Welcome to WYC!

Waynesville Yoga Center is proud to offer 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in the tranquil Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina! Get your certification right here in the Southeast – with all the quality of a “big city” training.

We’re thrilled and honored to provide a training program for those who want to deepen their yoga journey, whether to teach others, or simply understand it better. Many people take yoga teacher training not because they want to teach, but to deepen their own yoga practice.

Yoga Teacher Training (aka YTT) provides a solid introduction to the elements that inform Yoga: Anatomy & Physiology; Ayurveda; Trauma & Neuroplasticity; Yoga Philosophy & Lifestyle; Chronic Pain; dissection of the common asana (poses); and of course: many different flavors of yoga!

Why take YTT at Waynesville Yoga? You can expect some differences from our program:

  1. Calm Setting :: Avoid the traffic and intensity of the city, and get your 200 hour certification at our gorgeous studio in the tranquil, grounding mountains of western North Carolina.

  2. Affordable :: our program is more affordable than any other we’ve found in the Southeast.

  3. Real Yoga for Real People :: yoga in America has turned into an empire, one that many people think is unattainable: uber-thin white women contorted into poses that many people can’t even consider, much less execute. At WYC, we offer real yoga for real people: making yoga accessible for you.

    Our YTT mission is: “to provide the tools, skills and knowledge to safely practice (and perhaps teach) whatever style of yoga that most resonates with you, your body, and – if you choose to teach – your students.”

    It’s not about forcing your body to look a certain way in a particular shape; it’s about learning how to express the poses in your body, safely and comfortably. It’s about how it feels and how it can cultivate health and wellness for your whole being: physically, mentally, and emotionally.

    If you’ve felt uncomfortable or intimidated by yoga; if you think you’re not “good enough” to come to a studio (we’ve heard that from many of our students, sadly!), try one of our classes and see how accessible yoga can be.

    If you’ve wanted to try a yoga teacher training program but felt like you weren’t up to the challenge, know that our course is accessible and realistic, for all ages, body types, and levels of experience.

  4. No Dogma :: although Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and is typically associated with Hinduism, Yoga isn’t a religion – and we don’t make it one! While Yoga acknowledges the unseen presence of spirit or soul – and seeks to reconnect body & soul – we don’t adhere to any particular dogma.

    “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” {Dalai Lama}

    Some YTT programs incorporate yoga’s religious traditions into their syllabus and teach it along with the other course material. While we respect everyone’s spiritual path and honor the lineage of yoga science & philosophy, we don’t endorse or teach any dogma.

    It’s why you won’t find any deities at WYC: we respect your spiritual integrity and want yoga to be a tool & resource on your life path, however you connect with Spirit. Our YTT will provide you with information and training to access your yoga.

  5. Practice Actually Teaching :: We’ve gotten feedback that some other YTT programs don’t offer enough (or any!?) actual practice in teaching yoga. These students learned and experienced a lot, but they graduated from those programs feeling woefully unprepared to actually teach.

    Our graduates appreciate getting lots of practice leading a class – both in and outside of the group  – giving them the confidence, tools, resources, and support to start teaching upon graduation (if they choose).

  6. Realistic Schedule :: Based on feedback from our graduates, we offer a 10 month program – with at least 4 weeks in between each class – providing structure, consistency, and space to absorb the content. We do encourage you to start the reading list as soon as you sign up, as this will cultivate balance & calm during the program! 🙂

    (We used to take the summers off, as many people travel, have their kids on break, etc – but students indicated that it was more supportive to meet every month and keep their learning momentum).

  7. Supportive Class Size :: With a max of 14 participants accepted, you can count on a supportive, intimate group. The honest connection that comes with a smaller group makes you a better teacher, and the enhanced teacher attention makes it easier to learn. 

