Form Relationships to Last a Lifetime

When you embark on your 200-Hour Teacher Training, you’re immersing yourself in a one-of-a-kind education. But there’s something even more special about this experience beyond just the deep learning. You’ll become a part of a community that will change your life forever.

Dedicating time for a training may seem a little scary when you have to travel to a new destination with people you’ve never met before. If you feel nervous, take a deep breath and trust that this will be worth every second of your time. You’re coming together with a group of like-minded people in an atmosphere that will benefit both you and your other classmates.

A community is defined as a group of people residing in the same place sharing a common characteristic. The community you’ll find in training will quickly become so much more than that. These individuals will share your goals of love, integrity, growth and service. More importantly, this community will be one that supports you, understands you and inspires you. They will turn into your family, and you’ll make cherished connections that will last the rest of your life.

Make Real Connections

In a world that’s driven by social media and impersonal contact, how special is it to have the opportunity to make real connections that will positively impact your future? These relationships are the key to a happy, healthy life and that’s exactly what you’ll find in 200-Hour Training.

Learn from Others

The 3-week or 9-weekend program will give you the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life with completely unique backgrounds and life experiences. Spending time with individuals who grew up differently from you will open your mind and give you exposure to new things.

Health Benefits of Meaningful Relationships

It’s no secret that strong, supportive relationships can boost overall health. In fact, they have been linked to lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, and greater empathy. By fostering a bond with others who also share a love and passion for yoga will lead to greater fulfillment in your own life.

AYC’s 200-Hour Teacher Training Program

Whether you choose to take the 3-week or 9-weekend program, this opportunity will allow you to have the confidence and experience you need to start educating and sharing the love of yoga with others. Expand your practice and explore a greater understanding of yoga with world-class instructors. The 200-Hour Teacher Training program will give you the community and support you need and leave you with life-long friendships.

Support the Hope Chest for Women, AYC’s October Charity of the Month

One of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga is the Law of Giving and Receiving. It states that giving and receiving are different expressions of the same flow of energy in the universe. The core meaning behind this law is that giving to others will bring the same joy, harmony and good karma into your own life.

Have you ever experienced that feel-good moment when you’ve helped someone in need? This effect of giving is called “giver’s glow” and actually begins in the brain. Acts of philanthropy release several different happiness chemicals, including dopamine and endorphins which are correlated to feelings of tranquility and serenity. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we invite you to support our Charity of the Month, the Hope Chest for Women. Here are a few ways you can inspire your giving spirit on the mat.

Giving on the Mat

Take some time to open your heart chakra to fuel the giving spirit inside of you. Any poses that open up the chest will target your heart chakra. Here are two poses to incorporate into your practice.

Camel Pose or Ustrasana

Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Rotate your thighs inward slightly, firm your buttocks and press your shins and the tops of your feet firmly on the floor. Rest your hands on the back of your pelvis with the bases of your palms on the tops of your buttocks with fingers pointing downward. Inhale and lift your heart by pressing the shoulder blades against your back ribs. Lean back and keep your head up.

Locust Pose or Salabhasana

Lie on your belly with your arms resting along the sides of your torso, palms up and head resting on the floor. Exhale and lift your head, upper torso, arms and legs away from the floor. You should be resting on your lower ribs, belly and front pelvis at this point. Raise your arms parallel to the floor, stretch backwards through your fingertips and keep your gaze forward.

Support Local Women in Need During October

AYC is proud to support The Hope Chest for Women during October in alignment with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The nonprofit offers financial assistance for both medical and non-medical expenses, along with information on community resources, education on cancer prevention, and emotional support to women in Western North Carolina living with breast or gynecological cancers.

According to cancer.net, there are more than three million women who currently have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. By raising awareness for The Hope Chest for Women, we as a community can support women living with or recovering from breast cancer right here in our local area. We invite members of the community to join us on Thursday, October 24 for our Day of Giving where 10% of proceeds from community and drop-in classes will be donated. If you’d like to give a monetary donation, boxes will be available in the Studio and Boutique.

Whether you attend class in the Studio or just want to make a contribution, you can enhance your personal life and help someone else rebuild theirs.

Save 40% on blue and pink JadeYoga mats in the Boutique. These mats are eco-friendly and are made with natural rubber containing no PVC or other synthetic rubbers. Offer valid through October 31. Limited supply available.

 

 

Better Breathing Through Yoga

The very source of our existence flows ever so gracefully through our bodies to keep our hearts pumping and our brains alive. It’s unseeable, untouchable but incredibly vital. The power behind our working bodies is breath; the inhalation and exhalation of air through our lungs every minute of every day. Yet, it’s something that we hardly pay attention to.

