Debbie Nolen

I love teaching and my mission at a very fundamental level is that yoga or whatever your fitness activity is – it must be fun for you to keep coming back! Truly, to really enjoy your practice or workout, we need to create community – make connections with our fellow classmates and trainer/ teacher to support each other. It takes a lot of courage for someone to begin especially if they haven’t been doing any other form of exercise. I love to see people lose that self-consciousness and have fun while improving their lives! My favorite part about teaching is seeing someone have an “ah-ha” moment in the middle of the class! When someone chooses to take a child’s pose in yoga or other modification in any class, I know I have helped that person honor their body and begin to make choices which they then carry off the mat and into their personal lives.

I am going to share some of my fitness journey (giving away my age, 22 of course)! After graduating from VCU, Recreation has been my related vocation for 42 years with the City of Salem and Henrico County. I have been active in my avocation, the fitness field, for 30 years, over time teaching a little of everything. I currently focus on Yoga, Pilates and Spin/Cycling. I nationally certified in ACE GX; AFAA GX, Step & Yoga; Star 3 Spinning Instructor, Pilates, Pilates Barre and I am Yoga Alliance registered as an E-RYT 500, CRYT and YACEP.

I started practicing yoga in the 1960s because I was a Beatles fan and they were into Transcendental Meditation, a form of yoga. I bought a little book with lined drawings of poses, taught myself and practiced through middle and high school. I was a swimmer, and used fitness to help finance college as a lifeguard and swim instructor. I was for there for the actively involved through the 1980’s in the beginning crazes of distance running (30 to 40 miles a week for 22 yrs.), aerobics (high impact with hand weights and leg warmers no less!), water aerobics (I was afraid I was going to electrocute myself from the music), step (Gin Miller all the way!) and Spinning. I was running and taking community aerobics classes when encouragement from an instructor led to me becoming a teacher in 1990! And they rest, as they say – is history!

When not teaching, I keep up with 3 parrots (yes, they talk!) and my Japanese Koi pond. My husband and I have a collection of early muscle cars and mini cars which we have restored, ranging from a 1969 Fiat 500, a 70 Austin Mini, a 1957 Volkswagen Beetle to big motor early Pontiacs and we enjoy traveling the country to show our vehicles in antique auto shows in the Antique Automobile Club of America.


Top