Christy Blanton FL LMT #94937, NC LMBT #20706
Christy is a Boone, NC native and Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist for NC and FL. She received her massage training in Sarasota, FL at Sarasota School of Massage Therapy in 2019, graduating in early 2020 and working as a LMT in Wesley Chapel, FL from 2020-2022. Christy is currently working at a spa in Boone, NC and providing massage independently. She has a background in Special Education and received her BS degree at Appalachian State University in 2002. Christy loves to combine these two areas of expertise to provide gentle and therapeutic massage while also using her intuition to create an environment of peace and calm to care for the specific needs of her clients. It has been a joy to work with her. She brings a true presence and gift in her approach to massage and inspired by her intuitive nature.
Tori Bledsoe CYT-200 Yoga Instructor, Reiki Master
"I became acquainted with yoga in college, practicing off and on until 2015, when I fully committed to a regular practice. In 2020, I earned my 200-hour yoga teacher certification through the Yoga and Ayurveda School in Bangor, PA, focusing on hatha, vinyasa, and yin. Though I never intended to teach, I ended up doing just that in 2021, ultimately falling in love with sharing yoga’s gifts.
A tenet imperative to me as a yoga teacher is that everyone can practice yoga. One cannot be “good” or “bad” at yoga; in fact, the impossibility of perfection in a yoga practice is one of its main appeals for me. Of particular interest is gently dismantling people’s reasons for avoiding a yoga practice and raising awareness of the fact that yoga is not just asana, or a workout. My teaching style is lighthearted, integrative, and judgment-free; I strive to meet every client where they are, and I particularly love beginners! I’m humbled and fortunate to also offer Reiki to clients, both incorporated into yoga classes and separately.”
A resident of Emory, VA, Tori is a librarian, astrologer, CYT-200, and Reiki master. She considers live music a healing modality.
Lori Briscoe, Certified Herbalist
As a 5th generation Southwest Virginian, Lori Briscoe is passionate about deepening the connections between plants, people, and place. As a Certified Herbalist she is driven to help individuals explore the value of bioregional plants as food and medicine. For the past 20 years she has been educating and inspiring adults and children to value and conserve Southern Appalachia's biological diversity and rich cultural heritage.
Lori holds a B.A. in Anthropology, an M.A. in Appalachian Studies and Sustainable Development and is a certified herbalist of the Appalachian School of Natural Health. In 2020 Lori founded Appalachian Teas & Botanicals bringing full circle her academic and deeply experiential approach to the wonder of the region. Her largely regionally gathered and grown teas and botanical products lift the body and spirit not only in Appalachia, but across the country. Plants. People. Place.
Kimberly Dove, M.Ed., E-RYT 200 hr., YACEP, CLWC, CPT
Founder, Bella Vita, LLC
“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming things you once thought you could not.” This quote sums up Kim Dove’s passion for helping people “live life well at any age”. For more than three decades Kim has coached and trained a diverse client base from ages 6-96, encouraging individuals to re-write their story of good health. Regardless of ability, condition or mindset, Kim’s sets out to partner with each individual to achieve the best version of themselves. Through a combination of life/wellness coaching, personal training and therapeutic applications of yoga and movement, Kim offers a holistic approach to health and wellness. She encourages clients to embrace change from within to overcome things they once believed unattainable. “I experienced major chronic health conditions as a kid and young adult so I know firsthand what it is like to work hard, overcome setbacks and attain a balance that fosters good health,” says Kim.
Kim Dove holds a master's degree in education and human Development from George Washington University. She is a certified master-level life and wellness coach and trainer and an expert-level registered yoga teacher, E-RYT 200 and continuing education provider through Yoga Alliance. She holds numerous certifications in specialty areas such as Trauma-sensitive Yoga; Pilates and Older Adult Fitness.
Kim stays active in the community, volunteering in a variety of local organizations and serving on the board of InStill Mindfulness in Floyd, VA. She finds joy teaching all types of yoga and core strength at BristolYOGA. After a corporate career Kim founded the wellness company, Bella Vita where she offers private and group sessions, workshops and retreats. Her motivational, self-discovery events, “I Am…. Her” focus on women’s physical and emotional health and wellness reclamation.
Kim and her family have lived in Abingdon for over 15 years, and for many years engaged in workouts and sports together. She and her husband are now empty-nesters and enjoy all things fitness and travel. They have two adult sons, and a daughter-in-law, who also remain committed to health and wellness.
Heather Dotterweich 500 RYT
Heather has been with Anam Nostos House from the beginning coming to us from Bristol Yoga, though she has a following of her own. Her most admirable gift is the ability to walk with every person who comes before her on the journey they are on at that precise moment. You need not ever be proficient in Yoga to feel welcomed and comfortable with Heather's style and practice. She meets people where they are and that is a true gift to our retreats!
"I LOVE YOGA, I LOVE TEACHING YOGA. I've practiced yoga for 10 years, having completed my RYT 200hr training at Inner Sea Yoga, Johnson City Tn in April 2013. I've received training in teaching yoga to children at the Asheville Yoga Center in July 2012 as well as teaching yoga and mindfulness to special needs children in Roanoke in May 2014. This is a lifelong learning experience! It's very thrilling to witness this ancient bag of tools slowly transform a person's way of moving, breathing, focusing, feeling at ease in their own body, mind and spirit. When someone tells me they're too inflexible for yoga, I reply that the only requirement is the ability to move breath in and out of your body, and the rest will follow!"
