Have you been on the fence about switching to a monthly unlimited membership? Or want to join with your spouse or family member? Now would be a good time to sign up!

As of June 1st, we’re raising the price of our monthly unlimited auto-debit membership to $89 and our monthly unlimited non-auto-debit to $108.

If you’re already a monthly auto-debit member, you’re grandfathered in at the original cost! As long as you don’t cancel your membership, your monthly rate will stay the same. However, if you cancel and restart it in the future, it will increase to the new price.

Have you been trying to convince a family member to join the studio with you? If you both sign up for a monthly unlimited, we’ll take 10% off the two memberships!

So if you’ve been debating making the switch, sign up before June 1st to be locked in at the $79 monthly unlimited membership fee! Sign-up online or stop by the front desk to enroll!

How’s Your Sleep?!

If you’ve done a private yoga or wellness consultation with me lately, I’ve asked “how’s your sleep”? That’s because I just finished a fascinating and phenomenal book by Matthew Walker called “Why We Sleep”.

I’ve been sleep deprived most of my life. However, it wasn’t until reading this book that I realized how much of that deprivation was caused by buying into our cultural idea that sleeping is somehow lazy- or that it’s perfectly acceptable to shove sleep onto the back burner when busy, which is ALWAYS in our go-go-go, uber packed modern lives.

This book finally gave me the hardcore data my analytical mind needed to prioritize sleep: to accept that 8 hours per night really is non-negotiable from a health / body / brain perspective. I realized how many of us are feeling awful and how much of that awful feeling is “simply” sleep deprivation.

My experience supported the data of how much more efficiently our bodies + brains operate when we’re getting a full 8 hours of NREM and REM per night!

It also reminded me of the sleep rhythms of Ayurveda: according to this ancient sister science of Yoga, you should be asleep by 10:30 PM and awake by 6:30 AM (most traditional literature says 10 PM // 6 AM, but a new book is extending it to 10:30/6:30). Staying awake past 10 // 10:30 pushes you into Pitta energy, where you catch that second wind + can easily stay awake until after midnight. This makes it much harder to get good quantity or quality sleep.

Sleeping past 6:30 AM makes it harder to wake up, because you’re pushing against sleepy, heavy Kapha energy. Add heavy evening meals and/or nighttime snacking to this mix, and you’ve got a recipe for weight gain, acid reflux, sleeping issues, and morning brain fog.

If you’re experiencing any of these, try a lighter evening meal – and dialing back your sleep times. Examine your beliefs about sleep: do you disrespect it as an unnecessary or even lazy afterthought? Maybe check out Dr. Walker’s book and see how the research can support better sleep for your health + wellness!

Leigh-Ann Renz is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and part of the management team at Waynesville Yoga Center.

Give a big round of applause to our Team Member of the Month- Terri McGovern! Many of you may have seen Terri on the mat beside you, as she attends an array of classes and workshops here at WYC. We are so happy to have her warm energy in the studio on a daily basis, and excited to see her avidly pursing her wellness goals.

To get to know Terri a little better, we asked her to share a bit about herself and her journey with yoga…

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

I picked up a postcard in Hazelwood Soap Company announcing the opening of Waynesville Yoga Center in September of last year. I took my first restorative class and was hooked! I take so many classes, sometimes I feel like a WYC stalker! My flexibility, strength, stamina and breath have improved dramatically. I have made a whole new circle of wonderful friends and have had many amazing new experiences. Practicing yoga has decreased my anxiety level dramatically. I have learned to take one day at a time, with an inner calm and sense of peace and well-being I never had before.

  1. What are your favorite styles / classes?

My staple classes are restorative and yin which have increased my strength and flexibility. Without them, I could not have moved into beginner and slow flow classes that have further increased my strength, stamina and balance. We are so fortunate to have such a talented and caring group of instructors.

  1. What’s your favorite pose and why?

Warrior 2 is my favorite pose because it reminds me how far I have come, and that I have the strength to face whatever life brings my way.

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

When not practicing yoga, I work part time for our business, McGovern Property Mgt., care for my precious grandsons, Lukas and Grant and spend time with my husband Bruce, the most supportive husband a girl could ever want.

  1. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I am a huge sci-fi fan. If there’s an alien, a vampire or a zombie – I am there!

Next time you see Terri in class, be sure to introduce yourself!

Tapas Time

No, not the kind you can eat, though we love those too! 🙂 Tapas in this context means “self discipline”. It’s one of the five niyamas, or personal practices that relate to our inner world, our relationship with our selves. 

