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Teacher Highlight: Leigh Ann Mertens

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Leigh Ann completed Christina Phipps Foundation training and graduated October 15, 2023.

Leigh Ann been teaching yoga full time for 24 years. After taking her first yoga class in 1997 she was “hooked!” She had been dancing professionally for twelve years, and yoga was the expansive experience she had been yearning for to encounter Spirit through body. She completed her first of several year long teacher trainings in 2001 and immediately felt compelled to begin sharing this path with others which led her to open Brightwater Yoga in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

After selling the studio in 2012, Leigh Ann continued teaching there as well as at other facilities in the area until she and her family moved to Wilmington, NC in 2015. As a teacher, Leigh Ann’s enthusiasm and passion are infectious and her knowledge and clarity are reassuring to students of all ages and levels. She wholeheartedly believes that yoga is a personal journey that cannot be adequately described in words but, rather has to be experienced to be understood.

Her mission is to create a space for students to encounter themselves with compassion and awareness, and to give them the opportunity to find their edge allowing them to step a little closer to freedom and to go beyond resistance into an acceptance they may have never realized was there. It is her honor to remind them that they already possess the tools. She says, “I know it’s been a good class when students don’t immediately jump up to leave, but instead sit and savor the experience they have just had.”

Leigh Ann is now living in Waynesville, NC where she teaches public yoga classes as well as free community classes for grief & loss and caregivers. After graduating from the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, she found herself immersed in the hospice and palliative care world in Haywood County. She is a volunteer for hospice and has been funded by the Haywood Healthcare Foundation to teach Mindful Movement classes for free to folks in her community who are grieving a loss, as well as to caregivers. She co-facilitates monthly grief gatherings and offers quarterly caregiver appreciation retreats.

She looks forward to offering free oncology yoga classes in her community and offering a safe and nurturing space for those facing this life challenging challenge. Together we can strengthen ourselves and each other.

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