AYC Charity of the Month: WNCAP

Asheville Yoga Center is working with the Western North Carolina AIDS Project to help improve the quality of life and reduce barriers to medication for those living with HIV/AIDS in the community.

Starting on February 1, donation boxes will be stationed in the AYC Studio and Boutique for studio guests to contribute, and on Thursday, February 22, 10% of all drop-in and community class sales will be donated to WNCAP. Along with class donations, AYC will contribute $250 to provide access to those living with HIV/AIDS in the community to the medications and resources they need to live a wholesome, healthy life.

“We want every member of our community to live a full, happy, and healthy life, and we realize the impact that WNCAP has had on those living with HIV. We are thrilled to contribute to their continued efforts,” says Melissa Pennscott, general manager of AYC.

Since 1986, WNCAP has worked to improve the quality of life for those in the community living with HIV/AIDS. Working out of four locations that serve 18 counties in Western North Carolina, WNCAP offers free testing for HIV, Hepatitis, and Syphilis as well as education services to encourage prevention and a holistic approach to sexual health and harm-reduction services in the form of needle exchange. WNCAP’s case-management department works to reduce the barriers of access to medical care by providing transportation and reduced-cost medications to those in need. The nonprofit also partners with Loving Food Resources to distribute meals to over 100 families across the 18 counties WNCAP serves.

“HIV is no longer a fatal disease as it once was, but there are still all kinds of health risks that come with it,” says WNCAP Executive Director Brodderick Roary. “One of the things we’re trying to do is to expand our mission into more of an overall quality of living.”

The Western North Carolina AIDS Project is dedicated to preventing new cases of HIV/AIDS and promoting self-sufficiency in people living with HIV.  WNCAP provides HIV-related client support, prevention, education and advocacy activities guided by the belief that all people are entitled to equal access to health care and disease prevention. On April 26, the Asheville community is invited to continue supporting WNCAP through the Dining Out For Life Benefit. Dining Out For Life® is a region-wide day of fundraising for HIV/AIDS when many of the finest restaurants in WNC agree to donate 20% of their gross sales to WNCAP. For more information, go to wncap.org.


Charity of the Month: Asheville on Bikes

Asheville Yoga Center is cycling into the New Year with Asheville on Bikes to help support eco-friendly transportation and bike safety in the community. Starting on January 1, there will be donation boxes in AYC’s studio and boutique locations for monetary contributions. On Thursday, January 25, 10% of drop-in and community-class sales will be donated to the charity along with a direct donation of $250.

“We realize the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and improving our sidewalks, greenways, and infrastructures to ensure the safety of community transportation. We are glad that we can support their efforts,” says Melissa Pennscott, General Manager of the yoga studio.

The nonprofit takes a three-pronged approach to achieving this goal: educating children and adults in the community about urban cycling; advocating for the advancement of transportation policies that meet the needs of all community members; and celebrations in the form of community bike rides and events designed to encourage participation. The signature celebration and fundraiser is Bike Love, which will take place on February 24.

“The goal of Asheville on Bikes is to make transportation safe and accessible for all people in the Asheville Community,” says Mike Sule, Director of Asheville on Bikes.

For more information on Asheville on Bikes, go to ashevilleonbikes.com.


Asheville Yoga Center Fundraises for Homeless High School Students

Yoga studio dedicates classes & 10% of proceeds on Dec. 28 to Asheville City Schools

The solution to poverty begins with providing quality education to all children, no matter what their socioeconomic situation. To support this effort, Asheville Yoga Center is collecting donations for Asheville City Schools to help foster the successful education of homeless and underprivileged students in our community.

Donation boxes will be stationed in the AYC Studio and Boutique all month long, and proceeds from AYC’s yoga classes will be donated directly to Asheville City Schools. On Friday, December 15, AYC Founder Stephanie Keach will dedicate her Hot Power Ashtanga Mix class to the month-long fundraiser, and on Thursday, December 28, 10% of all drop-in and community class sales will be donated to ACS. Along with class donations, AYC will contribute $250 to help ensure homeless students have access to the quality education they deserve.

