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Meet Hanna Arrington: Our Teacher of the Season

Tell us about your experience with yoga: how it began, where it has taken you, and how yoga has impacted your life.

Yoga brings so much joy and calmness into my life. I began taking classes in 2010 and noticed how good each class made me feel mentally and physically. I always wondered how this instructor became an instructor and what led them to it. I have always come to yoga as a way to free the mind and stretch the physical body.

It wasn’t until 2019 that I really found the majority of health benefits while I was pregnant with my Yogi son, Rea. Yoga helped me cleanse and recenter before, during, and after pregnancy. I fell even more in love with the practice during the “World Shutdown” of 2020 alongside the sudden death of my father. Yoga healed me more than ever in every aspect of the physical and spiritual world. In some ways, having a yoga practice and community saved me. I loved the practice so much I wanted to share it with anyone who would listen, so I became an RYT200 (Registered Yoga Teacher) and RPYT95 (Registered Prenatal and Postnatal Instructor) to do it!

I am now living my dream teaching in my hometown, Waynesville at the studio that gave me my knowledge and love for the practice. I am so thankful for Jay and every instructor along the way that encourages me and guides me through this magnificent world.

What are your favorite styles of yoga / classes?

I love all different styles of yoga and really can’t pick just one. There are so many benefits to a well-rounded practice. I have recently come to enjoy Ashtanga and the mind, body, breath connections and history. I love to teach Vinyasa and Restorative, but I attend what the body is calling for. From Buti to Yin and all those in between; they are all important to me. I also feel like a good playlist is a fun way to mix up the traditional silence or new age music.

What’s your favorite pose and why?

It is so hard to pick just one! I will name a few. Warrior or Dancer for active standing asana. They both make me feel so strong and capable. I love the feeling that I can tune into the breath with these and really use my prana magic to hold the asana. Supported child pose in a restorative class and Savasana because it’s so relaxing. I especially love when an instructor guides a Yoga Nidra in Savasana because it can really help lead the mind and body further into relaxation.

What do you do when you’re not practicing yoga?

I love to garden, hike, fish, play + bake + cook with my son, read, and spend time with my close friends and family.

Tell us something funny or unexpected about you.

I can accurately imitate a Hen Turkey and call in a Tom Turkey. However, I can’t gobble only cluck. Gobbling takes extra skill and practice.

NEW! Aromatherapy Consultations with Jay MacDonald

I’ve had a sensitive nose for as long as I can remember. While I used to think it was a curse, I’ve come to see it as a blessing. Scents and aromas are powerful forces that can bring back visceral memories of people and places, alleviate stress and anxiety, and uplift our minds and bodies.

I am so excited to announce that I will now be offering Aromatherapy consultations at our studio!

What is Aromatherapy? 

Aromatherapy is the holistic + therapeutic application of plant-derived essential oils for enhancing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health of the individual.

Essential oils are plant medicine distilled to their purest essence, offering us a form with great benefit to us when used properly. These oils differ in integrity from manufactured perfumes and artificial scents (especially when the oils are organic and clean), with each oil having unique characteristics, properties, and affinities that relate to various human functions.

“Applied to the skin, these essences regulate the activity of the capillaries and restore vitality to the tissues…..but of the greatest interest is the effect of (aroma) has on the psychic and mental state of the individual. Powers of perception become clearer and more acute…..the use of odiferous matter induces a true sentimental and mental liberation….the essential oils free us from the (a challenging emotion) but leave our faculties unimpaired.” (Margaret Maury)

Aromatherapy is a holistic approach to supporting the body’s natural healing abilities, combining various oils or using oils in tandem that support an individuals unique needs. These blends take into account: scent affinities, sensitivities, issues, imbalances to be addressed, and application practices that are practical and accessible for a specific individual.

This personalized approach is what drew me to Aromatherapy! It makes so much sense to treat the individual specifically as opposed to a general, one size fits all approach! Similar to my philosophy on Yoga 🙂

Aromatherapy Consultations with Custom Blend

This consultation will be a collaborative session where a unique blend that will support and encourage your body’s ability to heal itself will be formulated based on the specific needs and desires listed on your intake form.

