Teachers - West Asheville Yoga

This week's class schedule


West Asheville Yoga / About / Teachers
  • Christie Abeling

    Christie's (she/her) passion for yoga was born out of her love for movement and the expression of the human form. As a dancer of many years she found great satisfaction in the emotional depth and the transformational and healing capacity of working with the body. These stepping stones from her early foundation as a dancer lead her down many paths that she continues to integrate into her life work. Her love and reverence for this beautiful planet and living with awareness of her rhythms and influences is central in her teaching. Christie is also a firm believer of weaving together strong and flexible networks of support in our local communities. Our inner work and our work in our communities and in caring for the earth are powerful reflections of each other. Our capacity to care comes from... more
  • John Baldwin

    John (he/his) is a yoga guide from Phoenix, Arizona. After 8 years of active service in the U.S. Marines and 3 knee surgeries, his yoga practice helped restore his strength and mobility - and helped to calm him down. With VA sponsorship, he completed formal yoga and small group fitness training at YogaFit, AFPA, CorePower Yoga, SCW, Ashtanga Primary, and formal instruction in Yoga and the Healing Sciences at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He taught an eclectic Hatha style of yoga full time for 5 years at a variety of fitness, corporate, and yoga studio spaces in South Bend, Indiana, including 6 semesters of formal academic yoga instruction at Indiana University in South Bend and at the University of Notre Dame. Having lived in Asheville for 4+ years, he most recently... more
  • Emma Berger-Singer

    Emma has been working with children in a variety of settings for over 10 years. As a children’s art teacher for many years, Emma loves finding ways to help kids connect with their creativity. She holds an NC teaching license in Elementary Education, a 250-hour yoga certification, and is working on her 500-hour yoga certification through Asheville Yoga Center. Over the years she has seen the many therapeutic benefits of combining two of her passions, yoga and art. She loves using these modalities to help children explore the unique and creative gifts they have to share within themselves and the world around them. Through these practices of movement and making, Emma hopes children have fun and gain essential tools that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Emma loves... more
  • Celeste Blake

    Celeste Blake (She/Her) believes every yoga practice should be a play of body, breath, and mind to dive into the mystery of the bliss Self. Celeste has been committed to daily yoga practice since 2015 when the healing powers subsided a lifetime of debilitating conditions including chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. Rooted in the ashtanga tradition, she pulls inspiration from a variety of modalities including vinyasa, kundalini, qi gong, Yoga Nidra, sound healing, and restorative. Feeling truly blessed with teachers from a direct line from both Patabhi Jois and Yogi Bhajan, she feels as if the universe was meant to bring her teachers who have learned from the golden chain of wisdom. Celeste is RYT® 200 certified in vinyasa, Hatha, and restorative and completing her 200 hrs in Kundalini... more
  • Melissa Dixon

    Melissa (she/her) took her first yoga class in 2008, looking to try a new form of exercise. She wasn’t hooked right away but thankfully kept going back. Through continued classes and trying different styles of yoga, she fell in love with the awareness she was building through connection of body, mind, and spirit through mindful movement and breath. Over the years, yoga has become a more frequent part of her routine, and she finds a deep sense of peace and grounding when she practices regularly. She's realized that the benefits of yoga extend well beyond physical movement and exercise. Yoga is an unwavering force in Melissa's life. It is there for her constantly, by her side through changes in her life and her body, giving her space to feel fiery and powerful and also helping her slow... more
  • Kim Drye

    Kim Drye (she/her) is a seasoned and skilled yoga instructor and current studio owner of West Asheville Yoga. She specializes in alignment, therapeutic and restorative yoga.  Her classes are typically a themed slow flow interspersed with a breakdown of technique and alignment details.  She regularly teaches classes, workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings under a brand she created in 2011, HereNowYoga. Some of Kim's most loved offerings are "Yoga on the Mountain" and "Restorative Yoga and Hot Stones" as well as her private therapeutic sessions for seniors and others looking for an adaptive practice and/or a teacher who will meet them where they are on their path of self discovery.  She loves to teach "Weighted Restorative" sessions that include the use of Ravi weighted blankets-- a... more
  • Tara Eschenroeder

