October Student of the Month: Janet Ledder


Janet Ledder is one of our most long-term and dedicated students. You probably recognize her name from the announcements, as the generous student who has donated countless massages to benefit the center! You might also recognize her from one of the many weekly classes she regularly attends. She is a bright spirit with a strong practice, a ready smile and a twinkle in her eyes.

Here’s what Janet has to share about her practice and what Asheville Community Yoga means to her:

“I took my first yoga class about 35 years ago. It was the perfect addition to my then passion for long-distance running and my awakening interest in meditation. The flexibility, breath control and body awareness I gained through yoga kept me injury free, while running 60 miles a week. Unfortunately, I was young and foolish enough to let all three gifts (yoga, running and meditation) fade away over the next few years.

Yoga beckoned again around 1991, as a tool to energize my depleted body and ease my stressed-out work psyche. The meditative quality of yoga, as well as the gradual physical strengthening, brought me back to myself. When I moved to Asheville in 1993,  I first met Michael Greenfield, a wild and crazy teacher!

Needless to say, I was delighted when I learned that Michael had started Asheville Community Yoga. I have found my yoga home! At this point, I have been practicing fairly consistently for the past 12 years, and now cannot imagine life without yoga. I am stronger and more flexible physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually as a direct result of my yoga practice. The time I spend on my yoga mat allows me to practice patience, presence, body awareness, conscious breathing, conscious heart opening, balance and focus, to name a few. This practice enhances every other aspect of my life. Conscious breathing, especially, helps me every day. In fact, my mantra is ‘Breathe and Be Grateful.’

We are blessed with so many excellent yoga studios in the Asheville area! What sets Asheville Community Yoga apart for me is the sense of ‘community,’ the sense that we are all responsible for the success of this wonderful place. I know I am part of something really important: an experiment in the possibility of Yoga for Everyone! Friends of different sizes, ages and shapes, some with significant health challenges, have accompanied me to ACY. They ALL reported feeling welcomed, supported and energized by their yoga experience there. How cool is that!? I am beyond grateful for the dedicated, passionate teachers who give so freely of their time at Asheville Community Yoga.

Through regular yoga practice, I have built and maintained the strength and flexibility needed for my active massage practice. Being present, patient and focused in my yoga practice supports me in being so with my clients before, during and after the massage. Massage is the other great passion of my life – I believe that getting regular body work is as important as a regular yoga practice. When I am able to facilitate the release of pain, tension or stiffness from my client’s body, there is nothing else I would rather do.”

Janet, you are amazing, inspiring, dedicated to practice and service, and WE LOVE YOU!!! Thank you for choosing to practice with us, and thank you for all you do to support the studio.