Ask yourself this question: do I have a tendency to take short, shallow breaths?  Most of us are entrenched in our busy schedules, too tense and fixed both mentally and physically to notice how our breathing is affecting us. Challenge yourself to pay attention to the kind of rhythm your breathing takes.

Here’s how yoga can bring awareness to your breath and help you focus on slower, deeper breathing for your health.

 Better Breathing Through Yoga

One of the many benefits of committing to a yoga practice, is that it gives you the opportunity to really focus on your breathing for a concise period of time during the day. If you find yourself sitting for hours on end at a computer, or if your muscles are constantly under tension, it can affect the depth of your breath. Yoga creates the perfect environment to relax and concentrate on just that.

Breath Awareness

In class, yoga instructors continuously emphasize the importance of conscious breathing. It is a foundational component of any yoga practice which utilizes our ability to connect to our inner energies.

Allow yourself to rid your mind of any distractions and just be present. Being able to connect to your breath is one of the initial ways to make yourself reside in the present. Furthermore, this is why breath awareness in yoga serves as its own type of meditation, because it calms the body down and heightens consciousness. Deep breathing with your full body allows you to open energy channels which increases mental clarity and benefits the body’s overall emotional state.

 Paths of Subtle Energies

Breath offers a way to tap into our body’s inner energies. Our physical body is home to over 72,000 channels, known as nadis, where energy is able to flow. Nadi is a Sanskrit word meaning “channel” or “flow” and refers to energy channels within the body. When these nadis are flowing freely, we remain vital and healthy. When they become weak or congested, our bodies struggle both mentally and physically. The three nadis that are the most important in yoga are Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.

Ida Nadi: This channel starts at the Muladhara chakra, or the root chakra located at the base of the spine and takes its path through the chakras until it reaches its end in the left nostril. This channel corresponds to the moon energy and creates a calming effect on the body.

Pingala Nadi: This nadi begins at the Muladhara chakra as well, but the difference is that its course through the chakras ends in the right nostril. The Pingala nadi is known for its relation to the sun energy and its heating effect.

Sushumna Nadi: Lastly, this nadi takes a path down the central axis of the body through the spinal cord. It serves as the predominant nadi in relation to the astral or emotional body. It takes the same course that the Kundalini energy takes relating to balance, stillness of mind and ultimately leads to enlightenment.

Take time in your yoga practice to bring awareness to these nadis. If you pause between poses, you will start to notice which nadi is dominating your breath. Pay attention to your state of mind, and you’ll find which nadi is more present. If you feel agitated and energetic, you’re activating the pingala nadi, if you feel calm and relaxed, you’re activating the ida nadi, and if you have clarity of mind, you’re activating the sushumna nadi.

Benefits of Deep Breathing

Deep breathing offers multiple health benefits as well. Your body will thank you for it. Here are some added benefits.

Muscle relaxation

Improved oxygen delivery

Lower blood pressure

Release of endorphins

Detoxification

When you combine breath with physical movement, the entire body and mind can connect and settle into complete calmness. Understanding how to consciously breathe will contribute to a developed state of awareness, a deeper yoga practice and overall improvements to your health.

Focus on your breathing in Paige’s Gentle Restorative & Yin class on Thursdays at 10am or Tanya’s Gentle Restorative & Yin class on Wednesdays at 2:30pm. For a full list of classes, view our class schedule here.

Practice the Yogic Value of Compassion in Your Life

A yogic life is centered around showing compassion for all things. As your practice grows and develops, you’ll find that it pushes out ego and insecurities, opening the door to a caring and loving way of life. Compassion, defined in the yoga sutras, is called karuna-dukha. According to Patanjali’s yoga sutra 1.33, one way to purify the mind and increase serenity is to practice karuna or compassion.

Open Your Heart

If you want to live with karuna, try incorporating a few rounds of sun salutations into your practice and offer a different dedication to each round.

Round One: Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and express gratitude towards someone in your life.

Round Two: Picture someone with whom you may find conflict or difficulty and use this round as an offering of forgiveness to that person.

Round Three: Dedicate your third round to someone who may be struggling, worried or lost and send them supportive energy.

Yoga Poses for Self-Compassion

Show gratitude and love for your body by taking time to rest and rejuvenate with these poses.

Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit back on your heels. Separate your knees hip-width apart. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Lay your hands on the floor beside you with palms up. Release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor.

