(staff photo credit: Amber Kleid)
Jay is a Yoga Alliance E-RYT (Experienced registered yoga teacher) and a YACEP (Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider) and has been teaching yoga classes for over 16 years. She started practicing yoga over 30 years ago after a back injury in her college days and has never stopped because yoga has kept her healthy and sane!
Jay is also a certified Barre Above instructor, a certified Fusion instructor and A Matter of Balance coach. She is the Owner of WYC and teaches a variety of classes.
Jay believes that all of us stay healthier and happier by staying mobile and active as much as we can in whatever form that takes! Come visit her in one of her classes anytime!!
Leigh-Ann has been practicing yoga since 1997 and teaching it since 2005. She is attracted to fluid vinyasa styles, including moon salutations, and loves to geek out about yoga “off the mat” – such as how the philosophies behind the physical postures can enrich our journey, both for ourselves and for others.
A writer, dancer, massage therapist, creative marketing nerd, and proud Mom, she can be found travelling, enjoying the rhythm of the seasons, or soaking up the natural world when not working.
Sara 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.
Candra Smith has been teaching yoga since 2006 and practicing massage since 2007. She has over 500 hours of yoga study and blends classical yoga with a vinyasa flow. Candra’s classes are fun, creative and slightly challenging with a focus on a deep inner journey to Self discovery. Candra is inspired to teach yoga for so many reasons but simply put, yoga helps people become better people. Candra currently owns the Maggie Valley Wellness Center.
Michael was born and raised in Asheville, NC and has a deep love for our beautiful mountains. Michael discovered yoga in 1995 and developed an immediate affinity with it. He got his first teaching certification in 1997 with a Kripalu style teacher. Extended holds and detailed attention to alignment. His last two certifications were in 2011 and 2014 at the Asheville Yoga Center which added an element of lightness and fun. He would like to honor all of his teachers by teaching yoga as a way of life rather than as a form of exercise. His yoga philosophy is “Every yoga pose, and by extension every second of our lives, deserves our full attention, our full awareness, and our full effort. I do yoga to remind myself to live life like that.”
As a Registered Nurse (WCU ‘01- Go Cats!) and mother of three active children, Abbie values the importance of physical, as well as emotional and mental health. Abbie’s yoga journey began 12 years ago as a way to get back in shape after the birth of her oldest child, but she quickly realized the overall wellness benefits of yoga. In taking some time away from her nursing career to raise children, she was able to realize one of her long-term goals and receive her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Asheville Yoga Center earlier this year. Abbie hopes to share her love of yoga and wellness to ALL people and she firmly believes that in taking care of ourselves, we are able to better nurture others.
Katie Schomberg is the modern-day medicine woman, The Rosewater Healer. She is a clinical herbalist, medicine farmer, writer, teacher, and healing artist. Her work guides women to become aware, developing a deep self-trust and understanding of their individual soul-archetype. Her private holistic herbal consults, breathwork sessions, educational experiences, group events, cosmically-crafted remedies, podcast (The Medicine Bag), and retreats — support women to wake-up, show-up, and dive-deep into their personal healing journey.
Katie believes that we hold old patterns and belief systems in our bodies, that keep us from living a life of freedom. When we choose to let go of what is no longer serving us and step into our power, we can heal not only ourselves, but the world around us. Her personal story of healing and reclamation, has shown her that returning home is an inside>out process. We have to go internal and begin to FEEL. We must feel it all>>>our hurts, our wounds, our desires, our wants, our joy, our innate knowing, and our gift-ings, to truly connect back to spirit. This is what her work embodies.
She has worked with women individually in sessions, facilitated retreats, held workshops, in-person events, and online teachings that have empowered and brought healing for the collective over for the past 6 years. She is the creator/owner of The Healing Farm (and all it encompasses) and resides in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, right outside of Asheville, with her three unschooled boys, bullmastiff pup, and her husband of 20 years.
You can learn more at www.rosewaterhealer.com or follow along @katieschomberg on Instagram.
Kayla started practicing yoga in 2013 and has found it to be a constant and source of peace and focus while navigating life’s challenges. She attended her first Buti Yoga class in 2017 and immediately fell in love; not only with the great workout, but with the supportive and empowering atmosphere the practice embodies as well. Her degree in music performance and background in dance helps her bring a fresh and soulful take to the evolutionary yoga practice. Having always enjoyed being active and finding new ways to challenge herself and others, Buti Yoga has helped her find art and creativity in her practice and elevate exercise to something vibrant and ever changing.
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 encorporate 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 take sweet Melissa’s class and leave feeling peaceful and reconnected in your spirit, mind and body!
Tara has been a student of yoga for almost 25 years. She studied and has been influenced by the Iyengar, Anusara, and Ashtanga lineages. Tara completed her RYT 200 training at Anahata Yoga Center in Mason, Ohio.
Her style now includes mindful alignment cues that focus on opening and releasing to leave you relaxed, aware and free. On her days off, you can find her up in the mountains hiking, in her boat kayaking or mountain biking the local trails.
