2017 PRESENTERS & MUSICIANS

THANK YOU to all of our 2017 Presenters. 

Plan to see many returning faces in 2018 and some new ones too! If you have a favorite teacher you would like to see at the AYF 2018, please tell them to fill out the Presenter Application!

 

To purchase tickets go to: EventBrite

 Once your passes are purchased, and the schedule is live, you will be able to choose your sessions through sched.org.

Schedule is subject to change!

2017 Musicians

Xavier Rudd
Tribal Jam


Since the beginning, Xavier's ability to connect with people has been his most powerful gift. The more he has toured the world, the more hearts he has touched & the more of the world he has put back into his music.
Xavier Rudd’s diverse & acclaimed career is going from strength to strength, with his message of global togetherness, acceptance and respect as well as his dynamic musical connection solidifying his place as one of Australia's greatest artists, activists & spirits.
MC YOGI
Yoga. Music. Art


From living in a group home to becoming known as yoga’s modern day ambassador to the West, hiphop artist, MC YOGI is on a mission to introduce yoga to large, mainstream audiences. His latest album, RITUAL MYSTICAL, made history by going #1 on the Electronic charts. His first book “Spiritual Graffiti” will be released through HarperOne in May. MC YOGI & his wife were honored by Michelle Obama's “Lets Move” initiative & have taught 3 times at the White House since 2011.
Sean Johnson
& The Wild Lotus Band



New Orleans-Asheville trio Sean Johnson & Wild Lotus Band (Alvin Young + Gwendolyn Colman) are celebrated as one of the guiding voices of bhakti yoga in America, sharing concerts and workshops year-round. This weekend they'll be offering inspiring events featuring storytelling, kirtan, live music and soulful vinyasa yoga guided by Sean.
Michael Johnson
And Osel


"Michael Johnson’s classes are a beautiful mix of music, exploration of the yoga sutras, well-sequenced asana practice, and devotion to the highest virtues of humanity- and peppered with tidbits of science and humor. In my opinion, it is a well-rounded experience which gently guides the students into an exploration of what it can feel like to navigate yoga and life in the modern world with integrity, health and compassion." - Dana N.
DJ Sol Rising
Yoga DJ


Sol Rising's original soundscapes evoke feelings of bliss through an eclectic mix of electronic music & hip-hop. At age four, inspired by his mother, he began meditating - a path he still walks today. His rooted interest in hip hop led him to learning the art of scratching & he soon became one of America’s top scratch DJs, winning second place at the DMC. With 4+ albums released, Sol Rising has been featured in Yoga Journal & The Washington Post.
Druminyasa
Drum Rhythms


Feel the rhythms of the drums as you connect breath,heartbeat,mind & body
to your practice. As featured by The Washington Times, CBS, and Washington’s WTOP news, Brad Ellsworth of Druminyasa has been playing drums and percussion for over 25 years. Based in Richmond, Brad Ellsworth is a yoga practitioner & teacher who founded Druminyasa by connecting his love for rhythm, drums and movement.
Luna Ray
Kirtan & Bhakti


"Luna" Ray is a teacher of yoga, a workshop and retreat leader, kirtan musician and recording artist, and an activist for conscious and empowered community collaboration. As an advocate for wellness and spiritual growth, Luna works with the deep intention of inspiring and encouraging humans to cultivate an awareness of their inherent wisdom through music and mantra.
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2017 Teachers

Chelsey Korus
AWAKE Yoga


Chelsey Korus is quickly becoming one of yoga’s foremost teachers & philosophers. She’s been featured in PopSugar, Yoga Journal, Women’s Fitness, Fitness Magazine, Shape, and is one of the top teachers on Yogaglo. Along with an exceptional depth of practice, Chelsey is a triple major with degrees in Dance, Theater, and Vocal Performance. A decade of learning & teaching around the world has led her to design, AWAKE - a “total package lifestyle” around Soul, Spirit & Environment.
Stephanie Keach
Hot, Sweaty Flow


Co-Owner and Founder of Asheville Yoga Center, Steph has been teaching Yoga since 1988. Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, she moved to Asheville in 1997 to raise her 3 sons with her beloved husband Sunny. Her classes are full of humor, sweat, and real-ness.
Rusty Wells
Bhakti Flow


Rusty Wells is a yogic messenger and the author of Bhakti Flow, A Training Guide for Practice and Life. He leads teacher trainings, retreats and workshops around the world. Rusty’s classes are an experiential explosion of music, sweat, stillness, and energy that will open your heart and leave you overflowing with bliss.
MC YOGI
Yoga. Music. Art.