Fridays, 6 – 9 PM
6 – 7: varied practice
7 – 9: student-led teaching

Saturdays, 9 AM – 5 PM
9 – 10:15: practice, principles, techniques
10:15 – 11:30: integrative anatomy & physiology 
11:30 – 12:30: putting the anatomy & physiology into practice
:: lunch break ::
1:30 – 2:30: video learning
2:30 – 5: yoga basics

Sundays, 9 AM – 5 PM
9 – 11:30: student-led teaching
11:30 – 12:30: varied practice
:: lunch break ::
1:30 – 3:30: yoga philosophy, lifestyle, education
3:30 – 5: teaching methodology & closing circle for the weekend

(bathroom breaks and snacks during lecture can be taken at any time, as needed)

2021 Calendar

Weekend 1: Jan 22 – 24 > Yoga for Chronic Pain w/ Alex Moody
Weekend 2: Feb 19 – 21 > Ayurveda w/ Candra Smith
Weekend 3:  March 19 – 21 > Yoga & Trauma w/ Anna Robas Ferguson
Weekend 4: April 16 – 18 > Hot Stone Restorative w/ Amber Kleid
Weekend 5: May 14 – 16 > Arm Balances & Inversions w/ Candra Smith
Weekend 6: June 11 – 13 > Yin Yoga w/ Sara Lewis
Weekend 7: August 27 – 29 
Weekend 8: Sept 10 – 12
Weekend 9: Oct 15 – 17 > Nutrition w/ Sara Lewis
Weekend 10: Nov 12 – 14

2022 Calendar

Weekend 1: Jan 21 – 23
Weekend 2: Feb 18 – 20 > Hot Stone Restorative w/ Amber Kleid
Weekend 3:  March 18 – 20 > Yoga for Chronic Pain w/ Amber Kleid 
Weekend 4: April 22 – 24 > Yin Yoga w/ Sara Lewis
Weekend 5: May 20 – 22 > Ayurveda w/ Candra Smith
Weekend 6: June 17 – 19 > Yoga for Trauma w/ Lynda Saffell
Weekend 7: July 22 – 24 > Ashtanga Yoga w/ Natalie
Weekend 8: August 19 – 21 > Nutrition for Wellness w/ Sara Lewis
Weekend 9: September 16 – 18 > Arm Balances & Inversions w/ Candra Smith
Weekend 10: October 14 – 16

You can get a good idea of what to expect from the syllabus in the detailed schedule above.

The program will provide a solid foundational exploration of:
// Anatomy & Physiology, especially as it relates to Yoga
// Basics of common yoga poses: breakdown & alignment
// Yoga Philosophy, including Ayurveda, Tantra, Sutras, and more
// Yamas / Niyamas / Ethics
// Chakras
// Yoga for Trauma, such as for veterans, recovering from injuries, healing from childbirth, etc.
// and the following Yoga styles**: Flow & Ground :: Buti Yoga :: Yin :: Vinyasa Flow :: Hot Stone Restorative :: Yoga Nidra :: Myofascial Release :: Arm Balances & Inversions :: Gentle & Chair Yoga :: and much more!

The lead trainers are Jay MacDonald & Leigh-Ann Renz. We’re also excited to welcome our fabulous guest instructors:
Sara Lewis :: Nutrition // Yin Yoga
Candra Smith :: Ayurveda // Arm Balances & Inversions
Amber Kleid :: Hot Stone Restorative
Anna Ferguson Robas :: Yoga for Trauma
Alex Moody :: Yoga for Chronic Pain
and more…

**Flow & Ground

Students in our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training will receive a depth of understanding in our signature, branded style: Flow & Ground Yoga. Developed by lead trainer Jay MacDonald, Flow & Ground integrates the best of both stability and fluidity. Learning a foundation in this style offers the YTT student a solid base from which to explore, unfold and grow their yoga from a place of deep wisdom.

Required Reading > (the books are listed in the order that we recommend you read them in):

  1. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain Mind and Body in the healing of trauma by Bessel van der Kolk (by w/e 1)
    -> NOTE: this is great as an audio book, which might help you save time!
  2. Teaching Yoga: Essential Foundations and Techniques by Mark Stephens (by w/e 1)
  3. Awakening the Spine by Vanda Scaravelli (by w/e 2)
  4. Yoga Anatomy, 2nd Edition, by Leslie Kaminoff (by w/e 3)
  5. The muscle book by Paul Blakely (by w/e 3)
  6. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The philosophy and practice of Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark (by w/e 4)
  7. Yoga for Pain Relief (Simple practices to Calm Your Mind & Heal Your Chronic Pain) by Kelly McGonigal (by w/e 5)
  8. Your Body, Your Yoga by Bernie Clark (by w/e 5)
  9. The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi (by w/e 6)
  10. Insight Yoga: An innovative synthesis of traditional yoga, meditation and Eastern approaches by Sarah Powers (by w/e 7)
  11. Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists (by w/e 7)
  12. Yoga Nidra: by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (by w/e 8)
  13. Spinning Inward: Using guided imagery for learning, creativity & relaxation by Maureen Murdock (by w/e 8)
  14. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (by w/e 9)

Recommended Reading:

  1. Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
  2. The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffman
  3. Back Care Basics by Mary Pullig Schatz
  4. Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh

To support your completion of this extensive reading list, we open the studio an hour early on Fridays to create space for a reading group. We highly recommend you connect with your fellow students and help each other stay on track.

