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.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • “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.

  • “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 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.

  • “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.

  • “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

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

    – Steve S.

  • “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 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.

  • “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

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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.

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

    – Michelle G.C.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

We'll send special offers, yoga articles, event information, and more - directly to your inbox!

Gift Certificates + Class Passes

Contact Us

Waynesville Yoga Center
274 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786