You will be able to choose between two unique formulas, using your sensory wisdom to determine which resonates with you on a deeper level. We will have a brief follow up a few days to a week later to assess if any adjustments need to be made to your blend. A full write up will accompany the consultation with explanations of the blend and why each oil was chosen, with application suggestions, application options for marma points, and yoga poses to enhance the benefits.

I have chosen the name Puraka as my Aromatherapy brand name, which means inhale in Sanskrit.

Interested in booking a session? Book below.


Studio Calendar

Free e-Course: Somatics 101 | Fundamentals for Beginners

Learn the Secret to Pain-Free Living!

Join Kristin Jackson, Clinical Somatic Educator, in this e-course as she explains what Somatics is and how it works with your brain and nervous system.

The course is broken down into bite size chunks of information that will help you develop a sound foundation of this profound method so you can start feeling better right away.

Kristin will cover:

  • how and why your body contracts to stress and injury
  • what Sensory Motor Amnesia is and why it very likely is causing your pain
  • gentle, enjoyable movements of Somatics to reverse your SMA
  • why typical approaches don’t address the root of your pain, they just mask it
  • simple ways to calm your body and mind so you can be more present and aware
  • how to reclaim your freedom of movement and enjoy life!

Come experience Somatics at the studio from 4 – 5pm on Thursdays with Kristin!

Kristin Jackson is a Certified Somatics Educator based in Waynesville, NC. She’s known for her fun and accessible methods of coaching adults to recapture the kid in them. Kristin discovered Somatics after being hit by a car resulting in a load of soft tissue damage and traumatic brain injury. She knows pain can leave us feeling not ourselves, but anyone can reclaim their freedom in their bodies and lives, just by tuning inward. That’s where the magic lies.

Click here to access this FREE e-Course!

A brief introduction to Kundalini…

Kundalini yoga is over 5000 years old and is the called the yoga of awareness as well as the mother of all yogas, because it encompasses aspects from each type of yogic philosophy.

It was originally only practiced in secret by masters who would choose an apprentice and was later brought to the western world in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan, who wanted the world to experience the magical benefits of Kundalini yoga.

The word Kundalini is a Sanskrit word meaning coiled snake, which is the energy located at the base of the spine that is normally dormant. When we practice the various aspects of Kundalini such as pranayama (breath work), the Kriya (set of poses), mantra and active meditation, we can awaken that energy and allow it to rise.

When the Kundalini energy rises it carries with it more awareness + self-healing. That is why each class or Kriya is dedicated to a specific intention. The rise in this intense energy has the potential to connect us to our truth within. We all have the answers to all of our problems, we just have to know how to listen to ourselves. Sat Nam (truth is my name, truth is my identity)!

Interested in knowing or feeling more? Join Amber Rae on Sunday May 14th, 6 – 7pm for a Gentle Kundalini class. Head to our class calendar to register. Space is limited.

Meet Tracy, Our Featured Member of the Season!

Tracy has been practicing at Waynesville Yoga Center regularly for about a year and, as of this post, has attended a whopping 199 classes!! That is at least one class every other day! Tracy was one of our January Challenge Winners, making it to 22 classes during the month of January. We love Tracy and her commitment to yoga! If you miss Tracy in class, you’ll be sure to catch her on her Harley-Davidson! 😎  Thank you, Tracy, for being an inspiring part of our community!

Tell me about your experience with yoga: how it began, where it has taken you, and how yoga has impacted your life.

I first practiced yoga when the Australian Co., who employed me, started a life balance program, which included a gym membership. I took every class offered, yoga being one of them. Hooked!!!

I moved home and took every yoga class the Fitness Center offered. This is when I discovered Power Vinyasa and the real work began!!

Yoga led me to a fit and healthier body. I started lifting weights, so I could build upper body strength in order to properly complete the plank series especially repetitive chaturanga to plank poses and challenging yogi push-up series. It also led me to clean eating.

Reducing stress has become super important to my well-being and a goal. Every yoga class successfully gets me out of my head, at least for that hour, life seeps back in shortly after, but I feel the release I just experienced counts for something instead of continuing to build….I cannot imagine my world without yoga. Yoga feels good to my body, I thrive on the challenging poses, it takes soreness out of my muscles from lifting, relieves my stress-induced headaches, and reminds me how to breathe deep and slowly.

What are your favorite styles of yoga / classes?

Fave styles are Power, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga. Fave classes [at Waynesville Yoga Center] are Vinyasa Flow and Myofascial Release although I love them all!