“We realize the positive impact that the teachers and staff at Asheville City Schools have on our community, and we are glad that we can support their efforts,” says Melissa Pennscott, general manager of AYC.

Right now, there are more than 133 homeless students in the Asheville community alone. By the end of the school year, that number could escalate to nearly 200, according to Kate Perrotta, Homeless Liaison for Asheville City Schools. The solution to poverty, she says, is education, which is why Asheville City Schools works diligently to help reduce barriers to education and provide stable learning environments for all students in the Asheville Community.

“Asheville City Schools staff provide wraparound support services to our students who experience homelessness,” Perrotta says. “These students lack very basic needs. Our goal is to help students graduate and hopefully end the cycle of poverty. We want these students to be visible in our schools and community … if we know their circumstances, we can help! We work collaboratively with our community to address barriers to education and access to needed resources.”

For more information on Asheville City Schools, go to ashevillecityschools.net.

Asheville Yoga Center Fundraises for MANNA FoodBank

Yoga studio to donate 10% of proceeds on Nov. 30 to help feed the hungry for the holidays

Asheville, N.C., November 1, 2017 — One in four children in Western North Carolina are faced with hunger and the insecurity of not always knowing where their next meal will come from. Throughout the month of November, Asheville Yoga Center is collecting food and cash donations for MANNA FoodBank to help combat hunger in our community and throughout the holidays.

Beginning November 1st, there will be a donation station in the studio for community contributions of non-perishable (but healthful) food items, along with cash donation boxes in both the studio and boutique on AYC’s campus. On Thursday, November 30th, 10% of proceeds will be donated along with $250 dollars to help MANNA continue its efforts to ensure that no one in the Asheville community goes hungry during the holiday season.

“We are inspired by the volume of food, counseling and awareness MANNA provides to our community and the greater Western Carolina Area, and we are thrilled to support MANNA’s efforts through our Charity of the Month program,” says Melissa Pennscott, general manager of AYC.

Founded in 1983, MANNA collects, stores, and distributes food to more than 200 nonprofits in 16 counties of Western North Carolina. Each year, thousands of volunteers help MANNA distribute millions of pounds of food to North Carolina residents in need. MANNA is also a proud partner of Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States.

“We thank AYC for their efforts to bring attention to a silent problem,” says Alisa Hixson, Director of Corporate Engagement and Signature Events at MANNA FoodBank. “The timing is especially poignant, as families look forward to gathering for the holiday festivities; meals, and celebrations. Imagine for a moment what your gatherings would be like without food as the center piece.? Food insecure families are doubly impacted: they experience hunger and the social isolation of not having food to share and not being able to participate in holiday traditions. The psychological impacts of hunger; the anxiety, worry and distress can be devastating for children.”

For more information about MANNA and how to support their vision of a hunger-free Western NC, go to mannafoodbank.org.

About Asheville Yoga Center:

Asheville Yoga Center (AYC) is a leader in providing world-class instruction and support for personal growth through yoga. Founded in 1997, AYC offers classes, teacher training, and a retail boutique for yoga practitioners of all levels.

About MANNA FoodBank:

MANNA FoodBank is a non-profit organization serving WNC since 1983 and an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. MANNA is located in Asheville, NC, on Swannanoa River Road. Learn more at mannafoodbank.org.

Asheville Yoga Center Fundraises for The Hope Chest for Women Charity

Yoga Center to donate 10% of Proceeds on October 26 to local cancer-support nonprofit.

Asheville, N.C., October 1, 2017 — Asheville Yoga Center is shining a ray of hope for women in our community who are battling cancer by supporting The Hope Chest for Women, a local nonprofit. Starting on October 1, there will be donation boxes in AYC’s studio and boutique locations for monetary contributions. On Thursday, October 26, 10% of drop-in and community-class sales will be donated to provide direct financial assistance to local women undergoing breast or gynecologic cancer treatments.

“For Breast Cancer Awareness Month we are excited to support The Hope Chest for Women and increase awareness of the inspiring women in our community battling cancer,” says Melissa Pennscott, General Manager for AYC. “We invite everyone in the community to join us and share the love of yoga on October 26!”

