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@Work: Virgin Island Wellness


Nov. 13, 2005 – Dr. Kirana Kefalos and Tom Drillot have a promise that most would find appealing – the couple wants "to enhance your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being."
They couldn't find a better place to do this than on St. Croix. So they moved here two months ago and started Virgin Island Wellness.
V.I. Wellness offers classes in yoga, Tai Chi, stress reduction, energy medicine, pilates and water aerobics. All classes are offered at the Buccaneer Resort.
Although Kefalos and Drillot plan to offer get-away packages for vacationers, one doesn't have to be staying at the resort to take the classes. Kefalos says about the Buccaneer, we want to make it "A destination for those who would like to enjoy a 'wellness vacation.' Somewhere to go for those who want to do more than gain 5 pounds and get a sun burn!"
Kefalos and Drillot have extensive experience in the medical and wellness field.
Kefalos received her doctorate in medicine from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.
She practiced internal medicine for 20 years in New Haven, Conn., where she was an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to seeing patients she taught medical students, interns and residents. She also taught meditation classes, "Conscious Living" classes and "Practicing Presence" sessions.
She was named one of the 100 Best Doctors in Connecticut in a 2002 survey done by Connecticut Magazine and as one of the Best Doctors in America in 2003-2004 and again in 2005-2006.
She has focused on preventative care from the start of her medical career. She deepened her approach to prevention and healthful lifestyles by doing a clinical training at the Harvard Mind/Body Medical Institute near Boston .
Drillot has been at it since 1976 when he completed an Advanced Yoga Teachers Training Course in Quebec. In 1983 he picked up an Integrated Awareness Certificate and in 1989 he was Certified in Transformational Therapy. Later he was certified a Master Hypnotist and in Polarity Therapy.
The couple hopes to use their knowledge of the relationship of nutrition, exercise and mindfulness of daily living to help people make practical changes and additions to their lifestyle. Their suggestions, they say, are to help people "optimize physical health, enhance your emotional well being and heighten your spiritual vitality."
They have found their time on St. Croix to be a positive experience. They said in an e-mail that what they like about the island is "the ease of connecting with others. The incredibly friendly people who take time to listen and make a personal connection. Everyone who lives here has a depth, an inner fortitude that is inspiring. On this small island, there is nothing to hide behind. This is refreshing, liberating if at times challenging."
The couple has been busy getting the business up and running since they have been here, but they have found time to enjoy common past times on the island such as "sky-gazing and weather-watching, walking on the beach and swimming."
They have managed to hire a handful of instructors. Listed on their web page at virginislandwellness.com are two instructors. Cindy Male is a yoga instructor, artist and art educator. She brings 35 years of personal yoga practice to her classes. Sonja Dickerson-Faust has been teaching Pilates since 2002. She moved to St. Croix in 1989 after retiring from a professional dance career.
Classes start at 7:30 a.m. most days. Here is a typical list of classes for a Monday: Yoga with Cindy, meditation, Oigong with Kirana, Pilates with Sonja and water aerobics.
The couple says they started the business because each of them has "a strong desire to empower others to take charge of their own health and well-being and to help them make changes in their lives towards healthier, happier living."
For themselves, they say their rewards are "the satisfaction that comes with connecting with others, teaching, helping. Relationships is what it is all about."
Drillot is lucky as far as one of his chief passions. He likes orchids and feels like he is now in orchid – land. Kefalos, on the other hand was not quite so lucky. She likes to play the piano, but her piano has not made it here yet.

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