From living in a group home to becoming known as yoga’s modern day ambassador to the West, hiphop artist, MC YOGI is on a mission to introduce yoga to large, mainstream audiences. His latest album, RITUAL MYSTICAL, made history by going #1 on the Electronic charts. His first book “Spiritual Graffiti” will be released through HarperOne in May. MC YOGI & his wife were honored by Michelle Obama's “Lets Move” initiative & have taught 3 times at the White House since 2011.
Krista Cahill
Traditional Asana


Krista fell in love with yoga in 1999 when she took her first primary series Ashtanga class. Currently studying with Maty Ezraty, & looking forward to many more decades as a student, Krista is committed to steady evolution under the guidance of a master teacher. She has devoted her time & energy to exploring the dimensions of both teacher & student. Krista’s classes are vigorous & filled with challenge, rooted in the belief that our obstacles are our greatest blessings.
Anton Mackey
Vinyasa Flow; Spiritual Philosophy

An experienced and passionate Vinyasa Yoga teacher based out of Phoenix, Arizona, with a background in anatomy & physiology and a passion for seeking the truth, Anton skillfully bridges the gap between the physical and spiritual, giving students the freedom to experience the beauty of the divine feminine grace and inner masculine strength. He travels around the globe teaching workshops and teacher trainings, presenting at festivals and leading retreats.
Kerri Kelly
Yoga for Collective Change


Kerri is the founder of CTZNWELL, a movement to mobilize the wellbeing community into a powerful force for change. Her work was sparked on 9-11, when she lost her fireman step-dad in the towers. She quickly discovered the power of mindfulness, as a tool for personal healing & also a catalyst for collective change. Kerri now works passionately across communities to fight for justice & wellbeing.
Taylor Harkness
Engaging, accessible vinyasa

Taylor is bent on moving people - both on and off the mat. He has an accessible, engaging, and lighthearted teaching style, as well as a passion for social topics and human rights. He's always eager to listen, learn, and pass it on.
Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Community Cultivator


Celebrated instructor, educator, & passionate change agent skilled in the art of cultivating community through yoga. With 10+ years of teaching, she makes yoga truly accessible to a wide range of practitioners. Her energetic sequences, dope beats & signature smile have gained the attention of pop artist Janelle Monáe & she has graced the cover of Yoga Journal. Her Ph.D. in Ed. Studies has served as the foundation for her community program for teen girls at Spelman.
Sean Johnson
& The Wild Lotus Band
Bhakti On The Mat


New Orleans-Asheville trio Sean Johnson & Wild Lotus Band (Alvin Young + Gwendolyn Colman) are celebrated as one of the guiding voices of bhakti yoga in America, sharing concerts and workshops year-round. This weekend they'll be offering inspiring events featuring storytelling, kirtan, live music and soulful vinyasa yoga guided by Sean.
Mark Morford
Yoga for Writers


One of the Bay Area's premier yoga instructors & most provocative writers, Mark has been teaching yoga since 1999. He’s also an author & an award-winning senior contributor at the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate. Mark’s yoga is a sinuous, athletic combination of the body’s most ecstatic cadences and Tantra’s most lucid metaphysics, all designed to guide the frenzied Self toward liberation & burn off toxic text messages & reckless illusions. Simple, real.
Jacki Carr
Rock Your Bliss
Inspired Coaching

Goal Coach Jacki Carr is the co-Founder of Rock Your Bliss, a yoga-inspired coaching movement. Her presence pushes one to think deeply about the quality of their goals - as she leads you to find your authentic path through love, humor and by holding you able.
Lauren Slater
Dancing your Flow, Dynamic Pilates

Lauren’s playful & flowing style, with a focus on harmonious alignment, stems from her years as a professional dancer. Teaching since 2004, she is a Senior Teacher with Yoga Tree San Francisco, & teaches extensively in the 200 & 500 hour Teacher Training Programs. A body mechanic at heart, she's certified in Classical Pilates, & weaves the power of each practice together for a joyful, empowering &
grounded experience.

