Category: What’s Happening at WYC?

Teacher of the Month: Amber Kleid

This October we are celebrating Amber Kleid as Teacher of the Month! Amber has been teaching at WYC since we opened in 2017 and is known to deliver some super yummy Hot Stone Restorative + Slow Flow classes. She offers insightful wisdom in a relaxed environment to help ground you, always offering modifications that are best suited for YOUR body. So if you haven’t had a chance to take one of her classes yet, register now- as they tend to fill up!

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

Oh gosh…long story short, my first yoga book was “The Idiot’s Guide to Yoga” back in the ’90s and I practiced to Rodney Yee VHS tapes!  Fast forward to 2013 when I was diagnosed with Lupus.  I needed to find something that would help me stay strong and focused on my health and that’s when I began my daily home practice.  I’d be lying if I said yoga only impacted my life physically because there are so many great and valuable lessons I’ve taken away over the years.  The biggest being forgiveness.  Also compassion and patience.  Oh, I can’t bring myself to kill spiders any more.  Little dudes have every right to be here too, as creepy as they may seem.  

      2. What are your favorite styles/classes?

Well, if I took a hot yoga class I’d be the girl who slips on her mat and busts out her front teeth, ha!  So… I really love slow and challenging movements.  I relish getting into my body and feeling each muscle move and then relax.  It feels so powerful to have that kind of control and ease at the same time.  

      3. What’s your favorite pose and why?

I’d have to say Half Moon / Ardha Chandrasana.  It took me a long time to master it so I have mad respect for the shape!  There’s something about being so vulnerable and strong in the full expression that I find it very exhilarating.  I’m still working on adding Bow Pose to Half Moon but with patience and practice that will come too 🙂 

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

Drink coffee, make artsy stuff, cuddle with my kitties (Jolly is stealing half of my chair right now) and spend as much time with the Hubbs as I can.  When our schedules allow it we hike and take “Sunday” drives to explore WNC.  I belong to a photo club and a few writer’s clubs. I tried a storytelling group but apparently, my story was too “fresh” for the likes of them and I was directed elsewhere, ha!  I took it as a compliment! 

      5. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

Once upon a time at an Oktoberfest, I dressed up as the Saint Polly Girl and volunteered to be hypnotized as part of a group.  So, floating around on the interweb is a video of me Kung Foo Fighting in a wench costume.  Enjoy.

Student of the Month: September 2019

Please join us in celebrating our Team Member of the Month: Jann F.! I’m sure many of you have seen Jann in the studio, as she attends a variety of classes on the reg. We’re grateful to have her as part of our WYC community and honored to have helped her start her yoga journey, as well as support her continued learning as a part of our Yoga Teacher Training in 2019.

To get to know Jann 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.

My yoga journey began just two short years ago when WYC opened. I thought I would give it a try and am now there at least 5 days a week. As a new empty nester, I was looking for something to do for “me” and was also looking for a way to stay in shape. I am halfway through yoga teacher training at WYC and have realized that it is just a glimpse into the world of yoga. Yoga has had a huge impact on my life because it has become a lifestyle for me. I feel better mentally, physically and emotionally and have enjoyed sharing my yoga journey with others.

  1. What are your favorite styles / classes?

I enjoy a variety of classes. In a typical week I attend a combination of mixed level flow, Buti, Barre, yin, HIIT and an occasional restorative class.

  1. What’s your favorite pose and why?

My favorite pose is Utkata Konasana: Goddess Pose. This pose helps us to connect tour inherent inner goddess, finding a common space with this powerful feminine energy. The alignment of the pose helps with the alignment of feelings. I also enjoy this pose because of its benefits including stretching the hips, groin, and chest; toning and strengthening the core, quads, and inner thigh muscles; and increasing circulation.

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

When not practicing yoga, I work as an RN at Silver Bluff Village and am a clinical nursing instructor at Haywood Community College. I enjoy sports, traveling, Peloton, and reading.

  1. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

Something unexpented about me: I never thought I fit the mold of a true “yogi” although I’m not really sure how I thought a “real” yogi looked or acted. I have come to realize that anyone can and should be a yogi. Yoga itself is as individual as each of us.


–Jann F


THANK YOU for adding infrared sauna to the list of reasons I absolutely love Wavnesville Yoga Center! Knowing that I no longer have to travel all the way to Asheville for this healing modality is so encouraging!