The hard costs of cancer treatments can amount to tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt — even for individuals who have health insurance. The Hope Chest for Women was created to ease this burden, and help eliminate the need for women to choose between undergoing cancer treatments and providing for their families.

“No one asks to have cancer,” says Pat Fugate Hock, public relations coordinator for The Hope Chest for Women. “And no one should have to worry about paying their bills after being diagnosed. Our mission at The Hope Chest for Women is to see that no woman needs to worry about eviction, foreclosure, or an inability to pay electric bills while they are fighting their personal battle with cancer.”

In addition to organic fundraising efforts, The Hope Chest for Women educates WNC residents on the importance of cancer screening and early detection, provides community outreach to patients, and hosts the annual Here’s Hope Fashion Show & Luncheon to raise funds and awareness for the needs of local women. The 5th Annual Here’s Hope event will take place at the Asheville Event Centre on October 21. For more information about The Hope Chest for Women and the 5th Annual Here’s Hope Event, contact Pat Fugate Hock at 828-708-3017.

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About Asheville Yoga Center:

Asheville Yoga Center (AYC) is a leader in providing world-class instruction and support for personal growth through yoga. Founded in 1997, AYC offers classes, teacher training, and a retail boutique for yoga practitioners of all levels. Learn more at youryoga.com.

About The Hope Chest for Women:

We are a 501(c)(3) that offers support, education, referral services and financial assistance to women in all 22 counties of Western North Carolina that have been diagnosed with breast or gynecologic cancer. The nonprofit’s community-based program focuses on financial assistance, community outreach, disease prevention and emotional support for breast and gynecologic cancer patients.

Thank you for 20 Years of AYC!

As we look back at the past 20 years of Asheville Yoga Center, we are so humbled and grateful for the wonderful community of people who’ve made this milestone possible. Thank you to everyone who attended our 20th Anniversary Celebrations on Sept. 14, we hope that you enjoyed our day of demos and sharing in the love of yoga. It was an inspiring and uplifting day of events, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Special thanks to Michael Johnson & Friends for the incredible opening and closing Kirtan during the 20-Year Celebration, and to our local vendors Out of the Blue Peruvian Fusion Cuisine and Gypsy Queen Cuisine for the delicious contributions throughout the days’ events. We also want to thank our amazing instructors for sharing their wisdom, and our team behind the scenes who work tirelessly to make AYC what it is today.

While we’ve been reflecting on  the past 20 years of incredible community support and love, we eagerly look forward to the future. From community events and our monthly charity sponsorships to continued Teacher Training with future yoga instructors and hundreds of courses with our fellow students, there are great things on the horizon for AYC’s community of yogis. Whether you’re new to yoga or you’ve been with us since the beginning, we thank you for being part of our journey, and for allowing us to share in yours.

As always, we will send updates on our latest events and activities online at youryoga.com and through our email newsletters — so stay tuned!

Thank you all so much for continuing to share the love of yoga, and for helping us create AYC as it stands today — we couldn’t have done it without you!

Peace. Love. Yoga.
Steph and Sunny

A Day of Celebrating 20 Years of Memories

Do you remember when AYC was first operating out of a gym?  Or when we began our 200-Hour Teacher Training program?  Can you recall practicing in the building on Liberty St. just down the road from our current studio just a few years ago?
We would like to take a moment to say Thank You to our community for helping us create AYC as it stands today.  We hope you are able to celebrate with on September 14, 2017 as we gather to reflect on the past, enjoy the present, and dream about the future!  Join us all day for free yoga demos, a kirtan featuring Michael Johnson & Friends, and food trucks.  We can’t wait to see you!

