Debra Wolfe, certified Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, E-RYT 500, RYS-200 & YACEP
Since 2004, Debra, a certified Yoga Therapists and experienced teacher has embraced an integrative approach to health and wellness. She’s owned and operated a full-service, Integrative Health & Wellness Center from 2006-2015 and founded NW Yoga & Wellness in Port Townsend, WA in 2015. Over the years, Debra approach toward helping others has remained the same, to make health and wellness accessible for all. To do that she aligns herself with a team of professionals, in various disciplines, that assist her and her her clients and students achieving their goals. With over 10,000 hours in training and teaching, Debra offers a customized, transformational and experiential approach in her classes, privates and training's. She specializes in Alignment-based and Therapeutic Yoga, with an emphasis on detail, precision, structural alignment and anatomical principles for a safe and sustainable practice in the performance of postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama). Each student is encouraged to explore and own their ongoing journey toward their optimal health.
Debra is a certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) through International Association of Yoga Therapists and registered at the E-RYT 500 level with Yoga Alliance. Her business, NW Yoga & Wellness is a registered Yoga School (RYS) and Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) through Yoga Alliance. As a teacher of teachers, Debra developed a RYT 200-hour Advance Training program and other courses that qualify as continuing education hours for experienced practitioners and Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT's).
Debra has had many teachers over the years, but when you ask her who her most influential one were and are, she always says it’s her students and that she is honored to have the opportunity to learn from them daily.
- This is the first yoga class I have taken where I have not aggravated my back issues and have greatly improved my understanding of where my body is in space. I now know how to move with better mechanics so I do not injure myself and this has flowed into my day to day life. Thank you!!
Lee Feetham October 2019
- I came to Debra quite anxious about taking up yoga again after I found out that I would need total knee replacement surgery "soon." I was afraid I would make things worse or that my knee would get in the way of a "real" practice. I was also afraid I would get hurt in class. What I found instead was a compassionate, expert teacher who worked with me to get in the best shape I could be prior to surgery. The muscles that were cramped and shortened because of my compensatory gait have stretched out. I'm no longer afraid to move my body. The most important things I have learned at NW Yoga & Wellness are that I can trust Debra to help me, and that because of her approach to modifying the postures to the student rather than forcing us/me to do a specific posture in a specific way, I believe that anyone at any level can benefit by coming to the studio.
- I spent many years saying I would NEVER take yoga!!! I am approaching 4 years with Debra and if I miss a class I miss a most important part of my life. She is so astute...when I walk into class she can immediately tell if I am okay or not. Her class has made it possible for me to be more active and have less old age pain. She is fun, down to earth and leads us through a wonderful hour experience.
- I am in my seventh decade and extremely overweight and knew yoga was NOT for me. I began in March with a private lesson that was a gift. This private session was instrumental to my continuation and success. Debra Wolfe is extremely well -trained and is aware of every movement of each student in her studio. She encourages, adjusts, and helps everyone - along with a delightful sense of humor. I cannot speak more highly of my experiences in NW Yoga & Wellness. I now attend weekly and shortly will have two classes each week.
- I am extremely grateful for Debra Wolfe and her approach to yoga. She is an exceptional teacher and person. She has a thorough understanding of body mechanics and is attentive to each student’s body limitations, alignment and form. Her gentle, clear and hands on approach have helped me make subtle corrections to various poses. I really appreciate this. It is easy to injure yourself in yoga, but this is not an issue at NW Yoga & Wellness.
- I practiced yoga for 30 years in the Bay area, but after moving to Port Townsend, pain in my hip led me to Debra's therapeutic yoga class. I had thought I might need a hip replacement, but through Debra's skilled teaching and individualized attention, my hip rather quickly became more flexible and pain free! My work with Debra over the last several years has also helped with my overall flexibility and sense of well being. I particularly appreciate her focus on alignment and opening the large psoas muscle, which affects so many parts of the body, but is often ignored. In addition to being a highly skilled and knowledgeable teacher, Debra is kind, compassionate, supportive and fun. Anyone who works with Debra is in for a treat!
- I have been taking yoga classes for over 20 years and I have never had a teacher like Debra. Debra breaks down each posture and explains exactly where every part of your body should be and why. She makes sure you know how to protect your knees and back, then observes each person and helps them modify and make the adjustments they need on that day. When I moved to Port Townsend I had been living with chronic back pain and was really worried about leaving my physical therapist who had kept me upright for years. Then I went to Debra's Therapeutic Yoga class and began to learn how to strengthen my core and take more control of my back pain. I followed Debra from Lawrence Street to North Beach and would probably follow her anywhere. Through working with Debra I also resolved a "Frozen Shoulder" that did not respond to physical therapy.
- Hip issues run in my family. I’m an active person so I’ve fought the periodic soreness in my right hip thinking it's my fate to endure pain until it gets bad enough that I need surgery. I was wrong. After a year in Debra’s Therapeutic Yoga class twice a week, the change is dramatic. I rarely wake in the night with my hip aching. If I occasionally have soreness during the day, the stretches I have learned relieve it. I think the credit goes to Debra’s skilled instruction, her close caring attention to every class member’s body alignment, and her humor. I’ll take a little credit though. Even with the best teacher, you have to show up for the practice.