Initially, I didn’t understand how different infrared was from the saunas I’d used before at the gym or the spa. I rarely lasted more than a few minutes in those, always finding it hard to breathe and feeling completely exhausted afterwards. So years later, when I was struggling with severe chronic fatigue and arthritic pain everyday, it surprised me when my doctor actually recommended I try infrared sauna therapy.

I realize that not every doctor endorses – or even knows about infrared sauna. If someone carries any specific diagnosis or uses medical devices, then they should get cleared by their own doctor; I’m just grateful that my doctor knew it was safe for me – and that they recommended this deeply healing modality.

From my first session, I remember being impressed by how gentle and uniform the heat from the infrared light was all over my body. My sessions were always private, and I was grateful I didn’t have to “keep up the stones” like in a steam sauna.

Frequently, in too much pain to exercise, the fact my body could get such a great sweat just sitting still was an integral part of my healing at that time. Still, I’d say the key motivation for me to keep using infrared sauna for years came from the extended benefits that would carry me for several days following a session.

The increased circulation from such a great sweat significantly brought down my inflammation and pain levels. I would also see improvements in my skin, gut motility and insomnia for a few days as well, which I attribute to the boost in detoxification that infrared light influences.

I could go on, but I really just want to say again how much I appreciate WYC making this amazing investment so that I can get back to having infrared sauna be a special ongoing part of my health regimen.

-Chris H., Sylva, NC

// Ready to try it for yourself!? Click here to snag your infrared sauna spot!

Real Yoga for Real Bodies

Have you ever felt like you have to be skinny to practice yoga? Or that you have to be wearing $100 leggings or carrying an expensive yoga mat to come into class?

Maybe you feel like you have to practice at home first in order to be “good enough” to come into a yoga studio?

We’ve heard all of these sentiments from students since we opened over a year ago, and the sad part is: a lot of people feel this way!

Unfortunately, yoga in the US has often times been mis-represented. What we see in the media associated with yoga is most often thin, white, rich women (and sometimes men) contorted into impossible, painful-looking poses.

Too often, real bodies, real people, people of color, gender diversity and a variety of yoga skill levels have been underrepresented. And the reality is: a lot of people who could really use yoga and benefit from it may not have had access to it, for a variety of reasons. Thankfully, this is beginning to change – and we want to help lead that change!

In an effort to help our community (and the broader world) understand that yoga is for everybody (and every. body.), we’re launching Real Yoga for Real Bodies (RYRB) in 2019! You’ll see videos, images, events and more from us, confirming that yoga is for you, and anyone else who wants to practice.

We hope you’ll join us in claiming your right to Yoga, starting with our Instagram challenge, January 7 –  January 13:

1. follow us on Instagram:
2. starting Monday, January 7th, watch for our RYRB posts
3. Jan 7 – 13, create a post of your own, including the question we post, and your answer
4. include the following hashtags: #wycrocks #realyogaforbodies #waynesvilleyogacenter #RYRB #keepinitreal
5. if you participate for all 7 days, you’ll automatically be entered to win 1 free month of unlimited yoga!

Keep an eye out for other RYRB events – and our new RYRB t-shirts, perfect for getting active and practicing yoga in the new year!

Team Member of the Month: Michael Edwards

Please join us in celebrating our Team Member of the Month: Michael Edwards! Most of you have taken one of Michael’s powerful yoga classes – or perhaps practiced with him. We are grateful to have Michael’s strong, supportive and friendly presence in the studio – and honored to have him on our team.

To get to know him a little better, we asked Michael to share a bit about himself and his yoga journey…

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 first exposed to yoga at six years of age. I was at the YMCA [in Asheville] and in the sauna was a guy sitting in lotus pose doing something weird with his stomach. He was pulling in the sides and just leaving a ridge of muscle down the center. I knew he was doing yoga and I was fascinated. I was determined that I was going to be able to do that one day (still a work in progress…).

For many years, I read books and tried to practice on my own, but it wasn’t until a friend opened the Effective Living Center in Waynesville in 1995 that I was able to receive formal instruction. My first teacher was Kripalu-trained and emphasized alignment and very long holds. I immediately fell in love with the practice and with the physical and mental changes it initiated in me.

For the first 12-14 years of my practice, I focused on getting stronger and more flexible (and maybe a little more peaceful), but then Candra Smith changed all of that when she showed me that yoga is a way to live life. I now do yoga in an attempt to remind myself that every moment is a precious resource and that my responsibility is to honor each one in a sincere attempt to make the world better in the only way I can: By changing my heart to align with the loving intentions expressed in the Yamas and by living as if my own happiness and well-being depended directly on the happiness and well-being of everyone else.