The five yamas are self-regulating behaviors involving our interactions with other people and the world at large – and together, with the niyamas, are yoga’s ethical principles. They’re like a map written to guide you on your life’s journey.

Simply put, the yamas are things not to do, or restraints, while the niyamas are things to do, or observances. Together, they form a moral code of conduct. 

At this time of year, the niyamas of self-discipline and saucha (“purity”) seem especially relevant. Many of us arepurifying in some way: nature is producing a bounty of bitter greens, such as dandelion, that detox the body and organs.

Many of us feel energized to engage in some spring cleaning, releasing from our homes and closets what no longer serves. Nature is bursting forth with fresh, pure new life: buds, blossoms, seed sprouts, and animal babies of all kinds. 

As the days grow longer and warmer, as we feel more energetic after winter’s rest, we need to maintain discipline and structure to help our seedlings take root into viable plants – whether that’s staying outside after dinner to till the garden; pushing through that clutter-clearing project at home; or maintaining our yoga practice in spite of spring fever!

Do you feel the upwelling energy of spring pulling your attention in many directions? Do you feel motivated to cleanse? How can the principles of self-discipline + purification help transform your goals into reality?

Please give it up for WYC featured Team Member – February 2018 – Maura Finn!! Most of you have taken a class – or attended an amazing workshop – or had a killer reiki session – with Maura, and we want to acknowledge how much we value her!! She is a valued member of the WYC community; and we appreciate her, both personally + professionally.

Maura teaches several weekly classes – offers regular reiki sessions – and has several events in the works, including Open Heart Journey: Cacao + Self-Love this coming Wednesday. She’s finishing up her first “Inner Teacher Training” and is gathering information for those interested in round 2: email us if you’d like to be added to the list.

To get to know Maura a little better, we asked her to share a bit about herself and her journey with yoga…

  1. 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 college athlete and always very physical and connected to my body, but I was also really intense and carried a lot of stress. I never thought I could “do yoga” because I wasn’t tall and skinny nor super flexible. The thought of being ‘still’ was really unappealing. I dabbled in pilates and gyrontics quite young, but it wasn’t until I went to a yoga class after getting out of the hospital in 2006 that everything changed.

In many ways, yoga was one of the most important ingredients in my healing journey. I began teaching children’s yoga in 2010 and found a way to express the joy I felt in movement with play. I then devoted more time to my personal practice, more breathwork and mindfulness. Yoga is not a separate part of my life, as it informs everything I do even beyond the physical practice.

  1. What are your favorite yoga styles to teach and why?

I love to teach mindful and intentional yoga. Hatha yoga is the basis of all yoga, so it is really lovely to teach a slow, breath-infused class. I also enjoy teaching a solid vinyasa practice with some challenges and lots of great music. It is also amazing to teach beginners and children/teens. I love to witness the growth and expansion for each individual.

  1. What are you doing when you’re not teaching or practicing yoga?

I am most at home in nature so I am often outside hiking, spending time near water or playing with my Golden Retriever, Blue. I am also a writer and working on my first children’s book as well as just completing my first bilingual poetry book. I have a private practice working with all ages using energy work and alternative therapies, so that also keeps me busy! I can also be found drinking cacao, singing and dancing. I love to travel and haven’t done much of it in the last year, so 2018 is calling me to get my backpack packed.

  1. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I have always had wanderlust, even as a child. My first plane ride in sixth grade was to Disneyland to babysit a neighbor’s child while she was at her conference. I never stopped! I drove across the USA with a friend at 19. We camped everywhere and visited many states. I still do not know how we did it. I lived and studied in Scotland during college and traveled throughout Europe. I moved to NYC after college and lived there for a decade.

There are many unexpected stories from those years. I moved to Guatemala in 2009 and lived there for 5 years. I returned to the USA in 2014 and have traveled back to Guatemala twice, Mexico, Hawaii, Virginia, Texas, Colorado and then lived in Indonesia for 3 months before landing in North Carolina for the last year. A lot of this travel was soul-searching, but also to learn a lot about people so that I can be of better service in the work that I do.

I am humbled that I have had these experiences and many of them were done on a super tight budget. I am grateful my path has taken me where it has, even if I felt really frustrated at never having a physical home. So, I take my ‘home’ with me. I do know that anything is possible when you put your heart to it. And, I believe in magical thinking.

