Meet Kirstin, Our Featured Staff Member of the Season!

Kirstin has been teaching AMAZING classes at Waynesville Yoga Center for years! Join Kirstin for Flow and Yin every Thursday at 10:30 AM and for Mixed-Level Flow every other Sunday at 12 PM. Thank you, Kirstin!

Our fabulous Jake interviewed Kirstin! Take a look and a 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.

The first time I took a yoga class it was a disaster. And not just because I signed up for it with my boyfriend at the time. The teacher was rigid, and there was no space to be a learner. She criticized every pose I came into, from the very beginning. Apparently I could even do Child’s Pose wrong. I abandoned the class after about three sessions. And the boyfriend not long after. It was more than ten years later that I had the guts to try it again. A friend was becoming a yoga teacher and was offering some free classes. She invited me to come try it, promising that the experience would be different. It was. She taught with grace and humor, and showed me that I didn’t need to be flexible, or already know how to do the poses in order to practice yoga. This sweet woman is still a dear friend and I tell her regularly how much I appreciate the gift of yoga she gave me. I’d been an athlete most of my life, playing soccer and Ultimate Frisbee, and stretching very little. Yoga was the physical balance I needed. I learned over time that it was the spiritual and emotional balance I needed, as well. I have, at times, wandered away from my practice, and every time I’ve come back, I’ve discovered again that I need it for so many reasons. I love what yoga teaches me about my body, about patience and letting go of outcomes. Practicing yoga has helped deepen my spiritual life, which has helped me grow into myself more and more. There always seem to be new levels to get to internally, and yoga has opened those doors for me in ways I’m not sure I could have found otherwise. When I had the opportunity to be part of the first YTT class that WYC offered, I jumped in. I could not have found a better fit for me. The focus on fitting poses to our bodies, rather than forcing our bodies into “ideal” versions of a pose, was like an antidote to my first yoga experience. It gave me a path other than “perfection” to strive for, one that was more about understanding myself. I am deeply grateful to be part of the WYC community, as a teacher and as a student.

What are your favorite styles of yoga / classes?

Honestly, whatever style I’m doing at the time seems to be my favorite. I know that sounds trite, but I mean it. I love paying attention to what I’m drawn to at any given time and following that. I enjoy teaching flow classes, and love Sun Salutations. Yin is wonderful for the deep work, both physical and mental, that it brings. I love the slower pace of Gentle and Restorative classes and the relaxing vibe of them. Recently, I’ve been in the mood for a challenge, and so have been enjoying Iron Yoga and Barre classes.

What’s your favorite pose and why?

That answer probably varies with the day, but in general I always love supine twists. They give me a sense of wringing my body out and I appreciate how small adjustments can target different areas.

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

I write every morning, mostly fiction. I love creating characters and stories and giving them voice. I also take pottery classes, which is beyond fun. My husband and I enjoy hiking and backpacking, especially with our two dogs, Artie and Sam. Said dogs also allow me to accompany them on morning walks or runs, which is a lovely start to the day. After several years of working as a chaplain in healthcare settings, I am enjoying now the different pace of life I have here.

Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

I have a vast and eclectic storehouse of song lyrics in my brain, from 80s and 90s music to rap to hymns. When I get started singing, as my husband will attest, it is sometimes difficult to get me to stop until I finish the song.

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  • “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.

  • “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.

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

    – Michelle G.C.

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

    – Kristen, B

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

    – CJH

  • “Jay 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

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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.

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

    – Steve 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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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

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

    – Jann F.

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

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

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

    – Terri M.

  • “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.

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

    – Anita S.

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Waynesville Yoga Center
274 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786