Yoga is a huge part of my life and a big portion of what makes me uniquely me.  I am incredibly grateful to all of my teachers and fellow practitioners for their help on this journey.

2. What are your favorite styles / classes?

I love hot/warm flow classes with an element of challenge to them. I always try to maintain a slow steady breath throughout my class, but I’m a little disappointed if I don’t lose it at least once! 🙂

3. What’s your favorite pose and why?

I love inversions of all types – especially handstand. I love the challenge; I love the rush of fresh blood to my head and I love looking at the world from a totally different point of view.

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

As my vocation I work as a purchasing analyst for a medical kit packer; I’ve been doing that for about 24 years. It’s nothing I ever thought I would do as a career, but it’s complex enough to be challenging. I love to read, cook, listen to music and play role-playing games (my current addiction is Dungeons and Dragons Online).

However, my most important responsibility and the source of my greatest joy is to be the very best husband I can to my sweet and lovely wife Kimberley and to be the cool grandpa to Piper and Heidi.

5. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

The first time I saw female fireflies I thought they were fairies. The male fireflies are the ones we are all familiar with. They’re greenish yellow, bright and they blink on and off as they make their wandering way from the ground to a high point on a branch etc. Their pattern of blinking identifies them to the females of the same species.

Females however, are a very faint blue. You can only see them if it’s very dark; even the smallest bit of light renders them invisible. The first time I saw them was at Coleman’s Boundary on a moonless night under a thick canopy of trees.

They don’t blink and they fly directly from the ground to their chosen male. When I saw this I had a moment where I believed they really could be fairies, but soon figured out what they were. I still believe there something magical about them though…

If you haven’t yet taken a class from Michael, click here to find his current schedule…

Holiday Craft Fair

Hope you can make it for the 2nd Annual WYC Holiday Craft Fair! Join us on Saturday, December 15th, from 1 – 4 PM to support local artisans while fulfilling your shopping list with items that are not only gorgeous – but also unique + sustainable.

We will have healthy, delicious snacks made by Simply Sara Wellness – not to mention a (spiked!) hot chocolate bar > all FREE + open to the public!

Get your holiday shop on:

// Handmade Jewelry

by Megan Escalante >> Donna Koger >> Susan Peterson

The East Western first started while Megan Escalante was constantly daydreaming of earring inspiration. This was back in 2011 and is still growing strong. Inspired. Renewed. Recycled Retro.

Donna Koger + Susan Peterson are local designers and friends who love to inspire each other while they collaborate on jewelry, fan pulls and other gorgeous, handmade crafts.


// Cheeky Ornaments + Vintage Xmas Decor

by Amber Kleid + Kleidoscope Yoga

In addition to being a yoga instructor at WYC, Amber is also a radio host, dancer, artist, and crafter! This year, she’ll be offering coasters, greeting cards, really cool book marks, candles and hopefully a few other goodies. She’s going to try her hand at custom gratitude journals (fingers crossed!). 🙂


// Seasonal Indoor / Outdoor Crafts

by Melissa Helmer

Melissa’s wares are a mother/daughter/family craft labor of love. Her Dad is a Vietnam Vet and disabled makes all of their creations from pallet wood. They repurpose most of our items in hopes that someone will love them as much as they do:


// DoTerra Essential Oils + Diffusers

by Kalyn Matthews

Kalyn will be bringing custom essential oil blends, traditional diffusers, essential oil bottle holders and nandmade diffuser bracelets made by Haitians for a company that prevents orphans and trafficking through job creation.


// Custom-Made Italian Leather Handbags

by FeelHandMade

FeelHandMade is a woman-owned company based in Asheville. In addition to creating the gorgeous wooden necklaces you can find at our front desk (use them as personal diffusers, with the addition of essential oils!), owner Erin Kaleel also makes eco-luxe handbags from buttery Italian leather.

Snag one of her gorgeous totes at the Craft Fair – or custom-order your one-of-a-kind creation:

// LuLaRoe Yoga + Athleisure Wear

Myrsia Parrish, Mom + Local LuLaRoe Retailer

LuLaRoe is a modest clothing line that makes all body types feel beautiful! We offer sizes xxs-xxxl we have some mens’ items, as well as childrens’ sizes, up to tween. Myrsia is offering a Going Out of Business Sale you don’t want to miss…


// Handcrafted Wood Work

by Ben Grant

Ben’s work is an exploration of form and is composed of gentle curves, textures, and flowing lines. Patterns he sees in the world are translated into carved details. Some techniques he uses include multi-axis woodturning, as well as woodcarving with various hand tools and grinders. He is always exploring new techniques to use and hopes that, with each fresh design, he can continue to create pieces that are enjoyed by those who share an appreciation for the craft.


