Instructor of the Month: Kimberley Puryear

Taking one of Kimberley Puryear’s classes is to get an hour-long education in authenticity and self love. The moment you lay out your mat in her Tuesday evening Yin class, you are welcomed by Kimberley with a smile (usually followed by a funny one-liner). Although the class is always packed, there is a sense of individual attention paired with the comfort of being surrounded by people looking to find balance in their body and mind. The same personalized attention that goes into her class is applied to her work as the lead instructor of the 200 Hour Teacher Training program. Testimonials from 200 Hour TT grads flow in, praising her ability to connect with students and pass on her knowledge as both a yoga instructor and practitioner. With her workshops, Teacher Training expertise and popular Yin class, Kimberley is one of AYC’s most invaluable family members.

Kimberley was first drawn to yoga as her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A friend who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis had been practicing yoga to manage her pain and recommended Kimberley join to help her cope with her mother’s illness. “She taught me basic stuff, especially breathing. I didn’t realize it at the time but I was learning breathing techniques not only for myself but also for my mother, to help her pass peacefully.” Kimberley was especially drawn to yoga’s ability to calm, soothe, strengthen and heal.

In 2007, 10 years after starting yoga, she decided to deepen her practice by attending AYC’s 200 Hour RYT Immersion and 6 months later dove into our 300 Hour RYT. During this time, she discovered her love for Yin. “It was a practice that was so powerful and grounding during a time where I really needed that.” For Kimberley, Yin allows you to sit with aspects of yourself that are uncomfortable. “Life is not comfortable for me naturally, so to have a tool to allow whatever is inside that needs space to be heard and felt and understood is powerful to me. It’s a daily practice to listen to those things and then give myself what I need to nurture myself. And then through that I can help open my heart to other people.” After graduation, she and her husband opened a yoga studio in Columbia, SC. With the success of her studio, she was approached by Stephanie Keach to become a teacher training instructor at AYC. Working with students has caused her teaching style to evolve. In her classes, workshops and TT courses, Kimberley has a fluid teaching style- constantly changing the pose, topic or curriculum to fit the needs of the group and of individuals. This attention to detail stems from her genuine interest in knowing her students. “My favorite thing about teaching is the connection with students. I learn so much more from them than they could ever learn from me. I love that the interaction with each and every single student is an opportunity to connect.”

October 16th was the last day of Kimberley’s 5-day Flow & Yin Immersion. This workshop focused on exploring Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga theory and practice, relaxation techniques, pranayama and adjustments. She has another workshop February which will focus on Restorative Yoga. The beautiful thing about Restorative Yoga is that it gives us a chance to reset and flush the system of stress. Kimberley’s workshop will fluidly discuss the negative effects of stress on our sympathetic nervous systems and address how as a yoga practitioner or instructor you can find ways to bring yourself and your students back into balance. Never one to settle for cookie-cutter yoga, Kimberley is clear that her main goal is to give students the tools to find their own paths. “I think that’s the most powerful thing that can come out of a workshop- people saying ‘I can make this my own.’”

Her exploration of balance within her own life and practice influences her teaching style, making her an incredibly relatable mentor to the hundreds of students she teaches each year. “I have been learning for 10 years and teaching for 10 years and I’m just now starting to understand what my practice is,” she says. “It is trying to be strong, fluid, radiant and peaceful. It’s trying every day to really pay attention through my practice and meditation, which of those parts is out of balance.” Her unsurprising success as a yoga instructor stems from this innate ability of hers to adapt, connect and admit that she’s just another person trying to navigate this crazy world.

Download AYC’s 200 RYT Training Guide

What is your “Yoga Story”? 

