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Yoga Village is a Wilmington based non-profit that specializes in bringing evidence based, trauma sensitive and resiliency focused, mindful movement programs to populations that might not have easy access to them otherwise.


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Co-Founder &

Executive Director

Heather Lilly is a Yoga Village Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Facilitator. The work of Yoga Village feels like a calling in her life. Building bridges and spreading these evidence-based techniques to increase the resilience of our community is a deep passion. She feels so honored to have the opportunity to share this work every day.


Board Chair

Jess Hartmann is a Physical Therapist and UNCW Instructor in the Wilmington community.  She recognizes the positive changes that yoga and mindfulness practices have brought to her life, and loves how Yoga Village offers these opportunities to members of our community who may not otherwise have this experience. She also loves the opportunity to bring awareness to the local community about ways they can support and connect with folx outside of their immediate circles.

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Board President

Emmy Gibson is the Healthy Opportunities Pilot Project Manager with Communities In Schools of Cape Fear.  After witnessing the lasting benefits that Yoga Village has brought the students and young families of Communities In Schools with trauma-informed practices, she was hooked!  She is grateful to see and support the efforts of the incredible yoga instructors partnering with a variety of community organizations to make yoga accessible and promote resiliency.

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Founder &

Board Treasurer

Sylvia Jabley is a Student Support Specialist with Communities in Schools of Cape Fear.  She developed Yoga Village because she knew the difference her yoga practice made in her personal resilience. She was inspired by the organizations involved in the Yoga Service Council and the Kunga mission at Wilmington Yoga Center.

Board Secretary

Resource Development Chair

Yolanda Keith 

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Board Member

Jessica King is a Psychotherapist and local business owner.  She feels that Yoga Village's mission aligns with her values and mission in many ways. The reach into the community with inclusive offerings that are helping to heal individual and collective trauma is something that she can personally and professionally get behind.

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Board Member

Keisha Robinson is the NHC Community Programs Manager for Communities In Schools.  She loves and supports Yoga Village because she feels that it is important to offer mindfulness strategies to ALL people.

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Board Member

Megan Toothman is a Program Associate at UNCW.  She has a long history with Yoga Village and has seen the positive impacts of the YV work within the community.

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Board Member

Bonnie Harris is the Communities in Schools Baby Steps Program Coordinator.  She has experienced the benefits of Yoga Village and witnessed the positive impact Yoga Village has had on the Baby Steps support group.  She wants to encourage more people to experience and enjoy Yoga Village as she has.

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Meg Henson

Yoga Village Co-Founder & Board Member

Board Member

Leslie Douglas 



Carolyn Royce

Erica Morgan


To bring yoga to underserved communities and villages in Wilmington, NC and beyond, we partner with local yoga instructors and businesses to host yoga events that raise money to support these efforts.

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Lexi Hawks

E-RYT 500hr Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher, is the founder and director of Longwave Yoga. Lexi’s teachings are rooted in her belief that the practice of Yoga is available to every body and help create a life of true connection and abundance. With over 10 years experience in her own teaching including private & public classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings Lexi has been dedicated in always remaining a student.

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Walter Thomas

After being sidelined with a sports injury while serving the the military in 2011, Walter discovered yoga as a part of his rehab. It didn’t take long for him to fall in love with the challenge it offered and the welcoming community. In early 2014 while still living in San Diego, Walter completed his yoga teacher training and since then he is committed to sharing with anyone who’s willing all the same benefits and blessing that yoga has given him.


Donna Gardner

Donna Gardner has been practicing yoga and Insight Meditation for over 20 years and is an experienced teacher. She holds a Masters Degree in Dance from New York University, and is an ACE certified personal trainer. In addition, she attended the Graduate School of Social Work at Boston University and recently completed Level I certification in Thai Yoga Bodywork. Whether you are new to practice, returning to it, or enjoying an ongoing practice, please join Donna for classes in which you will receive personal attention to your specific needs and abilities.

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Noelle Whittington

Noelle is a dedicated and passionate Yoga instructor, musician, Bhakti Yoga student, Coach, Thai Yoga practitioner, and Senior Trainer of the Kunga Yoga School offering 200 and 300 hour Yoga teacher training programs. Noelle began teaching full-time in 2006. Noelle’s dynamic, fluid, and breath-centered style of teaching draws upon many creative modalities, including 15 years of classical dance training. She incorporates movement, meditation, mantra, and philosophy into her offerings because she fully believes in being curious about the nature of the Universe, and the healing power of connecting ourselves with our Source.

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Tamal Dodge

He was born and raised in his families yoga ashram in Hawaii and has been teaching and practicing yoga since childhood. Tamal is the founder of Yoga Salt (one of the most popular yoga centers in Los Angeles) and has been featured in Time Magazine, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Reuters, CSNBC, Self Magazine, Yogi Times, Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart Living radio, Fit TV and numerous other publications nationally and internationally.
Tamal has several best selling yoga DVD’s entitled “Hatha and Flow Yoga for Beginners,” “Yoga for Energy and Relaxation” and “Intro to Yoga,” all of which are currently sold worldwide. Tamal also tours the country teaching workshops, seminars, conferences and yoga teacher trainings to the masses. Tamal’s goal is to help people be “in the world but not of the world,” to become truly peaceful and happy and to make yoga a lifestyle.

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Heather Metzler

Studio Owner Heather Metzler is a certified ERYT-500-hour yoga teacher. Heather created The Empowered Vinyasa 200 hour teacher training that is currently offered at WYC. She took her first yoga class in 1994 as a PE credit and found the Wilmington Yoga Center in 2003. Heather began teaching at WYC in 2005 and is a graduate of the 220 and 500 hour Kunga Yoga School. She has completed certifications in Prenatal Yoga, Yoga for Trauma, Thai Yoga Massage, Kunga Power Vinyasa and YogaTherapeutics. Heather has traveled with Kunga Journeys for service work at the Home of Hope Orphanage in Kerala, India twice. Heather has led many retreats through WYC including Costa Rica, BHI and Prama Institute. She has developed and led local mini and weekend retreats in and around Wilmington. Heather teaches on the public class schedule regularly, and leads/co-leads the Empowered Vinyasa and Kunga Vinyasa 200 hour teacher training, as well as the 300 hour Empowered/Kunga training. She feels blessed to have her husband and two daughters that support her growth and passions. Heather is grateful for her students and the amazing teachers who enrich her life daily⁠.

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