    Tara (she/her)— A 500 hour E-RYT, 200 hour E-RYT, RCYT, YACEP, certified coach and mentor, and self-published author —is an accomplished teacher who was voted as one of the top three yoga instructors by Richmond magazine. With some teachers, the lessons are planned. They are practiced. They are rehearsed. And they are perfected to a tee. But Tara Eschenroeder offers a different experience. Teaching was Tara’s Dharma long before she realized it. She grew up with a bow and arrow in her hands, learning to pull back with just enough aim and control to send her arrow into the abyss, knowing and trusting it would hit its intended mark. And so she enters each class, each workshop, each lesson.. Having prepared her body and mind to become that bow - that vessel - that lesson…letting... more
  • Sue Ann Fisher

    Sue Ann (she/her) turned to yoga after many years long distance running.  In 2012 she moved to the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga to further her understanding of classical ashtanga yoga.  The Centre is deeply rooted in the practice of Karma Yoga which speaks to Sue Ann’s passion for helping others. Sue Ann’s classes are focused on alignment, postural benefits, and cultivating peace. Her passion is to help students feel stronger, flexible, and more in touch with their bodies. She loves how yoga asanas challenges her body and mind, and is constantly inspired and encourage by the journey yoga has taken her on. Sue Ann has a B.A. in Liberal Studies/Education and a Masters in Public Health which she organically calls upon while teaching.  With a love for learning, she is forever a... more
  • Deirdre Smith Gilmer

    Deirdre (she/her) began to practice yoga in 1994 to acquiesce her pesky friends that insisted she would fall in love with it. Fortunately for her, they were right! From that moment began her almost 20 year love affair with the practice and teaching of yoga. Deirdre’s passion is to create a sense of belonging in her classes by coupling her serious dedication with a light-hearted approach. Her classes are alive with questions, philosophy, and humor based on connecting real life situations to the physical practice. Deirdre’s background as a professional modern dancer in NYC encourages her creative spirit to choreograph every “class as an intimate concoction of equal parts inquiry of the heart, humility of the mind, and precision in expression of the body” (student Kris H). She... more
  • Gillian Hailey

    Gillian Hailey (she/her) is an Integrative Holistic Somatic Wellness Practitioner, Embodiment Coach, and Yoga Instructor who is devoted to helping busy beings slip beneath the rush & hustle of daily doing to profoundly reconnect within and reclaim the health, happiness, and vitality of their body & being. Her classes seek to compassionately support and facilitate the journey within to awaken and attune to our deeply innate ability to heal, grow, and transform through the wisdom of soma (body), soil (nature), and soul (psyche). Her unique approach and teaching style is deeply rooted and informed by her own personal and professional exploration of the journey from depleted, disembodied, and disconnected to deeply nourished, embodied, and empowered living. She draws from the... more
  • Maeve Hendrix

    Maeve (she/they) has been leading yoga and expressive arts groups since 2011 and is Licensed Professional Counselor with a certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy. She has a private counseling practice in Asheville, NC and offers weekly yoga classes to the Asheville and Black Mountain Community. In her counseling practice, she offers a warm, compassionate presence to hold space for sharing and therapeutic processing. Rooted in Attachment Theory, she offers a Body-Centered Mindfulness-Based Approach inspired by EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). She also employs Expressive Arts Therapy, which may include writing, visual arts, movement, music and other forms of expression. Expressive Arts Therapy is based on the principle that creative expression fosters healing and... more
  • Sierra Hollister

    Sierra Hollister (she/her) is a mother, runner, green yogini and a dirty, tree hugger. She was incredibly blessed to start her Kundalini journey at Ahimsa Ashram and to be able to study directly with Yogi Bhajan. She has had yoga angels sprinkling lucky yoga dust at her feet since 1990. In addition to Yogi Bhajan, Sierra has been inspired and shaped by the teachings of Patabhi Jois, David Swenson, Sarah Powers, Sean Corn, Snatam Kaur and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa.  As much as Sierra loves asana, pranayama, mantra, and meditation- she finds her daily yoga guidance in the words of Aadil Palkhivala- “True yoga is not about the shape of your body but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the... more
  • Michael Johnson

    Michael Johnson has been a full-time instructor for over 20 years, teacher trainer since 2003, advanced teacher trainer since 2007 and now offers in-depth month long courses on Yoga, Āsana, Vinyāsa, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation, Philosophy, Sanskrit, Mantra and a 195-day Challenge that starts Jan 1st,... more
  • Allison Jordan