Lori: My yoga story is different from Thom’s… I began “doing” yoga about 25 years ago with Cindy Dollar at a studio where I taught step aerobics and body sculpt called Sport Dance.  I decided to give it a try because I felt so tight and inflexible from weight training… the moment I tried it, I was hooked for good!   I have to admit that at first it was a physical thing, and I  was a bit competitive with it, but as some years passed, I came to realize that it benefited me way beyond the physical… it vastly opened up my heart and soul!  In 1997, a friend introduced me to Asheville Yoga Center.  I became a student of Stephanie’s.  Her class was energizing and challenging, but not quite like her current Ashtanga Mix. Stephanie was a rubber band back then, too. Shala was a student  in Stephanie’s class, so we are talking way back! Thom would join me for classes at AYC, but his knees began to pain him around 2005 and yoga was just not possible. It wasn’t until 2014, when he had a double knee replacement, that he was able to become my yoga companion again, and lately we have been fortunate enough to be able to attend every class together. 

After a yoga practice we feel a sense of peace and connectivity. Our hearts open along with our bodies, and our minds become serene. We feel in harmony. Yoga has helped us to navigate through this mysterious vast ocean of life. So far we’ve been able to weather the huge, crashing waves of the storms and then settle back in to the calm aiming for appreciation, gratitude, and contentment. For this, and so many other benefits, we are thankful that yoga is a path we have chosen.

What is your favorite pose at the moment?

Lori: If I had to choose a favorite yoga pose, it would have to be WILD THING!  Back bends are difficult for me and so Camatkarasana enables me to be filled with a sense of freedom and release!  Another favorite is HORSE POSE or Vatayanasana. This pose really aligns my back!  

Thom: I don’t have a favorite pose but I like the progress I am making with Pigeon pose because it has increased my flexibility in my knees and hips.  

What is your most challenging pose?

Lori: Full Wheel (Urdvah Dhanurasana) has been my nemesis since I began my yoga journey. Stephanie once figured out why for me, and since then I have accepted that my physical body has limits! This was when I decided to just BE on my mat and to accept what I was given.

Thom: My most challenging poses are any standing balance poses because of my knee surgery.


Describe yourself in three words: 

Thom: Grateful, Caring, and Centered…and Lori agrees on that!

What is your favorite/ most inspiring quote?

Lori: I have so many favorite quotes. I love how Ram Dass expresses his thoughts.  Here is one…..“If I can’t  stop thinking, maybe I can just let my thoughts go by without getting all caught up in them. Feel the breeze on your face or your neck? See how it’s going by? You’re not all hung up with it. You don’t have to see where each breeze goes. You don’t have to look quickly to see if it hit those trees over there. It’s breezes, and they’re just going by. Make your thoughts like those breezes, those little breezes just passing by…”
Another favorite quote by Pema Chodron is….“The path is unchartered.  It comes into existence moment by moment and at the same time, drops away behind us.  It’s like riding in a train sitting backward.  We can’t see where we’re headed, only where we’ve been.” 

And lastly, this quote is lovely….“Just as the sun shines despite the clouds, so all beings are enlightened despite their issues.”

Thom: My favorite quote is from Omar Khayyam….“Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life!”  

What are you reading right now? (or your favorite book)

Lori: Buddha’s Brain is one of my favorite books that was recommended by Michael Johnson during his ten month Classics of Yoga course.   I had a lot of aha moments while reading this book in discovering that I can actually sculpt my brain to benefit my life by rewiring my neurons.  I am a true testament that this works!  I am presently reading “Autobiography of a Yogi”, it’s taking me a long time to get through, but it appears to be well worth it!

Thom: Another recommended book by Michael that I thoroughly enjoyed is Abundance because it is an optimistic view of mankind”s future. I have suggested it to many people to read.

What are some favorite songs on your playlist?

Lori: It would be difficult for me to pinpoint a favorite song out of the gazillion that are out there but I  am especially drawn to Kirtan… it’s so nourishing and grounding to me! Thom and I sing quite a bit of Kirtan together. I have a harmonium in our meditation room and Thom and I sing together sometimes. 

What inspires you? 

There is so much that inspires us… but what immediately enters our minds are what people and animals endure in life. We admire those that face their adversities and move onward. Our youngest son has been through a tremendous amount in his short life and we admire him with his ability to face difficulties and challenges while maintaining his humor. 