Please join us in recognizing all that Maura is – and the goodness she brings to Waynesville Yoga Center! To register for one of her grounding yet invigorating classes, click here.

by Leigh-Ann Renz, 1.10.18

We’re honored + excited to recognize Sara Lewis as our Team Member of the Month for January! Sara is an engaged, invested and dynamic instructor – not to mention a kind, calm and all-around good person. We appreciate Sara very much, personally and professionally, and are so grateful to have her on our team!

sara-lewis-teaches-yoga-in-waynesvilleSara teaches several weekly classes and hosts regular workshops (check out her next one coming up on January 20th: Beating the Sugar Blues). Additionally, she has her own holistic cooking business and has provided us with healthy, delicious treats for other events. If you were lucky enough to sample any of the amazing food at our recent Holiday Open House, you know what a killer cook she is!

As part of recognizing her as our January Team Member, we gave her a goodie bag filled with WYC swag – and asked her to share a little bit about herself and her yoga journey. Check it out:

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

My first experience with yoga was around 2000 when I took a class at UNC-Chapel Hill. I remember distinctly having a floating sensation during savasana and I said to myself, “wow, I need to do this again!” At the time I was in a stressful job and traveling internationally on a regular basis.

That first class gave me a taste of what it would be like to slow down and focus on being present. A lesson that I continue to focus on every day! Regular yoga practice has been transformational for me, not just the physical aspect, but also breaking down psychological and emotional barriers.


  1. What are your favorite yoga styles to teach and why?

I enjoy teaching gentle flow and yin yoga because I think this style attracts new students. I love hearing new students express amazement about how they feel after a class! And I enjoy connecting with people and listening to their stories. Everyone brings a unique energy to class and that allows me to bring my own creativity to the mat as well.

  1. What are you doing when you’re not teaching or practicing yoga?

You can usually find me in the kitchen experimenting with local food ingredients and developing new recipes. I love trying to create something delicious out of just a few basic ingredients. One of my favorite things to do is to visit a friend’s house, and with their permission, peek into the pantry/fridge and dream up a dish from what’s available. You might also find me on my road bike, exploring hills and valleys, with a group from the Bicycle Haywood NC Club.

  1. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I tend to bring home strangers (my husband, who is very tolerant and supportive, says it’s sort of like taking in stray dogs or cats, but in my case it’s people!).  Many years ago, I met an elderly Japanese woman in the Miami airport when we both got stuck overnight due to flight delays. My new-found friend had purchased a “round the world” pass and was trying to decide where to go next.

She pulled out a map of the US, spread it on the floor and a group of us gathered around, giving her advice. I found myself saying, “you really should visit the mountains of Western North Carolina”. Next thing I know, we are both on a plane headed to Waynesville!

I was just returning from a 3-week work trip, had moved into a new apartment and had no food in my refrigerator. But we had a fabulous time and I showed her some highlights of our beautiful area. I learned that she was a translator/interpreter during World War II. Experiences like these are what makes life more interesting to me!

Please join us in recognizing Sara as an amazing instructor and simply lovely person! 🙂 Come experience one of her classes for yourself: click here to register via our class calendar.




Get Real

by Leigh-Ann Renz, 11.3.17

Yes, yoga can promote Peace + tranquility – it can powerfully transform your life for the better. But that doesn’t mean yoga has to be stuffy or holier-than-thou. All of the instructors at WYC are real people, who practice yoga so we can be our best – not deny or transcend being human.

You are already “good enough” to do yoga in a studio!

We’ve found that a common misconception of yoga is that you have to be perfect to practice it! That simply isn’t true: you don’t have be any particular skill level to join one of our classes! Show up, as you are, and see how yoga can meet you in the moment.

None of us are perfect. People fall over in class – they fart in class! It happens: life happens. Some of us can do certain poses; others can’t. We all have our own goals and restrictions, on + off the mat. Don’t let the fear of failure – or judgment! – keep you from your practice.

Get Real

Check out our new video series showing how yoga can integrate with life where you are right now… and share with us your stories of how yoga has helped you get real:



Leigh-Ann Renz offers yoga + massage at Waynesville Yoga Center
Leigh-Ann Renz loves being part of the WYC Team, helping to gather the yoga + wellness community in Waynesville and Haywood County. As a massage therapist, she incorporates a variety of modalities into an intuitive + fluid blend, based on the clients’ needs.

When not working, she can be found in the woods – or by the ocean – with her family.

What’s Qi Gong?

by Bill Muerdter, 10.26.17

Breath + Health

Breath is the first thing we experience at birth and it is the last thing we relinquish as we depart. Throughout our lives, most of us take breathing for granted, placing it on the ’back burner’ in ‘auto mode’. However, when we change that pattern and begin to breath consciously and effectively, incredible health and anti aging benefits occur.