Knees to Chest: Lie on your back, bend your knees, plant your feet on the floor and engage your lower back into the mat. Draw your right knee toward your chest and extend your left leg. Inhale deeply. After a few breaths, release the right leg and draw your left leg into your body and breathe deeply again.

Corpse Pose: Lay down on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Inhale and slowly extend your legs by pushing through the heels. Release both legs and rest your arms by your sides.

We believe that showing compassion is just as important off the mat as it is on it. During September, we are teaming up with Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue to support the lives and well-being of innocent animals in our community. The nonprofit was founded in early 2009 with the purpose of rescuing animals from the Transylvania County animal shelter which was, at the time, a high-kill shelter. Today, they are one of the leading animal rescue groups in Western North Carolina.

We invite you to join us for our adoption event and Day of Giving on Thursday, September 26. Volunteers from the organization will be here with puppies who are looking for good homes! We will also donate ten percent of drop-in and community class sales to Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue. Donation boxes will be available in the Studio and Boutique all month long if you would prefer to give a monetary donation.

See our full class schedule to choose a class!

Be Comfortable with Your Yoga Practice

If you’ve never tried yoga before, starting out can be intimidating and even a little scary. Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’m too busy. My back bothers me. I’m not flexible enough for yoga. I don’t even know where to begin?” These are all common reasons we hear for why some hesitate to try yoga. But most of the time, these factors are just the result of feeling nervous to start. We’ve developed a class to melt those nerves away! Our Intro to Yoga class will help you become comfortable with the basics of yoga before stepping into the Studio for your first class, so you can feel right at home with your practice.

Intro to Yoga is taught by instructors, Ashley Cloutier and Richard Fabio. They bring warmth, friendliness and comfortability into the classroom along with their teaching experience and knowledge of yoga. In addition, Richard leads the coaching and mentorship program to provide one-on-one support for those looking to explore a yoga practice and find classes and styles to fit their individual needs.

What to Expect

When you attend Intro to Yoga, you’ll learn all about the fundamentals, such as where to put your shoes before you step into class and where to find a mat. You’ll learn about the major styles of yoga, breathing techniques and how to use props to assist your practice. We want you to be educated about yoga so that when you attend your first class, you feel as comfortable as possible.

After class, you’ll have the opportunity to work directly with Intro to Yoga instructor, Richard Fabio to find classes that meet your needs to completely customize your yoga experience. As always, our goal is to help you create a regular, consistent practice so that you feel healthy, strong and enjoy being a part of the yoga community.

Benefits of Yoga

A consistent yoga practice will relax your mind, strengthen your body and nourish your soul. The best part about yoga, is that it’s beneficial for anybody regardless of age.

Better Bone Health: Yoga postures require that you lift your own weight, strengthening both your muscles and bones.

Immunity Boost: In yoga, you’ll contract and stretch muscles, shift organs, and come in and out of yoga postures, which will increase the drainage of lymph (a fluid rich in immune cells). This supports the lymphatic system in fighting infection, destroys cancerous cells and disposes of toxic waste in your body.

Relaxes Your Body: Yoga gives you time to relax, slow your breathing and help you focus on the present. This shift from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic system allows the body to relax and restore itself. You’ll release stress, lower your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure making you feel rejuvenated after every class.

Asheville Yoga Center is more than just a place to practice, it’s a supportive and loving community. Our staff and instructors are here for you through every step in your yoga journey as you grow and elevate your practice. We look forward to welcoming you into our family!

Intro to Yoga is a free class offered every Monday evening at 5:45pm. Sign up for class here to start your journey and explore what yoga has to offer. If you’d like more information or are interested in one-on-one coaching, please email Richard Fabio at rfabio@youryoga.com.

Feel Prepared & Confident

The 200-Hour program will give you the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of yoga. With a diligent curriculum, support from fellow yogis and wisdom from highly skilled teachers, you are in for the journey of a lifetime. This training opportunity could open your world to a newfound career path in yoga. If so, you’ll need to know how to prepare for teaching class! Here are a few tips to help you on your way.

Be Authentically You

Some teachers just starting their careers make the mistake of trying to teach with a deeply philosophical style or teach similarly to other instructors they know. Even though it is great to have teachers to look to as examples, take the time to find your own style. You’ll find that your classes will be authentic and flow naturally as you become more comfortable and settled.

Add Your Own Twist

Find something to offer your class that is unique to you and allows you to stand out from other instructors and their classes. Incorporate a quote, intention, or mantra to personalize class with your own flare.

