‘Letting the outside in’

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 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.”

Designed to lengthen the spine, improve flexibility and strengthen the body, Drye practices and teaches the sun series to the Asheville community. “When doing the sun salute, I like to think of it as a body prayer,” she 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. She teaches Yoga on the Mountain each season, and the next class is Aug. 18 at 10:30 a.m. Details at www.herenowyoga.com. 

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


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