What’s your favorite pose and why?

My favorite pose is crow, kakasana. I achieved it, which took 2 years and each time I do it I feel awesome because I’ve still got it!!!

What do you do when you’re not practicing yoga?

If not in a yoga class, I’m lifting weights, walking the hills of my neighborhood, and preparing my own vegan organic meals.  A treat is sipping a cab sav outside with my feet up on a fire table enjoying delicious vegan food.

Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I ride a Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 motorcycle.

Meet Tara, Our Featured Teacher of the Season!

Tara has been a student of yoga for almost 25 years. Tara is a registered nurse having worked in pediatric ICU, now pre and post-operative care, is a licensed massage therapist, and is John Barnes trained myofascial release (MFR) therapist and specializes in this gentle modality of freeing fascial constrictions. We are so grateful to have Tara on our team!

Our fabulous Jake interviewed Tara! Take a look and listen in the video below!

Tell me about your experience with yoga: how it began, where it has taken you, and how yoga has impacted your life.

I first became interested in yoga after my firstborn, so that would be 28 years ago! I was just stressed and not adjusting to motherhood well and I knew I had to do something. I started with doing tapes with Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden. After about a year of a home practice, I took my first yoga class and was hooked with the different energy that a class provides vs. doing tapes.

What are your favorite styles of yoga / classes?

I was fortunate that my first teachers came from a varied background and so I was introduced to many different styles and lineages including Iyenger, Anusara, and Ashtanga. I also was introduced to restorative yoga early on in my yoga path. I can honestly say, I enjoy them all and they all have a time and place both long term and short term. What I mean by that is that in any given week what your body and psyche need can be different as well as looking at the larger phases of your life.

What’s your favorite pose and why?

Oh, easy. I LOVE down dog. It has so many benefits going on from hip opening to shoulder strength to elongation of the spine. It feels soothing to me.

What do you do when you’re not practicing yoga?

Well, if I’m not working in my second and third jobs of nursing and massage therapy, you most likely will find me outdoors doing many things I love including hiking, whitewater kayaking and mountain biking. You also might find me taking a post lunch nap with my dogs. 🙂

Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I think many might be surprised to find out I was a cheerleader all through high school. LOL

Using Yoga for Better Posture?

Most of us know by now that better posture is optimal for a variety of reasons. Proper posture and alignment can prevent a long list of physical issues in the body such as:
  • Tech neck or a kyphotic curve in the upper back and neck (caused by a forward head position that puts tremendous strain on the neck and cervical spine)
  • Lordosis or a swayback n the spine which is an exaggerated curve in the mid and lower spine
  • …and too many more to name!
What is less commonly talked about or referenced when discussing common postural misalignments, is the tremendous impact these can have on our overall energy. These postural issues can affect blood flow, muscular balance, fascial + whole body tensegrity and cause a ripple effect throughout the entire body, so much that it can be hard to separate the symptoms from the original problem or cause.
Our bodies form to how we use them so knowing what yoga poses or movements can counteract or decompress the body after certain prolonged positions like working on a computer all day are critical to keeping balance and stability in our spines and joints for optimal health and wellness.
Join Leigh-Ann Renz + Jay MacDonald for this weekend immersion to address some of these common postural misalignments and how awareness in specific yoga poses can help correct and rebalance some of these issues in our bodies.

Why YTT?

Why should you consider enrolling in the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at Waynesville Yoga? Oh, let me count the ways:

1. Personal Growth

YTT will bring your unresolved “stuff” to the surface for examination and healing. It will push you to grow & evolve in ways that will surprise you. Sometimes these surprises will delight you; other times, they will frustrate or scare you. But cultivating the resources and courage to face your sh*t can be incredibly liberating. Our 200 hour YTT invites unique, empowering personal growth.

2. Overcoming Challenges

Is there anything more satisfying that overcoming a personal challenge, struggle, or roadblock? YTT helps you employ the principles of Yoga off the mat, in the rest of your life. It helps foster both strength and flexibility; helps you recognize your safe edge; and teaches you to how to stay steady in moments of intensity & heat. All of these tools offer enhanced personal freedom, joy, contentment, and grace.