Embrace Being Vulnerable

Prepare yourself without any fear of seeming inadequate. No one will know your sequence ahead of time, so don’t worry about making a mistake. If you’re nervous, bring a notepad or even a single piece of paper that you can glance at occasionally. Having a few notes may help you feel calmer and eliminate lingering teaching jitters.

Have a Set Sequence to Use for Class

When you begin your yoga teaching career, you’ll have a lot to juggle and manage. You shouldn’t have to spend the majority of your time thinking about your specific class sequence. Instead, have one that you can rely on to use regularly. Adapt your sequence to all levels of practitioners by adding modifications throughout. Make your class as fluid and as comfortable as possible for all.

Practice with Your Playlist

If you’re teaching with music, be sure to practice your sequence along with your playlist. Being familiar with subtle cues in the music will remind you of when you should speed up, slow down or just enjoy and relax in the moment.

Give Yourself Some Free Time Before You Teach

To beat the nerves, give yourself some extra time before your class to mentally and physically prepare. Let yourself have time to fully connect to your body, breath and mind. Setting aside this quality time for yourself will set your focus, intention and help you feel confident going into teaching.

Set the Intention for Class with a Reading

Thoughtful readings can be a great addition to your class. They can inspire, inform and educate your students. This is a great way to theme your class!

 Build Relationships with Your Students

Make a point to stay after your class to answer questions and get to know your students. The more personable and accessible you make yourself, and the better relationships you can build with your clients, the better off you will be as you start building your career. Remember to stay confident, flexible and be true to yourself. You’ll continue to grow in your journey and yoga career. We hope these tips help you feel prepared to teach class when you’re ready to take that step!

Want to learn more about what a 200-Hour Training is all about? See our resources page for advice and helpful guides.

AYC Raises Funds & Awareness for Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

As yogis, we know how energizing and empowering a yoga practice can be. These positive impacts are a few of many reasons why we roll out our mats each day. With each asana, our strength and confidence builds and guides us to a place of peace and self-reliance. For example, in Downward Dog the foundation for the pose is centered around growing your heart and feeling your strength while breath nurtures you and makes you feel strong. Self-doubt melts away and is replaced by empowerment. Aside from downward dog, here are two yoga poses to practice to feel powerful:

Warrior II demands involvement from every single part of your body. It connects you to the power housed within the body, starting with the legs and moving up through other muscles and joints.

Begin in Mountain Pose and with an exhale, slightly move your feet about 4 feet apart. Raise your arms to be parallel to the floor and reach them out to the sides with palms down. Turn your right foot slightly to the right and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Turn your left thigh outward so that the center of the left knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle. With an exhale, bend your left knee over the left angle. Anchor yourself by strengthening your right leg and pressing the outer right heel firmly to the floor.

Yoga Poses

Dancer’s Pose challenges your balance and state of mind. It requires you to be present in the moment and to remain focused. Dancer’s Pose will give you a sense of confidence, inner strength and complete empowerment.

Begin in Mountain Pose, and on an inhale, shift your weight to your right foot, lifting your left heel up off the ground behind you as you bend your knee. Press your right thigh bone back into your hip joint and pull the knee cap up. Reach back with your left hand and grab the outside of your left foot or ankle. Stretch your right arm forward so that it’s parallel to the floor.

As you empower yourself through yoga, you can also empower your local community in August. Asheville Yoga Center is fortunate to be able to share this value of empowerment with Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit that strives to give others the resources they need to feel strong and independent in their own lives. For over 30 years, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity has been working to better the lives of those in need. Through homeownership and home repair programs, 1,600 adults and children in Buncombe County have been able to achieve the strength, stability and empowerment they need to build a better future.

Our partnership will kick off in August for the second consecutive year and will be dedicated to raising funds for the organization as well as spreading awareness of their mission amongst those in the yoga community. A donation day will be held on Thursday, August 29th where ten percent of all proceeds from drop-in and community class sales will be gifted directly to Habitat for Humanity. If you’re unfamiliar with the organization, this is a great opportunity to ask questions and learn from one of the nonprofit’s representatives who will be onsite that day.

Empower yourself on the mat and empower those in need by joining us for a class at the Studio on August 29!

See our full yoga class schedule here.

Yoga Poses for Outdoor Fun

In a world where technology is king, it is vitally important to spend time away from screens and distractions and enjoy the peace and calm of the outdoors.

Nature is magical with all its subtle beauty and endless adventure. Its peaceful sounds have a way of making stress melt away. In the same way, a yoga practice can have a similar effect. When we are focused on the mat, intentionally breathing with calm and ease, nothing else seems to matter. When you take time to incorporate both the outdoors and yoga practice into your life, the mind and body benefit greatly.