    Allison (she/her) believes everyone is a leader. Regardless of our titles, we are all leading our own lives. The eight limbs of yoga are a way to connect deeply with your inner knowing, your inner guide, your inner leader. Allison is always on a learning journey and a student first. She has been practicing yoga since 1998 and guiding others since 2016. In 2015, Allison practiced yoga every day which opened up her path to teacher training. After recognizing that asana made her a better, gentler, kinder yet stronger person both mentally and physically but particularly mentally, she achieved her 200 RYT with Yoga Alliance and a second YTT in 2021 that was centered in social justice and equity. She sees herself not as a teacher but as a guide encouraging you to listen to your body as your... more
  • Chris Mancari

    (she/her/they) Chris is a teacher, writer, and professional Senior Caregiver. They first came to yoga through their own trauma recovery; experiencing a profound reconnection with their body after years of avoidance and dissociation. The practice of yoga is essential to every aspect of their life. Working as a full-time caregiver to seniors in their last days, she helps ease their transition with non-attachment and acceptance; as a writer she studies, listens, and experiences life with curiosity seeking to convey what she learns through storytelling and advocacy. As a teacher, she practices and shares trauma-informed Hatha Yoga in an adaptive and inclusive way. She understands that each body, each healing journey is infinitely unique. It is their pleasure to hold space for others as... more
  • Cat Matlock

    Cat Matlock (she/her), Founder of FreeBody Therapeutic Massage Clinic, Founder and former owner of West Asheville Yoga, is a chronic pain specialist known for her deep knowledge of anatomy.  She blends the use of therapeutic rolling (think foam rollers and balls) with strengthening and opening yoga, breathing practices to soften the nervous system, and guided meditations for restoring balance and harmony at all levels of being.  Cat is an Advanced Instructor of Therapeutic Yoga through Integrative Yoga Therapy, a graduate of Trauma Informed Yoga Therapy™ and a certified facilitator of Overcome Anxiety™, a therapeutic yoga series designed for people with high stress, anxiety, and panic disorder.   You can find her rolling videos on YouTube under her name, Cat Matlock.  She is... more
  • Haley O’Hara

    Haley (she/her) began practicing yoga in 2008 as cross-training for dance—little did she know it would evolve into a complete life path.  In 2019, she completed her 200-hr Vinyasa Teacher Training in Boulder, Colorado with certifications in Yin and Restorative Yoga soon to follow.  These two movement languages of yoga and dance, coupled with an extensive background in somatic practices, create an environment that encourages intuitive movement while recognizing and honoring every student’s unique experience in class.  She believes yoga is for everybody, and while the physical practice of yoga is often the main focus of yoga in the West, it is merely one access point to reaching the stillness and wisdom within.  The emotions, thoughts, and states of being that can arise... more
  • Kari Parker

    Kari (she/her) is an ex-athlete, over two decades long corporate finance Vice President, and animal lover who prefers water over mountains, sun over the moon, and summer over winter.  Kari has been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching for nearly half of that. Having studied and taught several styles of yoga including yin, restorative, power vinyasa, and Nidra, her specialty and passion is her own niche of vinyasa she calls strength-based vinyasa.  In Kari’s classes, you can expect to be challenged and get sweaty with no pressure to do anything outside of your comfort zone. Kari cues to a feeling in a pose versus alignment since all bodies are different, provides modifications but empowers her students to make their own decisions during class, brings lightness and fun to... more
  • Sophia Phillips

    Sophia (she/her) first went to a yoga class out of curiosity, and immediately felt the powerful healing effects of practicing. Since then, she has continued to use yoga as a way to regulate the nervous system and find stillness. Sophia believes that everyone starts practicing yoga for a reason, and there is no wrong reason to start. What keeps us coming back are the other benefits that we perhaps didn’t anticipate: physical and mental strength, less stress, more confidence, finding community, and more. After years of practicing she knew the next best step was to become a yoga teacher and she has been teaching since 2016. Knowing how much yoga changed her life, she is honored to share this practice with others. In addition to teaching yoga, Sophia is also a certified birth and... more
  • Jill Phoenix

    Jill Phoenix (she/her), E-RYT 200, RYT 500, Level One Kundalini Instructor, YACEP, Integrative Nutrition Health CoachJill was first introduced to yoga with a Rodney Yee VHS tape in 1998 on a mat in her living room. The fire was lit and she has incorporated yoga into her daily life ever since. Although her practice was sporadic at times as she traveled the country, looking for a place to call home before landing in Asheville in 2002, yoga was always there in some way either through mindful breathing or a few sun salutations daily. Thanks to some major life shifts along the way, her practice transformed to a dedicated daily ritual and her whole life shifted. Yoga helped Jill through many personal challenges, both physically and mentally, and she decided to dive deeper and not only... more
  • Annie Sparks Poteat

