Asana Xpress: “Letting the outside in”

This is the second in our “Asana Xpress” series highlighting poses from the sun salutation and featuring local yoga students and teachers.

Everyone steps onto the yoga mat at different times in their lives, and for many reasons. Kimberly Drye walked through the doors of Asheville Yoga Center and Lighten Up Yoga in order to rehabilitate after breaking her sacrum — a bone at the base of the back. Surprised by the calming effect and meditative state of her mind after class, along with the physical benefits of the postures, she says she was hooked. Within a year, she was enrolled in Stephanie Keach’s 200-hour yoga teacher training program at Asheville Yoga Center.

“Samadhi is the ultimate goal, which is freedom. But you have to start at the first limb, which is control of the senses. There are boundaries to create freedom. It is not meant to be a hindrance, but a door,” says Drye.

For her, it meant opening a door — literally.

“I like to practice outside,” Drye says after warming up with the sun salutation series, adding, “People are inspired by being outside. It is being aware of who you are and what is going on around you.”

She teaches a 75-minute outdoor yoga class, Yoga on the Mountain, at Black Balsam Mountain in the fall, spring and summer. “We are all inspired, motivated, and calmed by nature,” she says. “It helps to be outside to see the bigger picture so you don’t get too caught up in the little drams of life.”

The sun-salutation series is designed to lengthen the spine, improve flexibility and strengthen the body. “When doing the sun salute, I like to think of it as a body prayer,” Drye says about the second posture, Urdhva Hastasana, which she demonstrates in the photo. “Lifting the arms out, up and overhead is a sort of inviting the outside in. It is opening yourself up to all that exists for you in the moment.”

She is now pursuing her 500-hour teacher training with Lillah Schwartz, the owner of Lighten Up Yoga in downtown Asheville.

Drye teaches weekly at Lighten Up Yoga on Monday, 7:15 p.m.-8:45 p.m., Wednesday, 4 p.m.-5:20 p.m. and Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. At Asheville Yoga Donation Studio, she teaches on Sundays 4:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m. Details at

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

Mountain Bizworks offers new course for holistic practitioners

Holistic healers know their anatomy, but what about business? Starting Friday, Oct. 12, local nonprofit Mountain BizWorks will offer a new course — “Business Anatomy for Holistic Healers.” The three-session seminar gives current and prospective business owners the resources and support needed to run a successful business. During the course, instructor Bonnie Willow will correlate business anatomy with human anatomy and reveal why business concepts matter and how to apply them.

“This is one sector that has been under-supported by business service providers in Western North Carolina, and we are glad to be able to offer this new approach for natural and holistic entrepreneurs,” says Sharon Oxendine, BizWorks’ Asheville-Buncombe program director. The class will benefit herbalists, massage therapists, yoga instructors, health and wellness businesses, natural product manufacturers, chiropractors, acupuncturists and others, providing techniques for success in business practices, she explains.

Willow will lead participants through the steps to rebalance any imbalances within the business model, develop brand identity through creative tasks, and provide tools to overcome barriers in financial sustainability. Any business in the realm of holistic healing or alternative medicine will benefit from this seminar.

The author of Love, Light & Business: Business Anatomy for Holistic Healers, Willow is a Reiki master, interfaith minister and artist. She has practiced transformative energy healing for more than 30 years. Willow teaches workshops on healing, intuition, business and consciousness. She is also the founder and director at the School of Peace in North Carolina, located in Asheville.

The three-session seminar happens on consecutive Fridays —Oct. 12,19 and 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Mountain BizWorks office (153 S. Lexington Ave. in downtown Asheville). The course fee is $120 and includes a copy of Bonnie’s book. Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Ashley Epling at 828-253-2834 ext. 27 or Course information can be found online at: — Mountain BizWorks press release

The VA preps for flu season

Flu season is coming: The Charles George VA Medical Center reminds eligible veterans that they can get a flu shot at the VA and in a number of Western North Carolina locations.

The VA Medical Center (1100 Tunnel Road, Asheville), has a walk-in clinic in the Atrium basement level (next to the laboratory; it is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Oct. 19. It will be closed on Oct. 8 (Columbus Day, a Federal holiday).

Veterans do not have to make an appointment or change a scheduled appointment at the Medical Center or Outpatient clinic to get a vaccine. They may get the shot during a regularly scheduled appointment, or at the walk-in clinic.

Since many Veterans cannot make it to the Medical Center, the CGVAMC Rural Health team will travel to a number of communities to administer flu vaccines. These clinics will provide access to the flu vaccine and other important immunizations from mid-October to November. For more information, contact the VA at PHONE NUMBER. — Charles George VA Medical Center press release

Three Mission Hospital nurses recognized

Mission Hospital’s Cecil Greck, Gretchen Howard, and Angela Dalton Wilson have been named three of the “Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina” for 2012.
“Mission Hospital is honored to have three of our nurses selected . … Our ability to deliver high quality care hinges on our nurses, from the compassionate care they deliver at the bedside to their key role in our many quality initiatives,” said Karen Olsen, vice president and chief nursing officer of Mission Hospital.

These nurses have a combined 42 years of experience at Mission. They will be recognized and receive their awards at a gala on Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C.

The Great 100 Nurses in North Carolina is a grass-roots, peer-recognition organization that honors the profession by recognizing nurses who demonstrate excellence in practice and commitment to their profession and contributes scholarship funds for registered nurse education. — Mission Health press release

Send your health-and-wellness news to Caitlin Byrd at or, or call 251-1333, ext. 140.


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