Summer is a great time to incorporate nature into your daily life and enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy being on the water or pounding your feet on a hiking trail, yoga can help you get the most out of your experience.

Surfing

Water is unpredictable and constantly changing, whether you’re in the ocean or on a river. Being mindful and present is the only way to tackle the challenges that water will throw at you. In surfing, you have to be strong and committed, yet fluid and flexible. These skills are exactly what yoga teaches you to use on the mat.

Poses to Take from the Mat

In your yoga practice, work on Chaturanga to strengthen your pop-ups onto the surfboard. Baby Cobra will build muscle in your arms to enhance your paddling in the water, and Horse Pose will allow you to feel grounded and strong while you surf.

Hiking

Yoga engages and strengthens the entire body which is especially important when tackling the varying terrain of hiking trails. In addition, being able to control your breath is hugely beneficial when you’re faced with steep inclines on a trail. Deep, intentional breathing will help get you to the top without feeling so winded.

Hiking and yoga go hand-in-hand in that the outdoors benefit a meditative yoga practice. Surrounding yourself with the quietness of nature can relax the brain and senses, and you can tap back into that same peacefulness when you need to calm your thoughts on the mat.

Poses to Take from the Mat

Before you set out for your next hike, practice a few low lunges to help stretch and open your hip flexors. These muscles are hard at work when you hike, so you need to make sure you give them a nice warm-up beforehand. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend is another pose to add into your pre-hike routine. This pose is great for stretching the hamstrings, calves, glutes, back, chest and shoulders.

Kayaking

Kayaking is a water sport that relies heavily on a strong core. You can feel the push and pull on the abdominal muscles with every stroke. In yoga, you’re taught to focus on the core for stability to make each asana more powerful and engaged. You need this same type of stability for kayaking.

Poses to Take from the Mat

Side plank is a great asana to incorporate into your life and practice to strengthen both your core and arms. If your lower back feels fatigued and stiff from kayaking, try cobra pose to stretch your lower back muscles.

Being in nature will compliment your yoga practice just like time on the mat allows you to be more present outdoors. We hope these poses enhance all your fun outdoor activities this summer!

Looking for another way to enjoy nature? Take your practice outside with us during our Yoga in the Park summer series! Classes are held at Reuter Terrace in Pack Square Park on select Saturdays at 10am. These donation-based classes benefit local non-profits United Way and Homeward Bound.

Capital at Play Features Yoga in the Park Summer Series

Just as yogis lengthen their limbs—arms, legs, fingers, and toes—with an intentional groan of muscles, so is the yoga industry expanding to accommodate more practitioners, products, concepts, and classes. As of 2018, some 36 million Americans practice yoga; between 2012 and 2016 alone, the number of practitioners increased by 50%. For all its spirituality, it’s also an undeniably capitalistic enterprise, and a profitable one at that: We spend $16 billion on yoga classes, clothing, equipment, and accessories annually, with the average yogi dolling out some $90 monthly to deepen their practice.

Click to read the full article.

AYC Raises Awareness and Support for RiverLink

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, meaning grace, graciousness, or gratefulness. Gratitude encompasses all of these definitions as a thankful appreciation for all that an individual receives in life. Practicing acts of gratitude in your life can lead to a whole host of benefits such as a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, higher levels of positive emotions and fewer feelings of isolation and loneliness.

As yogis, we strive to show gratitude for all beings and things, and what’s more appropriate than showing compassion and thankfulness for the world we live in and rely on?

This month, Asheville Yoga Center invites you show gratitude for our beautiful environment right here in Western North Carolina by supporting local nonprofit, RiverLink. This organization promotes the environmental and economic vitalty of the French Broad River and its watershed as a place to live, learn, work and play. They provide permanent public access to the river through conservation and recreation easements, reclaiming contaminated lands for public use and enjoyment, greenway development, creating public overnight camping sites along the river, adaptive reuse of historic structures, and empowering over 1,000 volunteers annually.

AYC will also host a Donation Day, on July 25, where ten percent of drop-in and community class sales will be directly donated Donation boxes will be available in AYC’s Studio and Boutique for the entire month of July if you would like to show support with a monetary donation.

RiverLink hosts multiple volunteer events that are open to anyone who wishes to help. If you love the river and desire to make an impact, you can sign up for a volunteer event here.

Positively impact our local environment and your own mental and physical health by showing support for RiverLink. We hope to see you at the Studio for a yoga class!

Click to learn more about RiverLink.

Click to see our yoga class schedule.