    Black Belt Nia Teacher since 2005, Annie Sparks Poteat began her joyous Nia journey in 1997 in a magical and synchronistic way, as she set out to find work that aligned with her unique skills and talents and ignited her passion.  Since then she has been sharing the benefits of Nia movement in university settings, dance and yoga studios, and senior retirement communities throughout western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina.  She co-owned Asheville's first Nia center, Move Intuit, and founded the Asheville Nia community, Nia Carolina.  Annie's classes are alive with playfulness, purpose, and heart, and are easily adaptable for all fitness... more
  • Daniel Prince

    Father, husband, seeker, and teacher. Daniel (he/his) has practiced and studied Yoga and Meditation for nearly two decades. Registered as an E-RYT 200 Yoga Instructor, he has studied extensively in India and the U.S. with many teachers including MasterJi Vishwanath, Vidya Jacqueline Heisel, Richard Freeman, Doug Keller and David Nichtern. He also certified to teach Mindfulness Meditation with Dharma Moon and Tibet House. He studied sound therapy at The Academy of Sound Healing, is an Advanced Reiki Practitioner and is committed to promoting somatic literacy through coaching and providing educational opportunities. Daniel is passionate about sharing the joys of practice and helping others experience more ease in being. His teaching is trauma-informed, accessible and inclusive. These... more
  • Ra Ma

    Ra Ma (she/her) is an artist, alchemical astrologer, cosmic priestess, herbalist, gridkeeper, writer, yogic scientist, and the creatrix of the podcast Stars, Stones, and Stories. Ra Ma was introduced to the technology of Kundalini Yoga at the age of 15. She has been teaching yoga since 2006 and is certified through both Kundalini Research Institute and the Kripalu School of Yoga, with over 1000 hours in professional certification ranging from Conscious Communication, Lifecycles, Prenatal Yoga to Birth and Postpartum Doula training. She has studied the art of starkeeping for over 28 years and holds a MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology with merit through The Sophia Centre. Her practice of western tropical astrology is an intuitive blend of ancient, traditional, mundane,... more
  • Leslie Rhinehart

    Leslie Rhinehart (she/her) is an Asheville native and is excited to share the gift of yoga with all. Leslie discovered yoga after finding herself physically, mentally and emotionally depleted.  She decided to try a Restorative Yoga class. After that class, she realized that the study and practice of yoga was a path to help her regain balance in her life. Leslie wants to share the beautiful transformative practice with others.  This sent her on a continuing journey to practice, learn and share the joy of yoga with others.  She considers herself a servant and life long student and is grateful to share and learn yoga with her... more
  • Roxy Robbins

    Roxy Robbins

    Roxy (she/her) is an experienced Birth and Postpartum Doula, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Perinatal Yoga Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist. She finds her greatest joy in guiding families through intentional yoga practices that combine functional movement, childbirth education, and body literacy. She’s honored to be apart of the West Asheville Yoga family where she teaches weekly classes and workshops that cultivate community, connection, and... more
  • Cea Rubin

    The feedback Cea Rubin (she/her) most often receives is, “Your presence is so calming,” and, “I immediately feel safe with you.” In addition to her centered and grounded presence, you can expect authenticity, humor, and compassionate curiosity when you are with Cea. Her quality of presence has grown not only from her nature, but also from her experiences and studies.   Cea has been offering therapeutic services for a decade, as a yoga teacher specializing in trauma and therapeutics, therapist, licensed massage therapist and bodyworker, and social worker. She has shared yoga practices in studios, in private sessions, in inpatient units at the VA Hospital (psychiatric care and substance addiction recovery), in inpatient and intensive outpatient care at an addiction... more
  • Paulina Schau

    Paulina (they/them) is a queer and non-binary full spectrum doula and perinatal yoga teacher residing on occupied Cherokee land. Yoga has played a consistent role in Paulina’s life, they’ve found that while life can bring unpredictable ups and downs, they enjoy the consistency that yoga provides and the ability to have a practice which can help provide centering and grounding in ones' body.    Paulina is very passionate about being a continuous student in the world of birth as well as staying open to what yoga has to teach us. Combining yoga and the perinatal space is a meeting of two of their greatest passions!   Paulina describes their teaching style as inclusive and affirming, evidence-based, community-focused, with a dash of light-hearted humor, and a sprinkle of... more
  • Lillah Schwartz

