Ritual seeks to nourish and elevate the wellbeing of our community by way of connection, practice and education. Our aim is to assist others to cultivate rituals that awaken and embolden a more full and free life. We offer yoga and meditation classes in an intimate and supportive environment that promotes self-healing and wellness.
"Yoga is the refinement of love and its innermost nature is joy"
S T A F F
Amber aims to create a safe space where students feel empowered to observe and explore their relationship to breath, movement, vulnerability, expansion and connection. Practitioners will be guided thru alignment based teachings, allowing for a playful asana practice where both reverence and levity will be sprinkled throughout in equal measure.
Amber's first encounter with yoga in 2001 made her body and breath feel positively electric, connected and alive. Years later, her practice developed into a beloved ritual under the guidance of the founders of Mosaic Yoga in San Diego, CA. In 2014, she obtained RYT 200 hour certification with the lovely Jill Sockman at Blue Lotus. Amber went on to deepen her study of yoga with the fierce and playful Lila Rasa and completed an advanced 300-hour yoga teacher intensive in 2016. Recent studies have included completion of a yin yoga training and pre/post natal training at Asheville Yoga Center and most recently, ELEVATE mentorship with Elena Brower. Including her dear teachers listed above, Amber is forever indebted to the guides she's found in fiction, travel, medicine, funny people, nature, her family (both chosen and given) and her two dogs, Moon and Theo.
In addition to her yoga studies, Amber also holds a BA in English Literature and BS in Nursing and currently works as an Oncology Nurse at Duke.
Ashley Nunn MA ERYT-200 came to yoga through meditation, in 1999 when she took her first ten-day Vipassana course. She found the refuge of the physical yoga practice, three years later, while completing her master's degree. Initially, she saw the asana practice as simply an opportunity to clear her head and alleviate stress from the intense pressure of her graduate psychology and art therapy studies. Soon enough the benefits to body and mind washed over to spirit and supported a continued transformation, along with meditation, that directed Ashley to a path of intentional living and sharing her love of these practices. She was trained to instruct by Larry Schultz, in San Francisco in 2002. Making yoga accessible to all has been the primary mission of her 16+ years of teaching.
Ashley has taught yoga in multiple clinical settings, with extensive experience working with survivors of sexual abuse and profound neglect and abuse, to people with eating disorders, terminal cancer diagnoses, Alzheimer's, dementia and Parkinsons, as well as to medical and clinical staff and executives in helping professions, to name just a few. Ashley's teaching style is both holistic and mindfulness-based and sources from a place of warmth, compassion and humor. In addition to teaching yoga, Ashley is Director and Lead Instructor of Awakened Heart Yoga School, a program that trains and certifies yoga teachers. She also teaches standup paddleboard yoga in the summer months, is a yoga therapist at a local private eating disorder facility, and is a meditation and mindfulness instructor and an equine-assisted therapist. Ashley offers an annual yoga and meditation retreat in Joshua Tree, CA, two paddleboard retreats per year in Weeki Wachee FL, and is leading a service trip to India in January 2020.
Julee Snyder, E-RYT 500, first encountered the body arts as a musician when she was eighteen years old. Her teacher taught her meditation for focus and would put her into strange positions, like “child’s pose”, asking her to feel her breath. This began a lifelong quest. She continued to study music, got her degree in Anthropology, and went on to study dance at the Amsterdam School for the Arts.
Now she is a bodyworker integrating several different touch and movement modalities. Julee is a licensed medical massage therapist, master EmbodiYoga Teacher, Body-Mind Centering practitioner, and Pilates instructor. She brings to her work an embodied exploration of anatomy, a clear articulation of alignment and movement principles, a playful curiosity, and a deep love and compassion for the journey. While she has a wide scope of practice in both alignment and flow practices, her specialties are in gentle and restorative yoga.
Julee completed massage and yoga training in 2004 and went on to work as a massage and movement therapist in several clinical environments, including Duke Integrative Medicine. This inspired her to engage in premedical studies at NCSU and go on to osteopathic medical school in California in 2012. After a year of intensive study, she decided her calling was in the body arts and returned home. Julee celebrates her 15th year as a yoga teacher and has taught in various local yoga teacher trainings for nearly that long. She brings to Ritual her weekly yoga classes, workshops, and EmbodiYoga Teacher Trainings.
In 2005, Katie's friend, Stefanie, took her to a Vinyasa Class at Capital Fitness and she hasn't stopped practicing Yoga since. Capital Fitness is where Katie met one of her favorite teachers, Jill Sockman. Katie followed Sockman to Blue Lotus on the first day it opened. Katie graduated from the 2nd teacher training cohort from Blue Lotus in 2010. She is also attuned as a Reiki Master through Vickie Penninger and is an Astrology & Tarot student. Katie credits the show Lost as sparking her interest in Numerology!
Katie has LOVED movement for as long as she can remember. She started cheerleading at age nine, was voted captain of her team and best all-around in high school. Katie remembers trying to do the splits at age five with her eldest sister, Cheri. Much to the annoyance of her other sister, Leeann, she used to steal her cool music to make up dance routines for the middle school talent show.
Katie and her sisters owned a fun shop in City Market named Epona & Oak, where she taught Yoga and practiced Reiki & Tarot. Since Epona & Oak closed, Katie has taught Vinyasa at the American Tobacco and Alexander YMCA locations. Katie is a Social Worker and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in Raleigh. Additionally, she teaches Yoga to people in recovery from substance abuse. Katie is so happy to BE HERE NOW!