Tara is a register nurse having worked in pediatric ICU, now pre and post operative care, and is also a licensed massage therapist here at WYC. Follow Tara on her FB page here.
Jake Gilmore was Born in Springfield, Missouri. Growing up in a small town, like many other folks he felt the pulling notion of “more”. Feeling the pull of wanting more knowing and information, he enrolled in college at Drury University and majored in English and Writing, with a minor of Psychology in the study of archetypal symbolism. During his studies, he took a Yoga and stress course elective and his life changed direction, as he found asylum in the practicing of Yoga, an introduction of Body, Mind and Soul practice. After graduating with honors, Jake went on to live in Palm Springs, Santa Rosa, Bodega Bay, and Modesto, California, all the while practicing Yoga, privately and in studios, up and down the west coast. He has come to rest in the mountains in Western North Carolina. He completed his 250 hour Yoga certification with eagerness to teach, to share his passion of Body, Mind and Soul
She recently graduated from Asheville Community Yoga Center’s 250 hour yoga teacher training program. She is a registered, licensed Nutritionist with a Master of Public Health and a passion for helping others find their path to a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Her focus is to blend science, with the breath of yoga, to shine a light on this path of wellness and wellbeing.
As someone over 50 and still very active, she believes that she can guide and role model others who want to remain active and vibrant no matter what their age. She firmly believes yoga is a practice that can help everyone age gracefully and have an improved quality of life as they do so.
She is currently doing self-study on the science of Ayurvedic and concepts for healthy eating and has plans for formal training next year. She also performed belly dance for 10 yeas and taught for 5, combining lots of belly dance styles into her classes.
TrishAnn is continuing her own studies of teaching yoga, the Sutras, breath work and the spiritual aspects of yoga so that she can weave these all into her yoga classes.
Amber began practicing yoga in 2009 in hopes of a graceful transition in her 40th year, and from that practice grew a longing to teach yoga. After many grueling years in the corporate world, Amber left it behind for a more fulfilling lifestyle to help her husband start a successful business. Then in 2018, she finally decided it was time to make her dream come true and signed up for yoga teacher training at Discovery Yoga in St. Augustine FL. That training helped Amber become “open to change” and that change has brought her to become a new resident of Waynesville NC.
Amber is looking forward to guiding classes in her new hometown and sharing her love the of the physical as well as mental aspects of the practice of yoga. Her mission is to provide a loving, welcoming and accepting environment to offer the practice of yoga and to help students nuture self- love in a judgement free environment. She believes ALL bodies can do yoga.
Renee, a practitioner of yoga since 2007, grew up in Seattle, WA and happily landed in the mountains of Waynesville with her husband, Darren, their two cats Crosby and Bowie, and pup, Chima.
Renee’s continuously curious mind, love of the practice, and self-proclaimed “yoga universalist” style offers fun, uplifting, and transformational practices that pull from various styles of yoga and reflect her special flair and love of teaching.
Currently pursuing her RYT-500 certification and deepening study into the therapeutic benefits of yoga and holistic wellness, Renee honors the traditions of yoga and is a strong believer in cultivating a warm atmosphere that motivates, inspires, and supports yoga practitioners at each stage in their journey. She promotes openness, positivity, and encourages budding and seasoned yoga enthusiasts to build strong foundations for a long term, sustainable, yoga practice.
Kirstin first came to yoga 2007, when a friend invited her to a class, convincing her she didn’t need to already know how to do it in order to start. As she and her husband moved around the country with his Army career, Kirstin worked as a minister and a hospital/hospice chaplain. In 2018, they moved to Waynesville, and Kirstin was thrilled to participate in WYC’s first 200-hour Teacher Training last year.
In the various roles she has held as a chaplain and as an Army spouse, Kirstin’s joy has been in being with people in the ups and downs of real life. Yoga has been a source of resilience for her and she enjoys sharing with others that same strengthening of body and deepening of spirit that comes with a yoga practice. She likes to focus on the drawing inward that yoga invites and the ways that different poses can help us understand our physical and emotional selves.
Off the mat, she loves to be hiking with her husband and their dog Artie, or writing, with cat Max sitting helpfully in her lap.
Natalie responded to her call to yoga at the beginning of 2017 and found with total sincerity that yoga is nothing short of life-changing. Within the first month of practicing yoga asana, she knew she had found something special and was immediately inspired to bring her knowledge to others. She’s a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Instructor and thrilled to be sharing her passion of yoga with the Waynesville community. Her teaching style ranges from faster-paced vinyasa classes to more mellow, fascia-focused yin classes.
Beyond the yoga asana, she incorporates mindfulness and breathing techniques into her classes and makes use of essential oils, incense, and some reiki to promote a soothing, welcoming environment.
A yoga instructor for 30 years, Lynda has mentored under numerous yogis, and she received her YTT200 from The Yoga & Ayurveda Center. Lynda’s class is a fusion of styles: Kripala Yoga for the mind-body-soul connection, Iyengar Yoga for proper alignment and form, and Vinyasa Flow for building strength, focus and true balance. Lynda loves the spiritual aspect of connecting with the self through yoga, strengthening body and mind through regular practice, and addressing individual physical challenges.