3. Self Care & Retreat

But the program’s not just challenging! It’s also richly rewarding, nourishing, and calming. You’ll receive nervous system-soothing and powerfully de-stressing self care every weekend of the course, in the forms of yoga, meditation, and other somatic experiences. So many graduates share that it felt like a self care retreat to come to the center and be in our building & space each weekend.

4. Support & Community

Whether your an introvert or extrovert, the community and encouragement offered by your fellow YTT students is an invaluable source of support. You’ll build bonds with these folks that will honestly last a lifetime, whether you’re looking for that type of connection or not. 🙂 The unique combination of a deep inner journey, but at the same time and in the same format as your fellow travelers, offers camaraderie of spirit & amplification of the course material.

5. Direction

Many of us are searching for direction and clarity, post covid. We want to organize around something to move us forward, into the future, but are still navigating the complexities of the changed landscape around us (and possibly inside as well!). YTT offers a 10 month transformative journey, in which the gooey disintegration of the chrysalis transmutes, on a cellular level, into the graceful splendor of an entirely new being.

6. Understanding Yoga Better

No matter how deep or organic your personal practice might be, Yoga Teacher Training will greatly expand and nourish your relationship with the art of Yoga itself. You’ll get a taste of a variety of yoga styles, including Buti, Kundalini, Yin, Hot Stone Restorative – and much more. You’ll learn the inside out of human anatomy, as it relates to Yoga, and take a deep dive into each of the common poses.

Click here for more details about the syllabus.

7. Cultivating Harmony

Each of the weekends that you spend at YTT helps make the world a better place. You’re not only gifting yourself the medicine of the ancient science of Yoga; you’ll also scatter the tools & resources you gain in the program, like seeds, in your community. And of course intentionally plant some of these seeds as well. The gift of knowledge you receive through the program will ripple out in your life, cultivating harmony & peace in the world. 



For the 200 Hour schedule, syllabus, and details, click here.

Meet Bonnie, Our Featured Member of the Season!

Bonnie has been with WYC since the early days. We adore having her in class and having her in our yoga community is an absolute treat! Thank you, Bonnie!

Our fabulous Jake interviewed Bonnie! Take a look and listen in the video below!

Tell me about your experience with yoga: how it began, where it has taken you, and how yoga has impacted your life.

I was a jogger in my 30s and 40s and started aerobics in my 50s. My journey with yoga began in my 60s and has become an essential part of my life as I am now in my 70s and approaching the milestone of 80 in 2023. Yoga has definitely helped me physically with flexibility and balance. Also, as an artist, it provides me with time for reflection and sometimes I even get an idea for a new work of art. I also tend to get myself overextended with volunteer work, family etc. and yoga helps me slow down and think about what is important.

What are your favorite styles of yoga / classes?

I like flow classes as think this helps me maintain good mobility and planks etc. are strength building.

What’s your favorite pose and why?

In my early yoga days, I would say half moon. Today, I would say it is between pyramid and camel…I can still achieve these poses.

What do you do when you’re not practicing yoga?

Work in my stained glass studio making panels and other works of art featuring stained glass. Also, involved, as a volunteer, with HART theatre as a Past Board President and Fundraising Chair and Planned Parenthood as a past Board Chair. Another favorite activity is walking Lake Junaluska.

Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I lived in Cuba for 2 years and my daughter was born there.

Breathing Out into the Deeper Day

Trees don’t go to therapy when they lose their leaves.” – Star Wolf

Like golden leaves in the shortening days of Autumn, life’s circumstances prompt us to adapt and change. Our SBW workshop planned for early October has been transformed by the expected winds and waters of hurricane Ian. Those winds of change have landed us into late October, offering an opportunity to breathe into the deeper days of Autumn.
All of life moves in cycles, and from light to dark, from full to empty, Nature is preparing for the Death that is an essential part of the Rebirth that must follow. We humans are not separate from these cycles.
Modern life has perhaps made it more challenging to notice and connect to our natural rhythms, but with intention we can invite in the space to enable our participation in these natural cycles to benefit our personal growth.
Join us for Yoga & Shamanic Breathwork on October 29 from 1:30-5:30pm. This sacred journey takes you deep within, supports your release of what no longer serves you, and helps you connect to your higher heart and supportive energies for grounding your next steps.
As the shifting winds now aid the release of the year’s leaves from the branch, our breath and our awareness can support the changes we need to make in our lives. With deep exhale, let’s help each other move with ease into who we are ready to become!