Category: What’s Happening at WYC?

Team Member of the Month: January 2018

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.

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!!

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!

 

 

 

What the heck is Reiki?

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.

Reiki Sessions:
30 minutes: $40
45 minutes: $55
60 minutes: $70

To schedule a reiki session, call our front desk: 828.246.6570.

 

Got Sciatica?

by Sara Lewis, 9.22.17

What is Sciatica?

There are two sciatic nerves – the longest nerves in the body – that run from the lower spine all the way down each leg. When the sciatic nerve gets pinched it causes “sciatica”, or pain to radiate down one side of the leg. The most common cause is a herniated disc, although there can be other causes.

Unfortunately, sciatica is very common and according to Harvard Health, as many as 40% of people will experience sciatica during their lifetime.

What are treatment options?

While everyone is different, there are some proven treatments that can help relieve sciatica. If the pain is excruciating, it can help to lie on the floor for short periods, stretching the spine long. However, it is important to stay active and prolonged bed rest or sitting does not help sciatica.

Sitting increases pressure on the spinal discs. Over the counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help relieve inflammation in the short-term, but medications only mask the underlying problem.

While there is limited evidence-based research on methods that relieve sciatica and lower back pain, there is a new consumer based social network called Health Outcome, which captures patient outcome data for various health issues/treatments. The founder, Ofer Ben-Shachar, suffered a leg injury in the 1990s. When his doctor recommended surgery, he requested data to see how effective the surgery really was, but there was very little data available.

Ben-Shachar agreed to the surgery, but unfortunately the outcome was not positive and it took him five years to be able to drive a car again. A group of Stanford University researchers recently published an article about Health Outcomes, which notes that postural reform and yoga are the top-rated patient treatments for low back pain.

In addition, Boston Medical University recently published a study, in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Study participants were randomly divided into three groups: yoga classes every week for 3 months, 15 visits with a physical therapist or education (self-help book/newsletters).

The yoga group continued practice at home for another 9 months and the physical therapy had sessions every 2 months or did exercises at home for 9 months. The results showed that a gentle yoga practice is just as effective for easing back pain as physical therapy.

What are the best yoga poses for sciatica and back pain?  

If the source of the sciatica is a herniated disc, it is important to start with gentle poses that will align, lengthen and strength the lower back. Yoga poses that stretch the hamstring, such as reclining hand-to-to (Supta Padangusthasana) using a strap, are especially helpful to relieve sciatica.

Other gentle poses include: child’s pose; cat-cow; baby cobra; knees to chest; supine pigeon; and standing psoas release (using a block or book), among others. If the source of sciatica is due to a tight piriformis muscle, simple spinal twist poses, such as Half Lord of the Fishes (Ardha Matsyendrasana) may be helpful.

Massage and Bodywork

In addition to the physical yoga poses, massage and bodywork can be greatly beneficial in relieving sciatica pain. Although the piriformis and other “deep 6” muscles are located underneath the glutes and can be challenging for a massage therapist to access, it is possible – and there are many other supportive techniques that can be employed.

Thai massage in particular is effective in releasing tension in the piriformis, low back, hamstrings, glutes, IT band and other tissues that cause / contribute to sciatica.

Learn More

Join us on Saturday, October 7th, to explore techniques to relieve sciatic pain and support lifelong health + mobility. Click here for details.

sara-lewis-teaches-yoga-in-waynesvilleSara has practiced yoga for over 15 years and has been teaching yoga since 2014. After a 25-year career in international public health, Sara began a second career as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. Her passion for food led her to yoga when she began studying the connection between mindfulness and stress eating. Sara emphasizes alignment and posture in all her classes.

Her flow classes, which are fun and energetic, focus on lengthening the spine and improving balance and strength. Sara’s yin classes focus on pranayama (breath work) and deep relaxation. When she’s not on the mat, Sara can be found in the kitchen creating new recipes from locally sourced ingredients, or out exploring the hills of Western NC on a bicycle.

 

 

More Gear!!

Cassidy-Pate-Moore-models-Waynesville-Yoga-Center-tank
Cassidy in mint tank with standard white logo

As if the first version of the WYC tee – as modeled by Jack – wasn’t cute enough, check out the different designs of our tees and tanks! We started with our basic standard logo in white, as well as our alternative vintage logo in color.

Waynesville-Yoga-Center-group-tees
all 3 versions of women’s tees / tanks

And of course, most of the tops are branded with our tagline “Feeling stressed?” – because, really, who isn’t feeling stressed these days?! We hope that Waynesville Yoga Center will become a place for you to get back into your body and re-connect with Peace: to breathe deeply, be still, and know that all is well.

Let us know what you think of these designs – and don’t forget to RSVP for our Open House on August 12th for a chance to win a tee or tank (and lots of other cool prizes): click the “sign up” option on our class calendar.

We will be creating seasonal designs to keep things fresh, while still maintaining a stock of the original looks. Keep checking our blog, boutique and social media feeds for the latest looks – and let us know what you think!

Scout-Powell-models-Waynesville-Yoga-Center-vintage-tee
Scout in women’s mint tank with vintage logo
Mason-MacDonald-models-Waynesville-Yoga-Center-mens-t-shirt
Mason in men’s vintage tee
Madeline-Jett-models-vintage-tee-for-Waynesville-Yoga-Center
Madeline in women’s blue tee with vintage logo

Waynesville Yoga Center t-shirts are in!

They’re heeeere! We’re stoked to start wearing our brand-new Waynesville Yoga Center t-shirts. We’ll post some pix soon of the women’s styles (both tank and tee), but for now, check out studio owner Jay’s son Jack modeling the men’s version:

Jack models the new Waynesville Yoga Center t-shirt
Owner Jay’s son Jack modeling the new men’s tee

(I’m not sure what I love more about this picture: the t-shirt, or Jack’s killer tree pose…)

We’ll be giving t-shirts away as prize drawings during our Open House, so be sure to join us on Saturday, August 12th for a chance to win one (RSVP via the “sign up” button on our class calendar).

And once we’re open, be sure to visit our boutique to nab your own yoga gear, including mats, blocks, straps, unique yoga tunics hand-made in Bulgaria, and much more.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

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

    – Michelle G.C.

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

    – Steve S.

  • “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 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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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

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

828.246.6570

hello@waynesvilleyogacenter.com

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