– LORI & THOM MILLER
(grateful, caring & centered)

Michael Johnson is a compelling mix of creative yoga instructor and curious student of the mind. The root of his interest in meditation lies in its ability to help with neurological disorders and for developing wellbeing.

Michael’s worldview and meditation practiced changed when he read Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius. In this book, they explain how we can literally reshape our brain for greater happiness, love and wisdom through a combination of modern science and ancient teachings. Implementing these teachings into his own life, Michael eventually divested himself of the dogmatic & religious interpretations of meditation and instead focused on a more scientific approach.

Mettā Meditation, begins October 13. According to Michael, “Mettā means the combination of kindness, compassion, gratitude and patience-all in one. It is a meditation technique used for developing these states so they can occur with greater ease and frequency.” When you look at it from a neuroscientific perspective, cultivating these positive emotions proactively builds new connections between neurons, increases gray matter in key areas and primes our consciousness to respond with kindness for the next person you meet as well as the person you’re trying to heal a relationship with.

“Vipassanā is more like pruning, ridding ourself of weeds or bad habits that have accumulated in our mind. So the two meditation techniques go hand in hand. One is like clearing weeds and the other is for planting seeds.” he says. Find out more about how you can develop inner peace, better relationships and a positive outlook on life by registering for the Mettā workshop at youryoga.com.

Also interested in the advantages of the combination of pranayama and music during a practice, Michael and his wife, Stephanie, formed a project called Ösel to share their love of music and kirtan. Ösel provides original music with creative rhythms using a wide range of instruments, traditional Sanskrit mantra and poetry. Each album is 108, 120 or 130 beats per minute to compliment Ujjāyī breathing. Their albums are available for purchase in the Asheville Yoga Boutique. Their next Kirtan at AYC is Oct 8th from 2-4pm by donation.

Michael understands that for beginners, it can be difficult to consistently make it to yoga classes. His advice to new practitioners is “Doing anything for the first time takes a lot of courage. There are a million reasons not to, but if you can just get through the door, take the class and have the experience, you’ll find it’s totally worth the time. It also helps to come with a friend. A lot of people come to yoga class, not to prove anything, but rather to feel a sense of connection and peace of mind that’s hard to get anywhere else. That’s, I think, why people keep coming back to classes.” So if you’re feeling a bit lost in finding your stride in your practice, or even are an established yogi looking to further the depth of your practice, we here at AYC recommend you attend any of Michael’s classes and workshops. He has a massive following of dedicated students not only because of his wisdom and experience as an instructor, but also because of his raw understanding of what it means to be human with all of the complexities of attempting to successfully navigate our emotions and this world we live in. Find out more about the services he offers and his class schedules at clearlightyoga.com and youryoga.com.

Download AYC’s 200 RYT Training Guide 

What is your “Yoga Story”?
I doubt if I will ever be finished with the story, or, I hope not. Yoga is the one activity that touches all senses, when open to it, both mind and body. I am grateful for how the practice has helped me to grow in being compassionate to the journey I am on.

Why do you practice yoga?
To learn about myself and for the physical and mental challenges of the practice.

What is your favorite pose at the moment?
Inversions are my favorite pose, at this moment. (ALL of them!)

What is your most challenging pose?
Chaturanga is the most challenging pose for me….at this time.

How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have ben practicing yoga for six years.

Describe yourself in three words:
Energetic, Optimistic and loving

What is your favorite/ most inspiring quote?
“Every experience no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.”  –Buddha

 What are you reading right now? (or your favorite book)
My favorite book changes monthly. This month it is:  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

What are some favorite songs on your playlist?
Shut up and Kiss me by Mary Chapin Carpenter

What is your favorite food?
Sushi, cole slaw and onion rings: all tie for first place

What is the last movie you watched? (or your favorite movie)
Inside Out is my favorite movie

What inspires you? 
Happy people inspire me.

