In 2011, Yoga Journal magazine included Asheville on its list of “10 Fantastically Yoga-Friendly Towns.” We think that designation should extend across Western North Carolina, to towns around the region that take advantage of the area’s natural beauty and community spirit to tap into a mindfulness unparalleled in other American regions.
WNC embraces yoga practices of all forms and functions. From quiet, early morning retreats to massive public demonstrations to fun, Beer City-inspired brewery sessions—there is something for everyone of all ages, skill levels, and interests. But with so many choices, where does a beginner know where to start? Fortunately, we have several agents at Beverly-Hanks who know how to bend it better than Beckham.
We asked them: Where are your favorite yoga spots or programs in WNC?
If you’re looking for yoga for anybody at any level, try Asheville Community Yoga in Woodfin. They offer classes all day long and for all levels of skill and interest. Classes are donation based, too, which is pretty unusual. For those who like heat and like to do yoga in a warm to hot setting, Hot Yoga Asheville on Fairview Road is great, too. I like to mix both as my schedule permits. Options are great!
There’s a new studio that has just opened on Jonathan Creek in Waynesville where students practice literally on a platform over the creek! It’s called Pilates on J. Creek. The owner takes special time and attention for each student. It’s definitely worth checking out! It’s the only one like it it Haywood County.
My favorite yoga spot is Inspired Change Yoga in Biltmore Park, specifically with Cristy Balcells. She teaches the BEST Power Yoga classes I’ve ever experienced…and I’ve been going to yoga in different places all over the planet for 20+ years! Her classes are small, intimate, and INTENSE!!
While I am grateful to live in a community that provides so much space for yoga’s wisdom and possibility—with programs and centers scattered across the city and region—my favorite spot is in my living room in the quiet hours of the morning. Practicing daily with my spouse, Nicole, has become a grounding and connecting moment that supports me as I step into the busy demands and opportunities of my day.
We’ve reached out to our clients to ask for their favorite yoga locations. Their top picks for yoga are the Asheville Yoga Center or Center One Yoga in downtown Asheville. And you can’t go wrong with the Divine Resonance Health Center for holistic healing.
If yoga isn’t your thing, consider this more adventurous, high-flying, bendy workout: aerial arts! My children (and sometimes myself) have been taking classes with the amazingly talented Waverly Jones at Empyrean Arts in downtown Asheville for two years now. What is aerial arts? Have you seen the fancy circus acts where the performers fall from the ceiling gracefully winding and unwinding in yards of flowing silk? It’s that! And with the professional guidance of the highly trained staff, it is amazingly easy and an awesome workout! Not to mention, it’s in the same building as Catawba Brewing, so you can reward yourself after the death-defying mid-air acrobatics with a nice cold one.
I prefer to opt outside as much as possible! I like to roll out my mat on my back deck or screened porch—or if I’m lucky, at the beach or lakeside. Yoga in the Park right in the heart of downtown Asheville in Pack Square is fun, too. Asheville Yoga Center holds donation-based classes on most Saturday mornings through the summer, with proceeds benefiting local nonprofits like Homeward Bound WNC and Our VOICE.
Photos submitted by Bobbi Holland.