Photos by Marisa Aragon
Jean-Jacques Gabriel
AcroYoga


Jean-Jacques Gabriel is a Haitian born artist and yoga teacher. He’s been practicing yoga since 2001, teaching yoga since 2006, and teaching AcroYoga since 2008. He has taught in public schools, prisons, nonprofits, businesses, and yoga studios. He loves sharing practices that foster power, presence and pliability.
Michael Johnson
Clearlight Yoga


"Michael Johnson’s classes are a beautiful mix of music, exploration of the yoga sutras, well-sequenced asana practice, and devotion to the highest virtues of humanity- and peppered with tidbits of science and humor. In my opinion, it is a well-rounded experience which gently guides the students into an exploration of what it can feel like to navigate yoga and life in the modern world with integrity, health and compassion." - Dana N.
Mary Beth Larue
Stretchy, sweaty and souful vinyasa flow

Mary Beth LaRue is a yoga teacher, coach and writer who’s mission is to lead people toward their bliss. Sustainable, fulfilling bliss. She's traveled the world teaching professional cyclists yoga, shared a stage with Michael Franti and even designed custom yoga programs for rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters and the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles. She truly believe in the power of connection - vulnerable, raw and real.
Biff Mithoefer
Yin Yoga


Biff teaches Yin Yoga trainings in the U.S & Internationally. He has trained & taught extensively with Don & Amba Stapleton, & Paul Grilley. He has studied shamanism with teachers of the Shapibo tradition of Eastern Peru, & is a student of cross-cultural shamanism, as taught by Angeles Arrien. Biff is the author of The Yin Yoga Kit, co-author of The Therapeutic Yoga Kit, & founder of the Jamtse Sponsorship Project - which support Tibetan refugee children.
Michelle Johnson
Vinyasa Flow


500 RYT, Michelle desires to create space for others to understand, feel, know, & embody that we are enough as we are. In a world where we are told we are broken, damaged, & no good, where oppression causes some of us to be unseen - Her goal is to empower people to connect to their true self. Michelle's training, Skill in Action focuses on the intersection of yoga & social justice. She is also an ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project & a licensed clinical social worker.
YogaSlackers
Slackline Yoga &
AcroYoga

An eclectic group united by five principles: Yoga, Slacklining, AcroYoga, Adventure, & Conditioning. We specialize in gently nudging our students (and ourselves) far outside the comfort zone & into the realm of ultimate growth. Through traditional yoga, as well as various yogic based practices such as climbing, slacklining, and acrobatics we have become known worldwide. Our students say we “help them reach their potential & are super fun to be around"
Shala Worsley
Vinyasa Flow & Yin


Shala owns the Asheville School of Massage & Yoga and has been teaching at Asheville Yoga Center since 1999. Her style blends intuitive flow and attention to detail, a combination informed by her background in Kripalu, Iyengar, Vinyasa Flow, Yin Yoga, and bodywork. She incorporates pranayama, meditation, world music, therapeutic and yin yoga, as well as, yoga philosophy into each class.
Cat Matlock
Therapeutic Yoga


Cat Matlock, Founder of West Asheville Yoga, is a chronic pain specialist known for her deep knowledge of anatomy. She blends the use of therapeutic rolling (think foam rollers and balls) with strengthening and opening yoga, breathing practices to soften the nervous system, and guided meditations for restoring balance and harmony at all levels of being.
Adi Westerman
Rock Your Wheel


Owner of Hot Yoga Asheville, loves to empower her students to make their yoga practice sustainable using alignment, technique & awareness. Adi's classes are infused with humor & compassion. She believes that through asana, yogis create a strong sense of self & can achieve anything. The knowledge she gained when practicing yoga through two pregnancies has instilled more deeply in her the desire to keep learning and sharing yoga so “real people” can feel, live & be better.
Lori Burgwyn
Soul Summit Yoga


The founder of Franklin Street Yoga Center and Befriend Your Body: Yoga for Autoimmune disease. Lori has been a dedicated yoga student since 1997 & a full time vinyasa teacher since 2005. She is a type 1 diabetic and was diagnosed with Graves Disease.
Martia Rachman
Yoga Touch Method


Martia Rachman is the owner of Black Mountain Yoga, founder of YogaTouchMethod and author of Yoga’s Touch: Hands-on Adjustment, Alignment & Verbal Cue. She’s been teaching since 2000 and teaches YogaTouchMethod at Kripalu and numerous teacher training programs. Martia’s teachings are therapeutic while vital; weaving flow, alignment, philosophy, pranayama, and body wisdom into her teachings.
Johnna Smith
Ashtanga Yoga