Long ago, the Chinese realized this and developed Qigong as an effective method to explore the positive effects of breath and energy. Ancient Indian culture did this in a similar manner with their creation of pranayama practices in the Yoga tradition.

Qi Gong

photo credit Samuel Zeller @samuelzeller

‘Qigong’ (pronounced “chee-gung”) is the study and practice of breath and energy. It involves very simple body movements combined with proper breathing techniques. It does not require memorizing a sequence of movements as with Tai Chi and is direct, simple and easy to follow.  Qigong is ‘moving meditation’.  It’s effects are calming and relaxing allowing one to connect to a deep inner space; and it can bring about a sense of centered wholeness.

We all know what it is like when an automobile or lawn mower is trying to function with a dirty air filter: poor and inefficient performance results. We have become a nation of shallow, upper-chest mouth breathers, which has resulted in health complications.

What can you expect from a Qigong class?

In Qigong class at Waynesville Yoga Center, we will explore the whole phenomenon of breathing and it’s dynamics, including modern research into breath work. The classes are offered in a relaxed, causal manner where everyone can feel comfortable and at ease, no matter what one’s age or body condition.

We all age, but it is up to us to explore and practice techniques that help us to age gracefully. By doing this, it provides us with the good health necessary to actively engage in life with vitality and vigor no matter what our age. Qigong and effective conscious breathing techniques have a long history in positively effecting overall health, well being and longevity.

Modern life swirls around us, but the practice of Qigong can root us much like a tree firmly planted in the earth. It can provide a path for us to experience a grounded sense of quiet peacefulness.

Try it for yourself!

Join Bill for Qi Gong at Waynesville Yoga Center on Thursdays from 1:30 – 2:30 PM.
Space is limited: click here to claim your spot!


Bill Muerdter has been practicing and studying Qigong (ancient Chinese practice combining breathing and movement for health and healing) along with Tai Chi since the 80’s as well as the Yoga breathing tradition of Pranayama.

In addition, he studies the present day breathing programs of Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. G. Hendricks and the recent Harvard Medical studies. He’s excited to start teaching the art of Qigong at Waynesville Yoga Center.

by Leigh-Ann Renz, 10.25.17

We heard you!

In the past week, we’ve had more than 1 person tell us that they want to attend our upcoming Autumn Retreat – they just don’t have time to commit to the entire day. We realized that we need to open it up so that it’s accessible for those who only want 1 or 2 sessions vs. committing to a full-day event.

You can now attend 1 – 2 – or all 3 sessions on Saturday, November 4th:

9:30 – 11:45 AM: Yoga + Nidra

Join WYC owner Jay MacDonald for an hour + half challenging – yet accessible – flow yoga class, followed by Nidra. Nidra is a form of guided meditation that can help you get really calm, clear and quiet. Nidra supports mental clarity and focus, as well as the physical benefits of getting out of “flight or fight” mode that most of us are stuck in, thanks to modern life. Click here for more details.

11:45 AM – 1 PM: Lunch

If you’re joining us for the whole day, enjoy a healthy and flavorful lunch provided by Kaninis (a killer local restaurant). Our very own Sara Lewis of Simply Sara Wellness is providing wholesome + amazing desserts.

1- 3:15 PM: Essential Oil Archetype Journey

Katie Vie offers an incredibly unique product line of essential oil blends. She creates all of them in-house at her East Asheville apothecary. In the archetype journey, she leads you through a blind sampling of each of the 7 blends, using your body’s natural sensory wisdom to pick the archetype that resonates most for you. We had her lead our staff through an Archetype Journey as a team-building when we first opened, and the experience is deeply powerful and illuminating! If you’re feeling stuck in any part of your life, come check this out. Click here for details.

3:30 – 5:45: Nerve Plexus + Glandular System Introduction

We can call it the “chakras” – but we don’t have to! “Chakras” is how ancient yogis made sense of our body systems; and we now have powerful scientific evidence to support their interpretations from 5,000 years ago. Join massage therapist Leigh-Ann Renz as she takes you through an introduction to our nerve plexus + glandular systems. Learn tools to make this science work for you, and see how it can complement your health and wellness practice. Click here to learn more.

Your Choice

Attend one session: $50click here to register
Attend two sessions: $100 – includes goodie bag w/ WYC t-shirt and vial of Katie’s oil – click here to register
Attend all three sessions: $150 – includes goodie bag + lunch: click here to register

Set the Stage

When we take time to clear, center and focus, we can powerfully impact our entire life in a positive way. This is especially true at this time of year. Invest in yourself and support your physical + mental health before we enter the intensity of the holidays and flu season.