- Debra is a wonderful teacher. I was fairly new to yoga when I started with her, so knew very little about how to do the poses. Her focus on proper alignment was exactly what I needed. I am so much more flexible and balanced since starting her class. The yoga wall was frightening to me at the beginning, but she patiently worked with me until now I love to hang in downward dog. She is outstanding in her ability to work with whatever issues her students have. Last year I suffered through a frozen shoulder for over six months but did not have to give up my practice as she showed me how to modify all the poses, so I could slowly return to my full capacity. Just recently I had an issue with my back, she did a few adjustments and, miracle of miracles the problem was solved. (Amazing what having someone stand on you can do!). A week without yoga with Debra is now a week that feels empty.
- I've worked with Debra for three years. It's changed my life. I'd practiced yoga for decades with many other teachers, but got to a point where chronic pain prevented me from attending classes. After hearing great things about Debra, I decided to try her Therapeutic Yoga class. From the first day, Debra taught me things about posture that NO ONE had ever mentioned. Her focus is entirely on relieving pain from injuries and then preventing further injury, all the while teaching us proper alignment, making the body stronger.
I had a rather severe fracture recently that kept me out of class for a few months. After physical therapy got me well enough to return to yoga, I was amazed at how my healing accelerated. Within weeks, I went from struggling to walk to walking with full range of motion and no pain!
Debra is, hand's down, the best yoga teacher I've ever known. She's full of love and treats each student with utmost respect and caring. Elissa Smith February 2018
- I had given up on having a yoga practice after trying for decades to find a good fit for my mind, body and spirit. After a class I would leave with only frustration of not being able to do the poses and no understanding of the benefit and why's of doing them.
Then a marvelous coincidence occurred about two years ago when a friend invited me to Debra's Restorative Yoga class. At the end of that first session I had an emotional reaction - tears of joy - knowing in my heart that I had found my "home."
Now I have a new and continued awareness of my body. Debra, a yoga therapist, has comprehensive knowledge in this area. She watches all of us with keen eyes of the eagle, making corrections, adjustments and ensuring we have the appropriate props to do the pose without causing harm to ourselves.
Debra and her Restorative Yoga are both gifts for which I will be ever grateful.
Linda Spratt Janurary 2018
- I started with Debra after knee surgery inflamed the arthritis in my knee. She is such a patient teacher...always making sure that I'm feeling no pain in my knee during a pose, and altering the pose if necessary. After 18 months, the muscles surrounding my knee are so much stronger and my core strength has increased dramatically. I've been gardening pain free all season!
- Debra Wolfe is an extraordinary teacher. She is a compassionate healer who combines technical knowledge with instinctive understanding of an individual’s physical problems. For example, last year after only two classes she cleared up a painful knot in my shoulder that had been there for years – and it has not come back. Small classes mean that everyone receives her hands-on attention. The movements are yoga-based, but the emphasis is on the therapeutic elements. We, her students, are there because she is wonderful, but also for the practical reason that she knows how to correct our body’s painful misalignment and injuries. Students tell stories of how after working with her they no longer needed back surgery or how they regained lost motor mobility, along with the usual benefits of a yoga practice. Deb teaches you how to work with your body, but does it with impressive lessons in tranquility and joy. Highest recommendation.
- The teaching at NW Yoga Shala is by far the best yoga instruction I have experienced. Debra is incredibly knowledgeable with a keen eye for alignment. She is able to see into the body and make shifts in your physical awareness that bring your practice to a whole new level. I drive an hour just to take her class and it has become the time I look forward to most in my week.
- About 20 months ago, I began to have discomfort in my lower back and hips and numbness in both feet which extended up my left leg to my hip. I could not walk my dogs and had to lean on the grocery cart while shopping. After initial X-rays and ultrasound evaluations, I learned that I had "very extreme spinal stenosis", with L4 - L5 vertebra displacement. While waiting for my appointment with a conservative spine surgeon, I decided that yoga might be helpful. It was my great good fortune to discover Debra Wolfe and her NW Yoga Shala! Debra felt that with Therapeutic Yoga, three times a week, she would be able to diminish my pain and increase my mobility within 6 to 8 months. Soon after I visited my spine specialist. He was glad to hear that I was beginning therapeutic yoga classes, but sent me home with information regarding spine surgery, saying that he expected it was in my future.
Four months later, I was very encouraged. Already I was feeling so much better. I celebrated by taking a late spring day hike of 9 miles in the Olympic Mountains - something I wouldn't have imagined possible. Shortly thereafter, when I had a follow-up visit with my spine surgeon, he was quite amazed with my increased flexibility and strength, and declared that "surgery is off the table for you at this point".
