was born and raised in the Tidewater area and stumbled upon yoga while trying to avoid the Phys Ed requirement during her college days at the University of New Mexico. She had been a mediocre but highly interested student ever since. She is also the owner of A-One Mobile Bookkeeping, Inc. and a part owner of Work Nimbly, Williamsburg’s creative co-working space.
Ben Thacker-Gwaltney lives and works in Williamsburg. He owns Metta Yoga & Meditation where he teaches meditation classes in multiple traditions. He worked for 15 years as a community organizer and stills manages the database for Virginia Organizing, a statewide grassroots organization working for progressive, social change. Finally, Ben builds and repairs small boats under the name Tidewater Small Craft.
Susan Turnage is an RN, RYT500, and CYN- Certified YogaNurse®, stress relief and medical yoga expert. She has more than 4 decades of clinical nursing experience in pediatric oncology, pediatric head injury, corrections, home health and case management. She teaches weekly therapeutic yoga classes in her community and with Dr. Dilip Sarkar, president of the IAYT- International Association for Yoga Therapists. She has presented YogaNursing programs at major nursing universities and at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Her proficiency in the fundamentals of anatomy, physiology and chronic health conditions has informed her presentations for corporate health and wellness programs.
Elizabeth White, 200 RYT, Yoga for Arthritis, Integral Yoga 200 YTT India (certificate expected February 2017), Juris Doctorate, Adjunct Professor of Law, Shareholder LeClairRyan
Liz is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, corporate attorney and shareholder in the national law firm of LeClairRyan. She teaches Raja yoga, yoga philosophy and yoga lifestyle for Studio South’s Yoga Teacher Training Program (200 YTT) and for Compass Yoga School (300 YTT). Liz obtained her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary where she was the Vice President of the Southeast Asia Society. She has a law degree from the College of William and Mary where she has been an adjunct professor of law for the last 6 years while maintaining her private law practice for the last 30 years. Liz is an avid researcher, lecturer, writer and teacher on topics of immunology, yoga, pranayama, yoga philosophy and lifestyle, and living simply and naturally. Liz has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America and one of the Most Influential Women in Virginia.