By taking some time for rest + reflection, you can set the foundation for a more efficient and enjoyable holiday season. Hope to see you there!




by Maura Finn, 10.14.17

Reiki (pronounced Ray-Key) is a hands-on Japanese therapeutic technique for stress reduction and healing. Reiki helps alleviate stress and anxiety, body pain, and emotional pain. In addition, it is a wonderful non-invasive way to achieve deep relaxation.

Reiki has been proven to affect adults, children, plants and animals! Reiki can help: support those with Autism Spectrum Disorders; soothe ADD/ADHD; clear asthma; minimize the stress of PTSD; and achieve a sense of general well-being, calm and balance.

How does reiki work?

Reiki can be performed while you are lying down, fully clothed, on a massage table or sitting in a supported chair.  Reiki is offered through light, non-invasive touch with the practitioner’s hands placed and held on a series of locations on the head, the torso, and limbs. This placement is non-intrusive and without pressure.

It is also possible to receive a Reiki session without being touched. Reiki is safely used as a complementary treatment to whatever therapy your health practitioner recommends. It is most important to remember that Reiki comes from the heart, not the head.

How will reiki feel?

Everyone experiences a Reiki treatment differently, and the effect can be quite subtle from complete relaxation to the sensation of heat coming from the practitioner’s hands. Reiki is a path of discovery, healing and empowerment unique to each individual.

How much does it cost?

  1. We are offering complimentary reiki sessions so you can experience this powerful yet gentle wellness treatment for yourself! Click here to claim your spot.
  2. Maura is also providing 30, 45 or 60 minute Reiki sessions. We will begin by discussing your goals and any concerns or specific areas that you would like to focus on. She also offers 60 minute Relaxology sessions which, in addition to reiki energy balancing of the body, involves light massage of the head, hands and feet.

Reiki Sessions:
30 minutes: $35
45 minutes: $50
60 minutes: $65

Relaxology Session:
60 minutes: $70

How do I get started?

To book your complimentary sample, click here.
To schedule a reiki or relaxology session with Maura, call our front desk: 828.246.6570.


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  • “Leigh Ann gives the best massages I have ever had! She mixes it up so no two massages are exactly alike and I like that. And on top of that she is a warm caring person and I consider her to be a dear friend.”

    – Jeanne B.

  • “Leigh-Ann is my favorite massage therapist. She uses techniques that produce terrific results for me. I so look forward to my monthly massages!”

    – Ginger H.

  • “I highly recommend Leigh-Ann as your massage lady. She is wonderful and keeps me feeling good. I am 86 so you are never to old for one. I get them weekly. Give her a try. You will like it.”

    – Yvonne M.

  • “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.

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

    – Michelle G.C.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “It is the most relaxing therapeutic treatment that works for me with my arthritis condition and I have a session with Leigh Ann every month.”

    – Bob T.

  • “After my massage with Leigh-Ann yesterday, I could sleep without pain meds for the first time in years! I finally have hope that I might not need surgery!”

    – Barbara M.

  • “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.

  • “Getting a massage from Leigh-Ann has been an important part of my life for the past several years. Her professionalism and many accomplished skill techniques combined with her intuitive understanding of my needs on any given day have made her an invaluable part of my health care. I would highly recommend her to anyone, from a first timer to an ‘experienced’ user.”

    – Gail M.

  • “Leigh -Ann has worked on me for the past five years. She skillfully eased the aches and pains out of my body and left me feeling relaxed. Her intuition guided her to where I needed the most attention, which always surprised me because I hadn’t realized I was hurting there.”

    – Lydia Mason

  • “Leigh-Ann is highly trained in many massage techniques and will work with you to assess your needs and desired outcome. She encourages your feedback to make sure that your treatment goals are being met.”

    – Helen S.

  • “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.

  • “Leigh-Ann’s fingers magically find the spots that are ‘ailing’ you! She intuitively knows where you are having pain and how to relieve it. I leave each and every time rejuvenated and refreshed. There are not enough words to express how much I appreciate her therapeutic touch!”

    – Ginny E.

  • “Leigh-Ann is awesome. She used a variety of techniques with me and they all helped. She also provided more information to help me with my issues. She is warm, compassionate and friendly.”

    – Susan S.

  • “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.

Our mission is to provide a safe and accepting space where students can learn, heal, grow - and have fun! We work to create peace in our world, communities and families by first creating peace within ourselves.

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Waynesville Yoga Center
274 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786