    Lillah Schwartz, expertly and compassionately guides yoga students and teachers to discover the physical benefits, deep healing, heart resonance, and spiritual awakening that yoga offers. “My life’s work has been to learn how to heal myself from physical and emotional pain and then share what I’ve learned with others.” Lillah has studied and taught yoga and functional anatomy for more than 40 years, is recognized in the field as an author and leader in yoga for back care, has earned several credentials in such areas as yoga therapeutics and adaptive yoga, and has taught countless teacher-training programs at the 200 and 500 hour levels, along with training teachers in yoga therapy. She is the author of Healing Our Backs with Yoga, and developed... more
  • Matthew Smith

    In his late teenage years, Matthew (he/his) became increasingly curious about our ultimate purpose in this life. Not satisfied with formal religious practices he discovered Yoga (Asana) and later meditation. After listening to Roy Eugene Davis speak, he knew he had found an authentic, practical, and direct way to God. Matthew was initiated into Kriya Yoga by Mr. Davis in 2008 and cultivated a personal relationship with his teacher until his passing in 2019. It is Matthew's sincere belief that you will find meditation as a great benefit and foundation for your spiritual practice. As Mr. Davis often quoted his guru Paramahansa Yogananda: "Read a little, meditate more and think of God all the... more
  • Caitlin Van Hecke

    Caitlin (she/her) loves to ponder the question, “What if we started living yoga and practicing life?”  She received her teacher training from Asheville Yoga Center in 2008, and in the ensuing years has continued to study and cultivate her knowledge and skills through an array of modalities, teachers, and students. Her teaching style is all about awareness-- of your alignment, yes, but also in being curious about what and how you feel.  She believes in creating intention around the effort and the ease, to allow the physical practice to manifest into a moving meditation. She loves working with all ages, but her favorites are six year-olds and 60 year-olds because they tend to be the most receptive to their bodies'... more
  • Brooke Sullivan

    Brooke Sullivan (she/her), is an E-RYT 500hr Yoga Teacher, a C-IAYT yoga therapist, initiate of the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science + Philosophy, Tantric Herbalist, Bach + FES flower essence practitioner, and director of The Wild Temple School of Yoga + Herbal Wisdom. She has taught programs for Yoga International, Kripalu Yoga + Meditation Centre, the SE Women’s Herbal Conference, and Worldfest (to name a few) and is one of the co-founders of HerFestival, in Maine. With a big love for Nature, she has been running apprenticeships, retreats, and professional yoga + flower essence training programs since 2009. In her downtime Brooke enjoys her home in the beautiful valley of the ancient ceremonial grounds of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Asheville, NC-medicine making,... more
  • Mackenzie Thomas

    Mackenzie (she/her) believes in a holistic approach to health and wellness which has led her to pursue a career in yoga and massage therapy. Her dedication and love for yoga and massage compelled her to complete a 230-hour teacher training program at the Asheville Yoga Center in 2009 and a 675-hour program at the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga in 2013. Her yoga classes focus on an integrated blend of vinyasa flow, breath centered moving meditation, pranayama, restorative and yin practices. Her passion is to create a space for people to reconnect with themselves, deepen their awareness, and navigate the practice physically and mentally, on and off the mat. Mackenzie keeps busy in her massage therapy practice and teaching yoga. Otherwise, you can find her hanging out with her 3... more
  • Celeste Vitello

    Celeste (she/her) is a Florida native who started practicing yoga on a daily basis in 2006. At 26 years old she had just undergone a lot of personal healing, deep change and transformation. She was seeking more depth and authenticity in her life. She found it in yoga. Yoga was the perfect vehicle to take her deeper into her body, mind and spirit. A Yogi at heart, once she found yoga, the rest is history. After giving birth to her daughter in 2010, she knew she wanted to teach her the Yogic way of life as she grew up. She took a 95 hour RCYT and became a kids yoga instructor. She took yoga into schools and summer camps and continued her education toward a 200 hour YTT, in the meantime. Because of her own personal experience with yoga and how it changed her mental, emotional,... more