September 14, 2017 Schedule of Events

Free Yoga Demos in our Training Center at 62 Orange Street

8​ – 8:30​am Sun Salutations with Shaela Christner
9​ – 9:30​am Clear Meridians with Richard Fabio
10​ – 10:30​am Pranayama with Denise Daneck
11​ – 11:30​am Restorative with Hilary Drake
12​ – 12:30pm​ Yin with Kris Harris
1:15​ – 1:45pm​ Meditation with Caitlin Van Hecke
2:15​ – 2:45pm​ Flow with Alisa Lorraine Meints
3:15​ – 3:45pm​ Yoga Nidra with Sierra Hollister
4:15 – 4:45pm The 8 Limbs with Jonathan Harrah

Evening Events

5:30 – 6:30pm Kirtan with Michael Johnson & Friends
6:30 – 7:00pm Celebratory Cake Cutting with Sunny & Stephanie Keach
7:00 – 8:00pm Closing Kirtan with Michael Johnson & Friends

On-Site Food Trucks

11am – 2pm with Out of the Blue Peruvian Fusion Cuisine
5 – 8pm with Gypsy Queen Cuisine

Asheville Yoga Center Announces Charity of the Month for May 2017

Funds raised will support ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters

AYC is pleased to announce ABCCM Veterans Restoration Quarters as the May recipient of its Charity of the Month program. Through the Charity of the Month program, AYC partners with a local non-profit to help generate awareness and drive support for their efforts in the community.

Donation boxes are located throughout AYC’s studio and boutique, and on Monday, May 29, 10% of drop-in and community class sales will be donated to ABCCM. AYC will match all donations dollar-to-dollar, up to $250. In April 2017, AYC’s Charity of the Month program raised over $300 for Asheville’s Girls on the Run.

While the connection between yoga and veterans might not seem obvious, there is a growing body of research that shows how yoga can help veterans heal themselves physically and emotionally. Kate Lundquist, an AYC instructor, said of a recent veterans’ class she taught, “Everyone in class had been through so much hardship and struggle, and here was the opportunity to breathe and relax. When they walked in, they didn’t talk much to one another, and were visibly uncomfortable. By the end of class, they all had relaxed their muscles and breathed much easier. The energy was palpable, and they all asked that we return to teach again.”

“One of the central tenets of yoga practice is seva, which is a Sanskrit term that encompasses service to others. We’re honored to help support local veterans through the important work of ABCCM,” said Sunny Keach, co-owner of Asheville Yoga Center.



Asheville Yoga Center launches our fifth year of the popular Yoga in the Park series on Saturday, May 27, 2017. The donation-based classes are held at Reuter Terrace in Pack Square Park on Saturdays from 10 to 11:30 a.m., and run from May 27 through September 2, except on June 3, July 1 and 29, and August 5. All proceeds benefit Asheville-based nonprofits Homeward Bound and OurVoice.

“We started Yoga in the Park to give back, both through the fun and communal experience of outdoor yoga and by raising funds and awareness for local nonprofits,” said Eddy Greene, general manager of Asheville Yoga Center. “We’ve been thrilled by the program’s success, and look forward to another great season of sharing yoga with the community.”

All levels are welcome, from newcomer to advanced, and no registration is necessary. Participants are asked to bring their own mats and filled water bottles.

Yoga in the Park will occur on the following Saturdays at 10am

  • May 27th
  • June 10th
  • June 17th
  • June 24th
  • July 8th
  • July 15th
  • July 22nd
  • August 12th
  • August 19th
  • August 26th
  • September 2nd

Striving to be our Best

Asheville Yoga Center has been sharing yoga love from the heart of Asheville for the past 18 years. Not just from our downtown location in the center of our beloved city, but also from our central values, which happen to be Asheville’s too. We do it because it’s who we are, and it’s what we want to do.

When we say we do things from the heart, we mean it. We donated 21% of our profits to local philanthropic causes last year, and quite frankly, it took our marketing person to tell us that we should tell you! Because AYC is your yoga center, we thought you should know what you’re supporting by supporting us.

Greener Yoga

We consider our environmental impact every step of the way as well as what makes for a great space to practice yoga in. Our custom green-built studio features an efficient thermal envelope with passive solar and low-impact materials. Our water and waste systems have been carefully selected to maintain the smallest environmental footprint. Our new building plan includes the same level of environmental standards; we hope to convert both studios to be fully solar powered this year.

Living Wage

We’re Living Wage Certified by Just Economics WNC. This means we pay our team a fair wage, not just the minimum wage required by the federal government that doesn’t realistically allow for employees to cover basic necessities. We respect and care for our team and offer them free unlimited yoga to make sure they know that.