Martha Finley R.N., LMT
We are excited to welcome Martha to our retreats this offering her gifts in massage & plant essentials. I have had the pleasure of recently being connected with Martha. When we first met her energy was such a Light that I knew I needed to know her deeply. I am excited that our paths of 'healing for others' are finally able to connect on this amazing journey! She has a beautiful gift for her awareness of others' needs through massage and oils.
"My first nursing memory was at age three, sitting on my Great Grandmother’s bed. As a Woman of Appalachia, the importance of community and responsibility in taking care of others is burned deep in my purpose. I have been a lifelong student of the human condition, not only as a practitioner, but in times of vulnerability as a patient, mother, wife, and daughter. It has been my privilege professionally to serve others intimately in birth, death, trauma, surgery, and other healing exchanges for the last two decades. I appreciate science and medical advances, but what really ignites me are gentle, natural modalities. Our bodies were divinely designed to heal themselves, and tapping into that magic is something to behold.
I LOVE plant medicine, especially aromatherapy! During the pandemic, I returned to school to integrate massage therapy with my clinical experience. I approach treatment opportunities with a nurse's perspective, an eclectic toolbox of skills and certifications, and open myself to be a channel for healing. I am committed to respect, modesty, and giving the best of my Soul’s work to those who trust me to care for them."
Megan Atkinson Hamilton, RYT 500 Yoga & Meditation Instructor
Megan has been teaching meditation since 2015 and yoga since 2017. She completed her RYT 200 at White top Yoga with Vira Bhava Yoga and completed her RYT 500 (emphasis in trauma informed yoga) with the Asheville Yoga Center in 2021. Megan, a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. 2009-2012 has trained personal clients and taught group fitness classes while working as an Assistant Fitness Director for Health Works in Boston, Massachusetts.
Hamilton has taught adjunct at Emory & Henry College before accepting a full-time faculty position there in 2021 with their freshman transition class focusing on the “Mind, Body, and Spirit connection” since 2016. In 2022, she taught this class in collaboration with the Marion Correctional Treatment Center where students joined the inmates in yoga and meditation sessions throughout the semester. This program was the first designated yoga/meditation mental health evidenced based program of its kind with the Virginia Department of Corrections.
Megan pursued her 500 RYT with the emphasis on Yoga and Trauma/mental health because of her own personal journey of navigating her own post-traumatic stress disorder. Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga have been instrumental in her own healing, and wanting to help others find their way. Megan is extremely excited to share the tools of mediation and yoga as a way to find stillness and connect the breath with the mind and body.
Mallory Jessee, LCSW, RYT200, Heart Space Wellness Services
Mallory brings to us a set of unique skills incorporating her gifts in many ways. We are excited for Mallory to join our team!
"I am a native of southwest Virginia, and I love these mountains. I have a master's degree in clinical social work, and I have been a licensed therapist since 2015. My journey with Yoga began in 2010 when I needed a way to cope with anxiety and stress. It didn't take long for me to become inspired by the way that Yoga philosophy and supportive therapy combine so beautifully. I completed my Yoga Instructor certification in 2017 to bring this dream to life. I have received specific training in using yoga and mindfulness as tools for therapy, and I am fascinated by how the body/mind/spirit connection that yoga nurtures can help heal depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, self-criticism, and so much more, in ways that traditional talk therapy alone cannot reach."
Carolyn Koesters, Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator
Carolyn joins us from WORD CATCHING out of Abingdon, Va. We are excited to see how she will walk with you to make journaling joyful, deep, fun, magical, and healing alongside our workshops and retreats!
"My interest in journaling began as a young girl when my second-grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson handed me my very first journal. For thirty years, I’ve developed that gift into my life’s purpose: to offer journal writing, poem-making and thoughtful creative prompts to anyone as an invaluable instrument for healing, growth, and discovery, and to share this with anyone who has a desire to be transformed through the power of words. Through my passion for personal writing, I’ve discovered a realm of therapeutic benefits through expressive writing that have been studied and proven to reduce stress and promote feelings of well-being. Poetry Therapy is one of the Expressive Arts Therapies, such as dance, art, or music therapy. I earned my credential as a Certified Applied Poetry Facilitator through the International Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy in 2006 and love sharing my passion for and extensive knowledge of intentional journaling with beginning writers and life-long writers alike. "
Kim Bushore-Maki MED, Shakti in the Mountains
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where people could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Kim is a licensed professional counselor and a yoga teacher. She completed the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy program as well as the Shake Your Soul Yoga Dance program. Kim is very interested in somatic expressive therapy, archetypal psychology, gardening, herbalism, astrology, wisdom traditions, and regenerative economics.
Kim continues to build and to support inclusive, vibrant communities. She spends most of her time mentoring leaders, guiding healing programs, and providing mental health counseling.
Jacqui Pile RYT 500 ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach & Yoga Instructor
Jacqui lives in Abingdon, Va and has enjoyed being in the “Wellness Industry” for nearly 25 years, working as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach and is a 500 Hr Certified Yoga Instructor. She enjoys teaching a meditative style of Yoga at Whitetop Yoga, and the Coomes Recreation Center, Abingdon, Va . She is newly exploring teaching Yoga in the pool setting, as well as on Standup Paddle Boards! In addition, she is currently studying to become an Ayurvedic Health Coach and is actively engaged in an Ayurvedic program with Hannah Levin of Heartfeltwellbeing.com and serves as a Mentor. She loves being out in nature, playing the fiddle and connecting with family and friends.
''I am very passionate about coming alongside others on their Wellness Journey and especially enjoy working with women, at varying stages of their lives. I have participated in Andrea’s retreats in the past and have really enjoyed them! I feel honored and grateful to have this opportunity to be a part of this retreat, and I look forward to any opportunities in the future!’'