// WYC Apothecary + Gift Baskets

by Waynesville Yoga Center


// Fiber Crafts

by Fiddlehead Farms

In addition to offering delicious fresh veggies at the Haywood County Farmers Market, Stacey + John Michael of Fiddlehead Farm spend their winters creating fiber crafts from their spinners flock of sheep, llama, and alpacas. Check out their gorgeous selection of roving, yarn, dryer balls, hats, earwarmers, baby bonnets and booties, fingerless mitts, and more:


// Mala Beads

by GuRu Malas

Ru’s love for creating hand knotted mala beads started as Christmas gifts for family members back in 2013: she found that hand knotting each bead very meditative and continued exploring the process. As a little girl, she would sit and hand knot Catholic rosary necklaces with her grandmother; that’s probably where the seed was planted to be a maker of prayer beads. GuRu Malas was created out of a passion for mala making and wanting to share their beauty with the world.


// Soaps, Salves + Medicinal Oils

by Seth’s Medicines

Seth hand crafts soaps, salves, medicinal oils and extracts of reishi mushroom. Everything is organic and made from unrefined oils; he supports sustainable practices and uses zero plastic.

Even if you just want to come by and check out the space, please join us. Kindly RSVP so we can make sure to have enough gnoshes: – 828.246.6570


What is it that scares YOU about yoga? We all have our pose – or yoga style – that scares us; or maybe it’s just coming into an “actual studio” that intimidates you?! We’ve heard that from lots of folks in our community: “I’m not good enough to come to a real studio. I’m scared I’ll be the newbie in class.”

Whatever it is that scares you about yoga, why not come give it a shot? 1) We all have things that intimidate us about yoga, no matter how long we’ve been practicing. Jay doesn’t like Warrior I; I’m intimidated by arm balances.

2) You really don’t need to worry about what other people in class are thinking, because I can almost guarantee you that they’re too busy processing their own fears or goals to worry about what you look like.

3) The main point of yoga is not to look like a particular picture > rather, it’s to cultivate the tools that our practice offers us, such as: learning to stay calm and breathe deeply in the midst of intensity // to accept our bodies – and our reality – more fully + with more clarity // and to face our fears with courage.

So what are you waiting for? At Waynesville Yoga Center, the first class is free for locals. If you’ve never given yoga a shot, come try a class on us and see just how amazing it can make you feel.

If you already practice, tell us what your yoga fear is: we want to know! >> Instagram >> Facebook >> Pinterest >> Twitter


Leigh-Ann Renz offers yoga + massage at Waynesville Yoga Center


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

Heading Back to Florida?

Many of our students + community are seasonal residents, who live in Florida for part of the year. If you’re headed back to Florida and have a monthly unlimited class package, here’s the deal:

// If you’ve had an active monthly unlimited class pass for at least 6 months, we’ll put it on hold and restart it at the same price when you return to NC.

// If you haven’t had it for at least 6 months, talk to us: depending on your situation, we may be able to grant the extension.

// If you don’t restart the class pass within a year, the hold is released and you’ll have to restart at the current price of that date.

We hope this eases the transition of our seasonal peeps and makes it simpler (and more affordable!) for you to enjoy your yoga all year round!

Meet Melissa

Please join us in welcoming our newest instructor, Melissa Rodriguez! Melissa went through her Yoga Teacher Training at MBody Yoga in Jacksonville, FL, in the style of Baptist Heated Power Yoga in 2012.

She has been practicing yoga for 10 years. She loves teaching Power and Flow Yoga, and prefers to incorporate meditation, breathwork and self massage into her classes.

Melissa is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with a B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of North Florida.

She also teaches a variety of classes at the YMCA’s in Asheville, including TRX Suspension Training,  Athletic Conditioning, Indoor Cycling and Kids Skills and Drills classes.

Melissa was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2013 and has been on a deep journey learning the importance of sometimes being gentle, accepting the moment and self as is, and listening to what the body needs.

New to Waynesville, she spends much of her time exploring the outdoor beauty of this area with her 3 year old son, Gus.

Come try Melissa’s Slow Flow class on Sundays, 4 – 5 PM, and leave feeling peaceful and reconnected in your spirit, mind and body

  • “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

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

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

    – Steve S.

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

    – Michelle G.C.

  • “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.

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