– LIZ GOODMAN
(energetic, optimistic and loving)

 

I ran across a book on yoga in my early 20s, bought it and pretty much set it aside. Higher education and career were at the forefront of my mind and purpose. Jump several decades into the future when career becomes secondary, and it’s time for me to focus on me.  Yoga is back in my radar as more than the casual interest and occasional class over time. My practice evolved and I began to teach, and study for YA certification. It was a really good period of teaching and learning… and then we moved.

We came to Asheville 7 years ago, and one of the first things I did was to identify all the studios within what I considered to be an acceptable driving distance. There were lots to try and choose from… I made a geographic list, with the farthest away on top and closest on the bottom, and began my journey.  Just past the midway point, I came for a class at Asheville Yoga. I liked the energy at the studio, the class and the overall ambiance… and then I met Stephanie and took her class.  7 years later I’m still here!

Why do you practice yoga? 
It is a learning and stabilizing process.  It helps me stay connected with myself and my path in this life.  Even when I’m physically exhausted and mentally tired, I can stay centered and be present.  I find the practice, not just the asana, completely gratifying.

What is your favorite pose at the moment?
Triangle, in so many of its’ variations, is both inspiring and daunting.

What is your most challenging pose?
Arm balances of any sort because my body is carrying a lot of life experiences that make them difficult.  I have to be truly mindful with my efforts and ensure that I take care of myself.

How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practicing steadily for about 13 years.

What is your favorite/ most inspiring quote?
“what you seek is seeking you” -Rumi 

What are you reading right now?
Favorite book:  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn; I think that says it all.  I just finished The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri . . . an amazing read.

What are some favorite songs on your playlist?
So many to choose from . . . Ong Na Mo is probably my favorite.  Soundtracks from the 2 Anugama “Sahmanic Dreams” cds are right up there as well.

What is your favorite food?
Blueberries

What is the last movie you watched? (or your favorite movie)
I don’t have a favorite movie.  I did enjoy the last one that I saw – The Force Awakens – always an underlying positive (optimistic) outlook.

What inspires you? 
Waking up and sunrise . . . and the opportunity for endless possibilities that the forthcoming day brings.

– GLORIA WETJEN
(Realistic optimist, driven, consistent)

 

Community Member Profile: Lorraine Lordi

When people talk about how yoga has changed their lives, I can add one more to that:  yoga saved my life.  You see, ten years ago, I was diagnosed with MS.  I went from being someone who could go like the Ever-Ready bunny to a person who could barely walk down her driveway, to the mailbox.  It was all of fifty feet away. For several years after the diagnosis, I struggled with not only loss of my physical self but loss of my happy, positive self.  The person who always saw silver linings behind clouds now not only saw dark clouds, but I also saw two of everything.  OK, so a full moon is beautiful, but when you look up at the sky and see two, you want to break down and cry.  I know because I did.

And then I moved to Asheville.  I rented a little furnished apartment on Chestnut Street, right next to this little yoga studio.  “Mom, you should try some yoga,” my son, Joe, who lives here, urged.

“Yoga?”  I said.  “Not for me.  I’m not a joiner.”

He handed me a flyer to a free weekend of classes.  “It couldn’t hurt to try one or two classes,” he said.

The next day, I got up the nerve to put on some old sweatpants and a t-shirt and go to a basic class.  I struggled to reach my toes.  Down dog?  Isn’t that for dogs?  And what’s this at the end?  Lie still and pretend you’re dead.  Well, that one I could do!

And then I kept going back.  Twice a week. Then three times.  Then as many times as I could.  I couldn’t explain why, but something there at that little studio felt like a home I never knew.  It felt like family to me.  At the same time, I slowly felt connected to the self I had lost.  The self who could only tremble at the thought of the future.  Would I go downhill like most of the doctors predicted?