Book Purchasing Options

We know these books are expensive! Our book list is actually comparable (or less) than other YTT programs; because of the wealth of quality information, it’s part of any YTT course to pay $300 – $500 for the books. The content will serve you well for decades to come as a yoga instructor. Knowledge = power!

Please know that you’re not required to purchase them new! In fact, we have a book share program through Wall St Books in Waynesville: check with them for used versions. You can also buddy up with another person in the program and share the books; let us know if you’d like the email list for other students so you can coordinate a book share.

The only thing that’s not gonna work is an electronic version, as it’s kinda hard to look at amazing anatomy pictures while you’re driving! 😊

// 1st 4 people to sign up pay $2,250
// 2nd 4 people to sign up pay $2,500
// final 6 people to sign up pay $2,750

A $500 non-refundable deposit will hold your place in the price tier. Half of the total is due by the start of the program; any remaining balance must be paid by the 4th weekend.

Click here to reserve your spot – and your place in the price tier. 

“The concept the universe has your back comes to mind when I think of my YTT journey this year. I embarked on this journey as a reset for myself at a time of personal transition. I had recently left a business that I had helped to create and both of my children were flying the nest with the eldest one moving to Colorado. Never did I imagine that 2020 would be the year that the entire planet paused for a reset. 

Each YTT weekend has been like a flower of self awareness opening up as the themes have built on themselves fluidly. The magic in these weekends was already evident prior to the pandemic as the group quickly bonded with the guidance of both Leigh Ann and Jay through their nurturing and humor. However, the magic has continued to unfold as each time that we have come together either online or later in person during the pandemic it has felt like the reset we were getting not only spoke to us on an individual level but also on the broader outward level. 

With so much anxiety and chaos happening in the world , to come together and learn how to pause, reset, and nurture both body, mind, and spirit while also learning how to share it with others is truly a gift. The concept of self love is where all love resides has never been more true for me until now,  I have had more patience and less anxiety through my yoga practice on and off the mat as I have had many opportunities to use it. It has helped me to stay calm, breathe and stay grounded for myself, my family, and my friends.  I am forever grateful to Jay for the nudge and myself for the effort.”

{Kim T. WYC YTT 2020}

For more details – and/or to reserve your spot in our next 200 hour YTT, contact us: ytt@waynesvilleyogacenter.com – 828.246.6570

(For details about our 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training program, contact us – or click here…)

  • I signed up for YTT thinking I had time to myself to focus on me, but the world has other plans. It’s still the best decision I’ve made, and I am so grateful that what I have learned has come to me at a time that I can apply it to so much real world trauma. This YTT has been a saving grace!

    – Kim T.

  • “Jay is an always-patient, highly skilled teacher who makes everyone feel welcome and able to participate. Her class is always a joy and rewarding.”

    – Barbara S.

  • “When I first began practicing yoga, it seemed like the more I learned, the more I wanted to know. I bought a few books but still didn’t feel like a real student of the practice of yoga. When the 200 hour YTT was offered, I saw it as the perfect chance to really expand my knowledge. I have come to realize that with this deep dive into the practice of yoga, I have a strong knowledge bank that will allow me to continue to expand my knowledge of yoga for years to come.”

    – Jann F.

  • “I woke up one morning and realized I was 60 years old, that I could live well into my 80s and that I had to do something to improve my strength and stamina if I wanted a good quality of life. I was caring for small grandchildren periodically, and it exhausted me.

    As soon as I saw Waynesville Yoga Center was opening, I came. I am so thankful to Jay for a place where I feel safe, not self-conscious, and where I can attend classes that benefit me without feeling in competition with anyone else. Restorative and Yin have improved my flexibility and meditation skills; Beginner Flow, Flow Level 1 and Gentle Chair Yoga have increased my strength and balance and also challenged me, as has Barre and Balance!