I continue to work with Debra 3 times a week and am now pain free, very much stronger and more flexible, and I can do everything I thought I'd never do again! I ride a mountain bike, sail my boat, folk dance, and hike. I did a 3 day backpack trip last summer, carrying my own gear and this past winter went downhill skiing again. I attribute the return of wellness and energy to my 72 year old body to Debra and her knowledge, skill and compassion. I am constantly in awe of her ability to work with each student in the personalized, deeply caring manner she brings to us. Debra and NW Shala Yoga are at the top of my gratitude list! What a privilege it is to be able to work with her. (I'm 17 in picture ... feeling more like it every day!)
Kate MacMillan September 2017
- I can't say enough good things about Debra and her classes. She's so attentive to her clients individual needs. Her knowledge and training are amassing. I look forward to going to class. In just a very short time I am seeing improvement. And I want more.
- Life-changing instruction. Really. A kind and deeply knowledgeable teacher. Debra's instruction has made such a difference for me. Less pain. More flexibility, strength and ease in moving.
- Debra is an amazing practitioner. I learned so much in just one visit. Wish I lived in PT area and could work with her all the time. She GETS scoliosis!
- After 2 years of doing yoga 3 – 4 times a week, I was thinking of taking a break due to a lot of pain in my lower back. Deb Wolfe gave me a valuable realignment tip that I incorporated immediately into my practice. I experienced major improvement within a week! Sarah Bergdahl 2014
- After moving to a new state and deciding it was time to begin my personal yoga practice again, I met Deb. I appreciated her knowledge and passion for yoga after the first Therapeutic Yoga class I took with her. Although I was working with a hip injury, she encouraged me to try some things I hadn’t been willing to do in a long time. I was able to open up my hip joint and the surrounding muscles and get long-awaited relief. I participated in a workshop she hosted and was able to get first hand advice on how I was incorrectly practicing a specific posture. This one-on-one experience made all the difference for my hip pain. I was able to see where I was incorrectly aligned and what potentially caused my injury in the first place. This was a huge breakthrough for me. Working with Deb has given me the tools to work more effectively within my own body.
- I think it's rather odd that I should feel so confident in my opinion of the Urban Oasis and Deb Wolfe. My entire yoga experience has been with her at the studio. However, I did visit and observe representative practice sessions at other studios and athletic clubs. But, from my first discussions with Deb, an intuitive feel that the alignment/precision emphasis of her approaches to instruction and practice was clearly the superior option for me. I joined for one year knowing I would need that period of time to evaluate fairly a practice which had to be my savior; sixty and going downhill fast. I've now been with the studio six and a half years, and I cannot overstate the impact it and Deb have made on my life. I never regret following that intuitive, gut feeling.
- I started working with Deb at Urban Oasis 5 years ago. Deb has a great attitude and manner that is encouraging and fun. She is able to work with all levels of students, making each of us feel like we have a personal instructor. Deb focuses on form and alignment – the classes and poses always have a purpose which has helped me to improve body awareness outside of the yoga studio. Her approachable, motivating style of teaching has made me a dedicated student. 2013
- I started yoga with some expectations of improved flexibility and the hope of alleviating periodic back pain. I have been thrilled to find that both my posture and upper body strength are much improved and as an added bonus, my golf game is much better! The improved flexibility and body awareness have really helped me hit the ball further - and that makes it all worth the early morning classes!
- I am extremely grateful to Deb for her teachings and the knowledge she has shared with me. I participated in her 200 hour teacher training and am a regular student in her yoga classes. Her teacher training was well planned and designed to give students not only an education in yoga postures and yoga history, but in anatomy and alignment as well. Her emphasis on proper alignment in each and every pose is something I have found to be unique and not often found in other yoga teachers. Deb is very knowledgeable and possesses a talent for making yoga approachable. She has a wonderful sense of humor and is beautiful both inside and out. Deb has definitely helped me to discover more about myself and the lessons I have learned on my mat from her I have been able to take into my daily living.
- In 2013 I took the leap and signed up for Deb RYT program. It was phenomenal. Not only did I grow in my own personal practice but I continue to draw on that knowledge to assist me in my everyday life. Body alignment and therapeutics are second nature to Deb. Professionalism combined with her compassion to help those struggling with pain and mobility issues makes her the perfect yoga teacher.
- Deb is a wonderful teacher. She is very knowledgeable about alignment and proper training. Three weeks ago, I had bad lower back pain. After several of Deb’s therapeutic yoga classes, my back pain is gone. I owe it all to Deb, and her patient work with me. She is delightful, kind, giving, and truly wants to help others. Urban Oasis is the only studio I recommend to friends and family in this area. Ingrid Jarvis 2014
- I discovered yoga almost 4 years ago after a sports related injury had sidelined me from all activity. I was told by others that I would probably need to experience a few different studios and a few different teachers before I found the right fit. This was not the case at all. I came to Urban Oasis and found Deb and I have never looked back. She helped me with that injury and a few others that I have sustained. Working with Deb has shown me the power of yoga and how much my well-being depends on it. Deb’s honest approach to yoga, combined with her wit and sincerity make for a wonderful enriching experience.