Outside of yoga, I battled that fear a lot.  It’s only natural with this disease.  No one can predict its course.  But in yoga, I found a refuge, a place to center me.  I also found a place of hope.  You see, five years later after starting and staying with yoga, my neurologist shook her head and said, “I wish all of my patients were like you.  You are going back up the slope because of everything you do to take care of yourself.  I think the big part of it is yoga!”

So, that’s part of the story.  The beginning to the middle.  But let’s go to now.  Now, yoga for me is not just a way to heal, but a way to be
outrageously happy.  Yoga is fun!  So what if I can’t stand on my head?  So what if I have to go to the wall to balance?  I can touch my toes. I can do a sun salutation and really send all of my gratitude up to the universe.  I not only can do most every position (OK, take out Warrior Three), but I like doing them.

And let’s not forget this other side to yoga. Positions are fun and fine, but my breathing has deepened.  It has opened my heart and calmed down my fears.  Every breath is a gift.  And for me I can say, every step is a gift.  Not too many people think about every step they take or how their feet line up in yoga the way I do.  I’m on my feet!  To me, that is a miracle in itself.

As E.M. Forster said, “Just connect.”  And so, that’s why I do yoga:  to connect to all that is greater than I am, to connect to people in class who are no longer strangers.  To connect to the gratitude and compassion that surround and live within me.  To laugh and be glad for all that I have instead of dwelling on all that I have lost.  In fact, I can say this with great certainty:  I haven’t lost anything. With yoga and all that if offers, I’ve gained more than I could have ever imagined.  Life was good before MS.   Life is better now — with yoga.

Thank you, Asheville Yoga Center and all of your amazing teachers for bringing me back and beyond who I ever thought I could be.

– LORRAINE LORDI
(Happy, kind, and grateful)

Community Member Profile: Jay Gertz

Why do you practice yoga?
Yoga marks an endpoint of a long search and a new beginning in my life. For far too many years, I was seeking an elusive something that would fill that nagging emptiness inside. Yoga has provided a spiritual contentment and a physical nourishing that really sustains me. This transformative power of yoga is nothing short of miraculous. I am stronger and more supple. In executing asanas, I have come to not only appreciate my strengths, but accept my limits, feeling a greater sense of peace and shedding self-consciousness. I guess this is what is meant by moving towards authenticity. Becoming comfortable with who I am and finding a true sense of belonging in this yoga community is so wonderful!

What is your favorite yoga pose?

I must admit that my favorite pose is savasana because this is when the cumulative effect of the practice blossoms into a radiant blissfulness. Side Crow is one that I am really hoping to learn some day.

How long have you been practicing yoga?
I have been practicing yoga for over ten years. During a period when I had been fighting personal demons, a good friend, waxed eloquently about the curative power of yoga and told me about a wonderful teacher at AYC, Julia Taylor. I was very hesitant about making a commitment, but just then she walked into the UNCA library where we were talking! This moment of synchronicity was too powerful to ignore, so I gave yoga a try. I fell in love with the practice from the beginning and was a worker member to boot for several years!

Describe yourself in three words.
Just three? Cynical bohemian transforming. Or perhaps, work-in-progress.

What is your favorite/most inspiring quote?
“[…]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”  Jack Kerouac from On the Road

What are you reading now or your favorite book?
Jack Kerouac has been on my reading menu for fifty years. His poetic prose still blows me away (and led me astray.) More recently, I stumbled across the Neapolitan novels of Elena Ferrante…four volumes I absolutely could not put down about two strong, independent women and the fascinating tale of them growing up and older in Naples, Italy.

What are some of your favorite songs on your playlist?
I never seem to tire of listening to Bat for Lashes, especially “Daniel.” “Resignation Superman” by Big Head Todd and the Monsters gets me dancing. “Sometime Around Midnight” by The Airborne Toxic Event is great. “Set Fire to the Rain,” by Adele, wow, what a voice! Gotta also mention “Waiting Game” by Banks, “L.E.S. Artistes” by Santigold, “Monster” by Meg Myers and “Levi Stubbs’ Tears by Billy Bragg. As a recent arrival to the digital age, I have discovered so many great songs!

