Asana Xpress: Embodiment of the divine

Heidi Vaught has only been teaching yoga in Asheville for a short while, but she says she's ready to bring the Anusara style (a system based on hatha yoga) to the area’s thriving yoga scene. Hailing from Louisville, Ky., she brings two new classes to the Asheville Yoga Donation Studio.

“I like the idea of everyone being intrinsically good,” says Vaught. “Everyone is an embodiment of the divine. It is empowering,” she continues, explaining the Anusara philosophy. “I like the alignment, science and therapeutics this style focuses on.”

Vaught started teaching yoga to bring the practice to autistic children, which was her primary job, but decided that she wanted her life as a yoga teacher to be separate from working with kids all day long, she says. Vaught prefers teaching to 20-30-year-old adults because, she explains, that’s a good age at which to be practicing — when you’re making big decisions and life changes. She noticed this during her time in Kentucky.

“I saw people [who] had more than me, but were not as happy as me,” the 27-year-old says. “I thought, maybe if everyone did yoga they would be as happy as me. The more I do yoga, the happier I am. I thought the same could be true for them.”

One of Vaught’s specialty classes is prenatal yoga. “I have a fiery practice, and teaching pregnant women reminds me to just be sweet,” the instructor says. “They talk about what they are going through before and after class. They are experiencing similar changes. They remind me to slow it down.”

As a new instructor in town, she observes that Asheville is a great resource for yoga knowledge. “You are as a vessel as a teacher,” Vaught says. “You pour it out, and eventually you get empty. No matter how great you are as a teacher, you have to go to class, workshops and teacher trainings. Asheville is a fill-up station.”

Vaught teaches Thursday, 6 -7 a.m. at Asheville Yoga Center, and Tuesday, 10-11:30 a.m. at Asheville Yoga Donation Studio.

Kate Lundquist is a freelance writer and yoga teacher living in Asheville. Her website is, and she teaches Saturdays, 2:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m., at Asheville Yoga Center.


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