Students of the Month: February 2020’s Dynamic Duos

This month we are proud to feature TWO sets of dynamic duos that we love seeing around the studio: Husband and wife, Tiffany + Justin, and mother and daughter, Gwen + Cassie. You know what they say- those who yoga together, well they generally just get along better 😉

We’re grateful to have these folks as part of our WYC community and honored to have helped them start or continue on their yoga journeys. To help you get to know them  a little better, we asked them to share a little bit about themselves and how yoga has become a part of their lives.

Tiffany + Justin

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

T: I began an “at home” yoga practice in 2009 and attended my first yoga class while living in Greensboro, NC a few years later. As my involvement in the flow arts deepened, it became clear that a strong yoga practice could broaden my hoop dance abilities.

In 2014, I became more serious about regular practice and not only did my hoop skills improve but I noticed significant improvements in my ability to control emotion and thought, I began to experience better rest and more peace.

Since the majority of my yoga practice has been in solitude, I‘m grateful the Waynesville Yoga Center has provided me the opportunity to connect with such a vibrant, creative and loving yoga community! Finally, on New Years Day 2020, after 10 years of subtle encouragement for my husband to give yoga a try, we attended our first yoga class together. 

J:  I started practicing yoga about 5 months ago. Right away I noticed a desire to be better in all areas of my life.  I quickly realized, ’there’s something to this’  and ’m currently in the best shape I’ve been in a long time and am seeing constant progression. And that goes for my mind, body and soul.

     2. What are your favorite styles / classes?

T: First off, I have to say, I’ve not been to a yoga class I didn’t like, especially at WYC. I’ve tried them all and each have significant benefits. However, my most favorite are Buti, DEEP and Flow + Sweat.

J:  Warm Slow Flow/Power Core Yoga.

     3. What’s your favorite pose and why?

T: Balasana or Child’s Pose and Malasana or Yoga Squat are my favorites because I feel so well grounded to and supported by the earth while in these poses. 

J: Savasana… it’s the most challenging.

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

T: Currently, I’m blessed to be a stay at home mom of two amazing children, Layla Rose, 5 yr. and Stephen, 19 mo. I adore family time, though especially love attending concerts with my brilliant, passionate husband! I also enjoy performing, teaching flute lessons and teaching hoop fitness classes. 

J: I’m filled with joy being a happy husband and proud father, as well as a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments, where I absolutely love helping my clients with their short and long term financial goals. 

     5. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you

T: I was a level 8 gymnast as a child, have a Masters Degree in Flute Performance and Pedagogy and I love to sing and dance!  

J: I was in a touring band for 4 years playing keyboards in 200 shows around the country every year.  My current band Sanctum Sully was mentioned in Rolling Stone Magazine in 2018, and I recently released an album on vinyl LP for the first time.  Music is a huge part of my life.  


Cassie + Gwen

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

G: I think it is a very fun experience. I was a gymnast at a center in Asheville and the teaching plateaued so I began to regress and was still wanted to maintain my flexibility and increase my skills, so when my mom approached me with yoga I was very excited to give it a try to see if I liked it. Since I joined WYC I have achieved more flexibility, have lots of fun and it makes me happy.

C: My journey with yoga began October 2019 with Waynesville Yoga Center. As a mother I was searching for something for an activity to do with my daughter Gwen that we could enjoy together being active while getting to have fun and spend time together so after several weeks of trying to figure out something a child an adult could learn together Yoga was what kept coming to mind so I approached Gwen with this idea and she was more then excited to give it a try. So I did my research online and Waynesville Yoga was the winner and after joining I could not believe it had been here in town for these last several years and all we were missing out on. It has had a positive impact on my life it has helped reduce anxiety, promote good sleep, strengthen muscles I forgot I had, increasing my flexibility among many other benefits.

2. What are your favorite styles / classes?

G: My favorite classes are definitely Buti and Fascial release.

C: My favorite style class is BUTI! I have known about Yoga for years and had started practicing some over the last eight years at home but I had never heard of this style until I attended Kayla’s class.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and continue to I like traditional yoga is incorporated with cardio burning dancing/workout AND the music your burning calories while having fun- which is hard to find. The Hot Stone Restorative is another favorite of mine.

3. What’s your favorite pose and why?

G: I like the Tree pose because it challenges my balance.

C: My favorite pose is the child’s pose I find it the most comfortable and relaxing and beneficial at stretching back muscles.

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

G: I love having play dates/sleepovers, I like playing with my little cousin, Star. I love traveling especially Tennessee and Lake Chatuge and definitely the beach. I love to swim so much!😁😁

C: While not at yoga, I enjoy shopping locally on main street and trying out different foods on the menus at our local restaurants around town. I spend summers at Lake Chatuge at a little lake cabin we have there and enjoy going to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and staying at cabins there and relaxing in the hot tub.

5. Tell me something funny or unexpected about you.

G: I use to think I would never like Volley ball🏐. Then I went to Volley ball camp and absolutely loved it then I joined my school team ( GO HCA 🐾) and it was amazing.😃😃👍👍

C: I am a career student and am currently working on my third college degree. My first was in Massage Therapy.  I used to practice massage here at both local gyms as well as the Balsam Spa at the Waynesville Inn, then I went back for an Associate Applied Science in Medical Assisting and worked as a CMA (AAMA) and the Balsam Center on the Adult Recovery Unit where I would lead a yoga session for those who wanted to attend and most found it therapeutic in their recovery. Now I am currently finishing my nursing degree and will be an RN May 2020.

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  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

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

    – Michelle G.C.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • 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 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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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 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 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

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

    – Steve S.

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