What is the last movie watched or favorite movie?
My all time favorite movie is “Amelie’.” I’ve watched it seven or eight times! It inspired me to go to Paris! I’ve recently enjoyed “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Wild,” and “Looper.” An undiscovered little screen gem is “Safety Not Guaranteed.”

What inspires you?
The natural world is the source of much of my passion and wonder. I live on four acres of forested land that puts many parks to shame. My wife has encouraged native plants and created a botanical paradise. I am constantly filled with awe by the morning symphony of bird song. Springtime out here is beautiful beyond words. The Earth Mother is strong, resilient and powerful, but I often fear for Her health by the onslaught of human kind.

– JAY GERTZ
(Cynical, Bohemian, Transforming)

5 Reasons Steph Loves Ashtanga Yoga

1. Strength Building

I have the genetics for flexibility, which makes Yoga a dream job. Except that flexible people get injured in Yoga three times more than non-flexies. We apparently go too far into the stretch, injuring the tissues around our joints. Yup, I see it all the time. But lucky me, I “found” a style of Yoga early in my Yoga career that complemented my flexibility and built the much needed strength around my joints called Ashtanga Yoga. It was in Santa Barbara, CA in 1992, in John’s danky basement with space heaters. I would later drive to Encinitas to study with Tim, and it was also a danky basement with space heaters. These were definitely the low-budget days of Yoga! But the benefits of strength building Yoga practice are beyond protecting flexibility. I am building bone density, I am comfortable in my strong body (long periods of sitting or gardening for example don’t “kill” me), and I am a strong woman. Not just muscular, but strong in spirit, and in Yoga. Body-mind-spirit are all connected.

2. Pranayama

I had been practicing Yoga for several years before I found this style of Yoga, and besides the incredible strength it required (which humbled me to my very core), I was blown away by breathing deeply. At least it felt like this was the first time in my life that I ever even noticed deep breathing and how it made me feel. It was incredible. I am talking one of the top 5 moments of my entire life! Somehow, I awakened to the realization, while doing the traditional closing seated pranayama (Ujjayi- throaty breathing), that the breath wasn’t just “air in, air out.” It was energy, and I could literally feel it beyond my lungs, filling up my body. I could feel where the energy was stagnant or depleted and could use the Ujjayi to help heal and re-inspire that area. Oh yes, life transforming, like a million times more exciting than downward facing dog!

3. Heat

For me, I like intensity and excitement. Not only is this practice intense and exciting (incredibly hard and challenging postures!) but the environment is intense and exciting. At least “back in the day” in those basements. I was told by John and Tim that they were trying to recreate the heat they found in Mysore, India, the birthplace of this practice. I loved it. As most of us Yogi-heat-seekers realize, the detoxification happening is definitely not just physical toxins but emotional, spiritual, and psychological as well. That heat combined with the practice itself can really transform things (cells, muscles, bones, thoughts, emotions, etc).

4. “Practice, Practice, All is Coming.”

This was the mantra of the founder, Pattabhis Jois. He wasn’t very fluent in English, but he sure chose his words succinctly! His verbatim teaching matches my own personal philosophy of life, which is highly influenced by Zen. About the same year I “found” Ashtanga Yoga, I also discovered Zen meditation. The main messages are so parallel: It\’s not about the goal. It’s about the journey and every single thing we do and think along the way. So wake up. Keep practicing. Every moment.

5. Amazing Lineage

This particular style of Yoga has one of the most amazing lineages of dedicated practitioners. It starts before Pattabhis Jois with Krishnamacharya, but then quickly finds many American devotees: Bryan Kest, David Swenson, Tim Miller, Kino MacGregor, to name a few. And ALL of these fabulous and kind people were influenced by one main American: David Williams. He is from Greenboro, NC and often comes to visit family and friends, and – being super blessed – I am one of his friends! This crew of devoted, old-school ashtangis are the best. I feel honored to call them my friends. And David will be at Asheville Yoga Center Sept 3 – 6, so if you want to try what Steph has used to sustain herself for almost 30 years, please come! All levels welcome. Register here.