    I feel better than I ever have – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have met so many new friends. All of the instructors I have had are wonderful and willing to share of themselves. Thank you, Jay, your endeavor is making a tremendous difference in so many lives!”

    – Terri M.

  • “WYC YTT has given me such tremendous depth in my practice of yoga on and off the mat. I’ve loved seeing my evolution this year as I learned all the ways I can add yoga to my home and work life. I started just expecting to build a stronger personal practice, but now I am so excited to see where this will all take me in the years to come.”

    – 2019 YTT Student

  • “Since I started taking classes at Waynesville Yoga Center, I can now go down the stairs ‘normally’, instead of one foot at a time. I’m really pleased with how these classes are helping me.”

    – Carol L.

  • “Jay is a wonderful yoga instructor; has great variety in classes; is always dependable (there and on time); is kind and understanding; and always available to answer questions and give additional instruction if necessary. She is calm and classes are enjoyable no matter the challenge.”

    – Myndie S.

  • “My experience during my YTT at WYC has not only increased my confidence on the mat but has opened up endless possibilities and opportunities for a courageous, confident, and grateful life off the mat. “

    – Teresa F.

  • “What has set the program apart for me, as well, is the approach to teaching that encourages us not to focus on a “perfect” pose, but rather perfecting a pose within our bodies and the bodies of our students. This means everyone’s expression of a pose will be slightly different, and there is such beauty in that. It runs counter to so much that we are taught elsewhere in life.”

    – Kristen, B

  • “I haven’t felt this good since I got my puppy, ten years ago!…”

    – Steve S.

  • “YTT provided me with the tools and knowledge to deepen my own yoga practice and help others with theirs. This program challenged me in unforeseen ways and I am so thankful to have experienced this journey with such incredible teachers and fellow students. It was truly a life-changing experience.”

    – Hayley P.

  • “After my first private session with Amber my body felt so good! Because of her guidance and personal assisting I highly recommend working with her.”

    – Barbara B.

  • “That special moment when your body, mind and spirit blend into a yummy synchronized yogic OHMMMMMMM……..yeah, YTT has given me like a hundred of those so far! You guys are awesome!”

    – 2019 YTT Student

  • “Amber, you’re an incredible teacher! You are a natural at creating flows that challenge and inspire your students.”

    – Michelle G.C.

  • “Thank you all so much for offering this. It has truly been a gift in my life and I am very grateful to be part of this class!”

    – Kristen, B

  • “Amber is an incredibly gifted instructor, particularly when it comes to yoga. She is calming, thorough, and provides that extra-added touch of essential oils, gentle adjustments, and themed practices. I love that Amber’s yoga classes are dynamic and she’s taught moves in her classes that I’ve never done in 15 years of practicing yoga. She’s a breath of fresh air in the yoga scene. I highly recommend her!”

    – Christine G.

  • “Jay met me prior to class to help me polish my yoga teaching skills. I really appreciate her willingness to meet and teach me to make me a better instructor.”

    – Brooke H.

  • “With all of my health issues, I never would have believed I could ever learn to teach yoga. WYC’s Real Yoga for Real Bodies built my confidence as a leader, reminding me that my journey is my strength, and I will actually be a better teacher because of the challenges I’ve experienced. Thank you so much for creating a program that encouraged us to bring the beauty and the beast through this incredible transformation.”

    – CJH

  • “One of the things I have loved about the program is that we are not just learning how to teach certain poses; I have been learning things I didn’t even know I could learn about yoga in general, including about the subtle energies, how they tie to both anatomy and the philosophy of yoga.”

    – 2019 YTT Student

  • “I waited years looking for the right yoga teacher training program and WYC was definitely the reason why. I’m absolutely convinced I could not have found a program that was more creative, inclusive, or supportive. I would definitely attribute that to the meticulous design of the curriculum and incredibly talented teachers you brought in to lead so many cool facets of the course. You drew in some of the most amazing students with all this awesomeness and I’ve been so thrilled to learn alongside them this year so thank you, thank you, thank you for every last delicious bit of it.”

    – CJH

  • “Jay takes time to answer questions, to give help when needed in performing movements and is a gentle, calm person which helps my yoga experience.”

    – Anita S.

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Waynesville Yoga Center
274 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786

828.246.6570

hello@waynesvilleyogacenter.com

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