What a journey it’s been to our 5th birthday!

At the very beginning <3

When people used to ask me about opening my own yoga studio, I would roll my eyes and shrug it off, laughing, saying, “ I have no interest in doing that….way too much work!” I really believed that and felt that way for many years. It really was much easier to show up to the fitness center, clock in to teach then clock out and leave- sure I had the occasional meeting and net-learning stuff but not really that big of a hassle, right!?

About five years ago, my husband and I bought the former Prospect Hill B&B looking to move his offices into that space. Initially, we were thinking maybe a cafe or small restaurant might go downstairs, but when we realized we would have to renovate the commercial kitchen, that idea was scrapped. My husband suggested one day that I should open a yoga studio and I just looked at him and my immediate reaction was “NO! Too much work!” But the seed had been planted and it started to germinate and grow.

The truth was that after teaching for the fitness center for 14 years, I was starting to feel stuck and little stale in my teaching and that job. It would have been so easy to stay and keep doing the same old over and over again because I did love the people that I taught there and most of them had been in my classes for several years. The thought of leaving that job frankly made me a little nauseous and nervous, but I started to seriously consider what that might mean for me and my teaching career. I decided to investigate and look into some options thinking things will fall into place if it is meant to be- and of course some things did and some did not!

I had worked with and been friends with Leigh-Ann for some years and I knew she had studio management experience in addition to being a yoga teacher. She was also working for my husband at the time and I know she would be in the building already which seemed pretty convenient. I had already decided if she was not in and open to doing it with me then that was a sign that I should not move forward, but as you know by now, she was all in and the yoga center started to take shape!

I had known Jerica for a while through a mutual friend and just had an instinct that she would be a great asset to have for all the back end stuff from a management perspective and she has been a rock star like Leigh Ann. The three of us starting working together and the studio really started to come together and take shape as we made what seemed like a million decisions on paint colors, software, logos, signs, mission statements and values. And just like that, my third baby, the Waynesville Yoga Center was born out of our love of yoga and wanting to bring this to our community!

And a few years into the party, Jake joined our team and Natalie followed soon after. Jake is the smiling face that most of you see every morning when you come in and Natalie is the smiling face behind the scenes like Jerica keeping the WYC machine running smoothly and efficiently! It takes a village, for sure!

Over the last five years, we have weathered a renovation, a flood from our washing machine, and Covid. My prophecy of “too much work” did come to pass on some days. What I did not anticipate, as many new parents can’t, is the joy and happiness that comes with sharing and connecting with others- something that we love so much- so that the hard work is worth it more often than not. We can do hard things and come out richer and wiser for it in the end. Just like with a new baby, the sleepless nights and long hard days are worth it as you get the privilege of watching your new baby grow and change to become themselves.

I am profoundly grateful for my staff and teachers as they have been incredibly flexible and adaptable throughout this process as we navigated some of these challenges and other growing pains. I hear all the time how amazing our teachers and staff are and believe me when I say that I am so thankful for each and every one of them. The community that we have nurtured and fed at our studio is something special and many that come through have commented that they can feel that sense of being welcomed to our space.

Our members and patrons have been the backbone of our studio, steadfast in their loyalty, and they are the reason that we are still here in business serving the community. We thank each one of them from the bottoms of our hearts for staying with us through some challenging times over the last five years. You are the reason that we do what we do and we never forget that!

 

Happy Birthday to us!

With so much gratitude,

Jay

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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.

  • “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.

  • “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 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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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

  • “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

  • 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.

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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 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.

  • “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

  • “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 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.

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

    – Steve S.

  • “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.

  • “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.

  • “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.

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Waynesville Yoga Center
274 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786

828.246.6570

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