Offering refuge from stress and anxiety

By the end of November, Julia Lehr will be a registered 200-hour yoga teacher through Asheville Yoga Center’s training, but she is already impacting her community. As the yoga lead boss for the wellness crew at Warren Wilson College, Lehr organizes and teaches yoga classes on campus for the college students.

“Students need ways to relax and de-stress,” the 19-year-old says. “They look to me for guidance because I am a student and going through the same process as them, but I am able to multitask, keep a healthy body and attend classes and community service projects.” She provides the opportunity for others to do the same by teaching free yoga classes several times a week on campus. Lehr also attends a monthly weekend teacher training seminar as part of her training at the Asheville Yoga Center, which she utilizes as nourishment to bring fresh ideas to the Warren Wilson campus.

“I am inspired by the different workshops and yoga teachers,” the yoga instructor says. “I am able to reemerge from the training and share the love of yoga with everyone around me. I am learning to find my own authentic self expression.”

Lehr also encourages the students to take trips off campus to take yoga classes downtown or go hiking and do yoga. She feels these retreats away from campus life allow for rejuvenation. She encourages others to do the same by inviting peers to join her.

“When I get off campus to do a class, I am able to get away from the chaos of school. I am then able to go back with a fresh breath to do my schoolwork and relax at the same time,” the student says. “My practice has been learning to breathe in every moment and letting go of the stress in my body. I recognize that I am more pure and successful if I am coming from pure intention and deep love. Then everything I need will be right there in front of me. I hope to help everyone around me to that point, too.”

Lehr is currently conducting a yoga prop drive to provide yoga blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets for the Warren Wilson community. If you have a donation, contact Lehr 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.


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