Lynda completed her 600hour certification in Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy (PRYT), a holistic and integrative approach to yoga therapy that serves as a bridge to help us connect our minds with the innate wisdom of our bodies. She works with students in group settings and in private sessions for a deeper connection with them-selves, inspiring clarity and empowerment.
Rylee has been practicing yoga regularly since 2015, as a form of cross training for running long distance. After sustaining more injuries from running, she turned to yoga as a form of exercise, but has gained so much more from the practice. She moved to Western North Carolina from Texas with her (now) husband in 2017 after graduating with her master’s degree in occupational therapy. They settled into Waynesville in 2018, and she is an occupational therapist at a nursing home in Sylva.
Rylee received her RYT 200 through Waynesville Yoga Center’s second teacher training program and is delighted to share her love of yoga with others. Rylee enjoys spending her spare time in the great outdoors hiking or camping with her husband or snuggling with her cats Albus and Minerva.
Karen’s unique teaching style keeps her students motivated, captivated and engaged. Her passion is “Helping everyBody live better in their BODY.” additionally, her background teaching dance, judging, coaching and choreographing gymnastics gives her an astute perspective, knowledge and understanding of body movement. Throughout her life she practiced yoga and in 2009 she was certified to teach chair yoga through SilverSneakers, and later her 200 hour Yoga Alliance certification in 2016; that opened the flood gate. Her thrust to learn more and more persisted and she immediately perused her 500 hour Yoga Alliance Certification.
Karen’s area of yoga concentration is Therapeutically-Oriented. Her Yoga Tune-Up certification is a bio-mechanical approach to learning yoga and she is also certified as a Myofascial massage ball practitioner. She is currently studying Anusara Yoga. Anusara classes are presented with a corresponding theme. Each classes begins with a dharma talk (a talk about the best way to live our lives). The yoga practice is centered around the talk. Don’t miss this unique yoga experience.
Energetic, spirited, fun and authentic! Danielle brings her love of the outdoors, the appreciation for the small nuances and opportunities of gratitude to her practice, where she wants to create a space for people to authentically explore from the inside out
Don’t let Danielle’s fun and playful spirit let you think you won’t find strength and engagement in her classes. She loves to start with several minutes of centering, meditation and breathwork, abs, a full body warm up, followed next by a flow that begins with cueing for activation, turning into dynamic movements and fluidity to explore your own body / mind connection. Closing out, you can typically expect a grounding and reflective savasana that will last a few minutes so you leave feeling a cross between strong and floating.
Danielle is a 200 RYTT from Authentic Movements, where she has training in vinyasa flow, moving in a dynamic, mindful and activating way. When she isn’t on her mat or working in medical sales, you can find her in the garden, putting up food or hiking with her husband and two sweet Leonbergers.
Lisa grew up in Dunedin, FL. She went to Florida State University and majored in Physical Education Sports Medicine. In 1992, she moved to Atlanta, GA to live with her college roommate after graduation. She worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer for many years and had 3 children. Lisa has always loved working out and has always been a gym rat. She never considered yoga until the unthinkable happened in 2017 when her middle child at the age of 18 passed away. For health reasons, she discovered yoga. Yoga helped her bring her blood pressure down and she was able to avoid medication. She loved yoga so much that she took the teacher training and became 200RYT in 2019. In 2020, she decided to try bodybuilding and realized how much yoga had helped her with her training. She just completed her 300RYT so she is now considered 500RYT. She also is certified in Yin, Nidra, Bioenergetic Healing, and Barre.
Mae completed her 200-hour certification through Tamal Dodge, where there was great emphasis placed on correct alignment, breath awareness, and the philosophy behind Yoga. Her education in Exercise Science and Physician Assistant studies have led her to emphasize the importance of alignment in her yoga teaching.
Mae’s exposure to the world of yoga has given her the opportunity to learn from wise and inspiring individuals. She wishes to share her experiences with her students, and hopes to inspire a self-reflection that will evolve into a new way of thinking or acting. Mae’s goal is to provide a challenging vinyasa flow rooted in traditional Yoga and the principles behind Bhakti Yoga. Her classes are challenging both physically and mentally. But no worries, she has some pretty awesome playlists which will make the time fly.
Elizabeth has been practicing and studying yoga for over 20 years. She became a certified yoga teacher through the Asheville Yoga Center in 2015. Since then, she has instructed at traditional studios, senior facilities and YMCA’s throughout the WNC area. Elizabeth can teach basically any style of yoga but her main expertise is in restorative yoga. She shares her extensive yogic education through her teaching of the anatomical and mental benefits of restorative asana and philosophy. Her aura is gentle and positive and her classes are truly a delight.
(staff photo credit: Amber Kleid)
– 2019 YTT Student
– Hayley P.
– Carol L.
– Teresa F.
– Kristen, B
– 2019 YTT Student
– Jann F.
– Christine G.
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.
– Anita S.
– Kristen, B
– Kim T.
– Barbara B.
– Steve S.
– Michelle G.C.
– Brooke H.
– Myndie S.
– Barbara S.
– 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.