Nadia Gooray, Progam Director
Nadia discovered PYR in 2014 just prior to her move from Rochester, New York, to Richmond. She had been working for an incredible yoga studio, Breathe Yoga, for 8 years where she experienced many firsts, including her first yoga practice, and was honestly nervous about uprooting from her much-loved community. Her fiancé, Nate, had been living in Richmond for several years and while grabbing coffee one day, he noticed J. Miles wearing a PYR t-shirt. After googling PYR and learning about its mission and service work, he shared the link and said, “I think this is the yoga community you’re looking for.” From the moment she entered PYR’s space, she felt welcomed, grounded, and at home.
Yoga has provided Nadia with a sense of belonging and a deeper connection to herself and others. It has been a source of healing, growth, amazing friendships, and inspiration.
Nadia brings experience and a passion for outreach programming, staff training and development, and community engagement, and is excited to be part of this collaborative, vibrant community. When she’s not on her mat, Nadia enjoys running, exploring the hiking trails along the James River, volunteering for the Reading Buddies program at FRIENDS Association for Children, discovering new favorite restaurants in RVA, and listening to ‘90s R&B.
Holly Zajur, Communications Manager
Holly first began practicing yoga in high school and began to connect with the practice as it taught her more about her true self, but also how we are all a part of something else. Her relationship with the practice has changed a lot over the years and remains a constant evolution throughout the many phases of life. However, no matter where her physical asana is, her passion for the practice remains constant. Holly believes in the power of yoga, the way it changes lives, and the way it transforms the world around us. Every single day, PYR gives her hope as the studio mirrors her values and beliefs and turns them into reality.
Holly studied at the University of Virginia and graduated with an interdisciplinary double major in Arts Administration and Global Development Studies focusing on the role of arts education in community cultural development. She is incredibly passionate about increasing access to community cultural development, from the inside out.
When she isn’t at the studio, you can most likely find Holly behind the potter’s wheel, playing outside, writing, running, or coloring!
Stacy Abbott, Operations Manager
Stacy’s husband, Alec Abbott, a 500 RYT instructor, introduced her to yoga over 10 years ago. Alec was introduced to yoga by their son Bryce, who is now a yoga instructor (as is his wife!). Stacy, being surrounded by so many instructors in her family, never caught the bug to teach (although she has taught hoop dance!), but will always be a student of yoga for life. She believes yoga is transformational and has seen its work personally, with herself, as well as her family. Serving on PYR’s board for 5 years, Stacy has helped Project Yoga Richmond grow exponentially, providing yoga to more and more people in Richmond each year.
Stacy brings 20 years of experience running a local multi-million dollar family owned small business to Project Yoga Richmond. Today she is building a photography business as a professional photographer and partner at McAbbott Studios in Richmond and enjoys spending time with her newborn grandson!
Natalie Rainer, Studio and Events Associate
Natalie started practicing yoga in 2010 while studying Public Relations at VCU. She attended her first Project Yoga class, a Feel Good Friday Flow in 2013. From that first class, she knew that PYR would be her home-sweet-Om.
Years of working in non-profit communications instilled in Natalie the importance of community service work. After completing her master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations at VCU, she moved to Hawaii to take a much needed recovery year, returning to RVA and rejoining the PYR community in 2017.
Natalie credits her yoga practice as the source of balance and well being in her life through periods of change, loss and grief, adventure, and personal growth. She is passionate about PYR’s mission to serve the community with accessible and affordable yoga, helping more people experience the life changing benefits.
When she is not practicing at PYR, you can find her volunteering around Richmond, gardening, drinking dirty chai soy lattes, and hiking everywhere.