Download AYC’s 200 RYT Training Guide

Instructor of the Month: Sara Levine

Why do you teach yoga?

Teaching gives me the opportunity to be joyful with those around me. As humans, we aren’t always able to be present and kind to ourselves and others, but when we’re on our mats, we are all equal – we are all graceful, clumsy, learning, falling, succeeding and showing up.

What is your teaching history?

I taught in San Francisco for 6 years before I moved to Asheville. I started my career teaching 20 classes a week at 5 different studios! That didn’t last long…Now I’m happy to have been teaching solely at AYC for the past 2 years.

What is your favorite pose at the moment?

My favorite pose is, and always has been, half moon (ardha chandrasana). It makes me feel beautiful, strong, balanced, open and feminine all at the same time!

What’s your sign? (astrological)

Sagittarius

What is your most challenging pose?

Funny enough, my most challenging pose is revolved half moon (parivrtta ardha chandrasana). My upper and mid spine don’t like to twist too much so I’ve always found it challenging to stack my hips and rotate my shoulders at the same time in those opposite directions.

How long have you been practicing yoga?

12 years

Describe yourself in three words:

grateful, compassionate, easygoing.

What is your favorite quote?

“and though she be but little, she is fierce” – Shakespeare

What is your favorite word?

Eloise (my little girls name)

What are you reading right now? (or your favorite book)

Middlesex

What are some favorite songs on your playlist?

La Belle et Le Bad Boy – MC Solaar

Walking in the Sun – Fink

Ohpa-Me – Dechen Shak-Dagsay

What is your favorite food?

My mom’s lasagna

What is the last movie you watched? (or your favorite movie)

I watched Boyhood recently. It was fascinating and so well done.

What inspires you?

Now, it’s my daughter. Before I had her, it was my strong and intelligent friends – taking on the world.

Sara’s class schedule:
Monday 8:30am – Slow, Power Flow
Tuesday 7:00pm – Slow, Gentle Flow
Friday 8:30am – Slow, Power Flow

Download AYC’s 200 RYT Training Guide 

Instructor of the Month: Denise Daneck

Why do you teach yoga?

Yoga is amazingly healing on all levels. It is a gift to share and anyone who feels called to should!  What an incredible opportunity to dissolve boundaries, connect unconditionally on a soul-level, and explore the power of collective group energy with sacred intentions! I love all of the possibilities that teaching offers.

What is your teaching history?

I began reading the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, and all kinds of texts on yoga/meditation in college before developing any sort of consistent asana practice. I moved to asheville while dabbling in various spiritual practices with the intention to learn yoga and have been teaching here now for about two and a half years.

What is your favorite pose at the moment?

Warrior 2! Lately I go into it and feel almost instantaneously empowered, energized, and focused.

What’s your sign? (astrological)

Sun in Virgo–Moon in Pisces

What is your most challenging pose?

Handstand in the middle of the room.  It reveals to me some limitations and work I need to do.

How long have you been practicing yoga?

About six years.

Describe yourself in three words?

Peaceful, grateful, active

What is your favorite quote?

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” – Ghandi

What is your favorite word?

Ethereal

What are you reading right now? (or your favorite book)

Reading now: The Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne, The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton, and Learning to Silence the Mind by OSHO.

What are some favorite songs on your playlist?

Changing Waters by Lis Addison, Nataraja by jai Uttal and Ben Leinbach, Fear of Falling by James Murray, Shyama Bolo by  Jai Uttal and Ben Leinbach

What is your favorite food?

Smoothies & Green Juice!

What is the last movie you watched? (or your favorite movie)

Last watched The Princess Kaguya and Still Alice

What inspires you?

Nature, conscious evolution, Light-workers & Difference-makers

Denise’s class schedule:
Friday- 4-5 AYC
Saturday- 12:15-1:45 AYC

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