Five years ago, Kiki began her journey with yoga because of the encouragement of her Dad. After just a few classes, she totally got what he had been talking about. Kiki completed her first Vinyasa-based teacher training at Blue Lotus four years ago and continued with an Anusara-style training in 2015. Keeping up a practice helps Kiki find greater balance in her life.
Kiki's classes are focused on building strong alignment within the asanas. When the body is properly aligned, one can create and sustain a practice for a lifetime. Kiki believe the true power in the poses can be felt when a person’s body is in a healthy, balanced posture.
In her day-to-day life as a hair stylist, Kiki helps people feel their best on the outside, too! Kiki spends her free time lovin’ on her two Basset Hounds, Bettie and Dolly. She feels lucky enough to be able to spend time seeing the world with her fiancé, Michael.
Liz Hull has been practicing yoga ever since she fell asleep in her first class back in 2000. After a decade in NYC, trying every form of Hatha yoga available, Liz followed her career to Los Angeles where yoga was practically ubiquitous. Despite loving an athletic, energetic flow, she craved a deeper side to the practice and began looking into meditation. In 2012, her boss challenged her to try Kundalini, so she attended a class with Gurmukh at Golden Bridge studio in West Hollywood. Unaware at the time that Gurmukh was, and still is, one of the most highly sought Kundalini instructors in the world, Liz knew that it was this yoga that had captured her (and yes, the instructor had something to do with it). After a particularly tumultuous 2015, Liz stepped out of her career and into yoga training at Yoga Works, Los Angeles, where she received her 200 hours.
Returning to the east coast in 2016, she began teaching a flow class and Yin at Hot Asana, Durham. Yet, Liz was still searching for the depth and power she felt in Kundalini. It wasn’t until meeting Amanda May, an advanced Kundalini instructor based in Durham, that Liz fell back into her Kundalini practice. With the support of Amanda and others in the Kundalini community, Liz decided to get certified, training with Keval Kaur at Durham’s Triangle Kundalini Yoga. “This practice pushes me to the edge, shows me what’s possible on the other side, and then hands me the rope swing. And it’s work. But it’s a well-trodden path, one that many have traveled before, and only requires trust. Trust to let go. To fall into the arms of the universe herself. It ain’t pretty half the time but it’s always worth it."
I was first introduced to the practice of yoga in my teenage years and found myself returning to the mat seeking a connection that I couldn't quite understand at the time. As I amplified my asana and meditation practices in my mid-twenties, I could truly see the benefits of yoga - relieving stress and anxiety and improving personal confidence and strength (physically and mentally). I was hooked on this practice that helped me reconnect with my true Self.
Yoga became and still is a tool that teaches me how to see, how to feel and let go, personal empowerment and deeper connections with Self and others. In 2014, I was encouraged to learn behind the curtain of yoga and so I dove into first yoga teacher training. Several years later, I've been teaching weekly classes, public and private and have completed 3 teacher trainings in alignment based yoga and gentle yoga.
In each of my classes we work with our breath and a meaningful theme/intention to carry us through each pose. We use alignment principles to safely guide us into our expression of the pose and situation. My aim is that every practice will leave you feeling centered, empowered, and rejuvenated. It would be an honor to guide you on this journey of aligning heart, mind, body and spirit to connect with the beauty and light that's always within you. I look forward to seeing you on the mat! Namaste! <3
Sofia's teaching emphasizes how even the smallest shifts in our minds and bodies can have a profoundly positive impact on how we live our lives. Her alignment-based classes build heat slowly and uncover how seemingly simple postures, when explored with intention, stir up endless goodness in our bodies. Sofia is honored to support her students as they use yoga to move, giggle, and play in a safe and loving space.
Sofia discovered yoga in 2010 while living in Brevard, NC and working as the Staff Director for a traditional, residential summer camp serving girls ages 6-16. Sofia noticed that many of the young women in her care struggled to adequately describe the emotional landscape of their lives; many were also disconnected to the nuanced sensations within their bodies. Where spoken language left off, yoga became a tool for Sofia to help others explore, reflect, and integrate the lessons of their lives.
Through Kelly Golden and Vira Bhava Yoga, Sofia was certified in 2018 in the tantra yoga tradition. Tantra teaches its students to weave all aspects of themselves and their experience into their yoga practice. Subsequently, this philosophy encourages students to love themselves in the entirety of who they are.
Sofia is grateful for her amazing partner who brings so much levity and joy into her life that it flows directly into her teaching style, and her for dog, Coach, who always teaches her new stretches to access the body. Sofia is beyond humbled to be a part the Ritual community.
Zach started teaching in January 2011 as a way to learn more about Yoga and also as an excuse to spend more time in the studio. His training was in Anusara, which has a focus on alignment and working the poses in a therapeutic way, in every class he offers cues in the poses to help bring students out of pain and show them how good their bodies are meant to feel.
The idea that we are made to feel good, mentally, emotionally, and physically, is a basic teaching that Zach brings to all of his classes. Using years of study in anatomy, kinesiology, Tantra, and the lessons that come from reflecting on life Zach has the ability to guide his students through a class that is both rigorous and supportive, hard and soft, always seeking to find the balance in the middle.
In 2014 Zach became a licensed massage therapist and started working full time as a Yoga teacher and Massage therapist; using the more technical teachings from massage school has allowed him to understand on a deeper level how the body functions and works as a whole. His classes are open to all who come with an open mind and heart and a desire to know themselves deeper.