Authorized Level 2 KPJAYI of Mysore, India.
Johnna entered into teaching after many years of sustained Meditation, Pranayama and Asana practice. And brings with her over 15 years of teaching both Tantra and Ashtanga. She is joyfully dedicated to teaching traditional Ashtanga Yoga with focus on both the internal and external forms.
Carrington Jackson
Soulful Vinyasa Flow


Carrington began teaching in 2004. Her classes are a canvas of movement, breath, prayer and magic. Her passion is helping students to unify the pieces of self into the more powerful whole. She teaches internationally and is the Yoga In Action Coordinator for Off The Mat Into the World and regional leader for CTZNWELL.
Joe Taft
Vinyasa Fusion


Joe Taft believes in the power of Yoga to transform oneself physically, mentally and spiritually. Joe has been teaching in Asheville, North Carolina since 2001. Joe’s teaching style is a synthesis of dedicated hard work, deep study, and a unique fusion of various schools of yoga, which culminates in a powerful system of yoga that is easy to grasp and practice.
Amanda Giacomini
10,000 Buddhas


Dedicated to uplifting people & creating beauty through yoga & art. From teaching yoga at the White House to presenting at some of the biggest yoga festivals, Amanda infuses the ancient teachings with creativity & joy. In 2001, she & her husband MC YOGI founded Yoga Toes Studio in Point Reyes, CA. She has been featured in Yoga International, Origins, Marin Magazine, & on the cover of Yoga Journal. She is now working on a project to paint 10,000 Buddhas.
Sierra Hollister
Sacred Activism


Sierra has been sharing yoga for 25 years, mostly in southern Appalachia. On the teaching staff of Warren Wilson College and Asheville Yoga Center, Sierra wholeheartedly believes the objective of yoga is the alchemy of love, compassion and kindness off the mat. Sierra founded Light a Path, a nonprofit that brings somatic practices to the incarcerated, youth at risk and the unhoused with the mission “connection creates resilience.”
Jessica Jollie
Soul Steeped Vinyasa


Jessica Jollie has been studying Yoga for more than 20 years and is an E-RYT 500, PRYT and holds a Masters degree in Counseling. She is the owner of Yoga Landing in Chattanooga, TN. Jessica directs 200 and 300 hour Teacher Trainings and teaches workshops across the country.
Kimberley Puryear
Yin Yoga and Meditation
Lisa Zahiya
Movement & Dance


Founder & owner of Studio Zahiya - four time winner of "Best Place to Take a Dance Class" in Asheville, NC.
Along with teaching across Western NC, she has taught & performed in New York, Las Vegas, Austin, Baltimore, Washington DC, Montreal, Southern France and more. She is an Ambassador for ​​Lululemon Athletica, Asheville.
Lisa is also known for her work with children & women, traveling nationally and using dance as a impetus for change.
Stacey Vann E-RYT500
Kundalini, Meditation, Sound Healing

Stacey has been sharing the transformative & integrative path of yoga around the globe since 1997. Her teaching style is infused with laughter, energy, & love. She encourages her students to attain stillness, contentment & freedom through a commitment to sadhana (daily spiritual practice), connecting to sangha (spiritual community), & consistent self-care. A mother, Life Coach, doula, reflexologist & founder of Mahabhuta Festival in Pensacola, FL.
Melissa Scott, MA, LPC, E-RYT
Core Strength Vinyasa


Melissa Scott is a yoga teacher, writer, therapist, and life coach on a mission to help you live your most authentic life possible. Blending classic asana with cutting-edge anatomy and psychology knowledge, her Core Strength Vinyasa classes will help you revolutionize your practice and feel stronger from the inside out.
Brooke Tyler
Pilates and Acupuncture


Brooke's journey with classical Pilates began in 2002 when she trained in Seattle with Dorothee VandeWalle. The more she instructed, the more she saw how her clients could benefit from the rich tradition of Chinese medicine. She attended grad school for classical Chinese Medicine, then opened Clasique Acupuncture & Pilates Studio in 2009. Brooke brings depth to the practice of Pilates, and lightness to the healing art of chinese medicine.
Judy Weaver
Connected Warriors


Judy believes that the practice of yoga teaches presence in chaos & peace. She founded & Directs the Connected Warriors, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity. Judy Developed a Trauma-Conscious yoga curriculum based on the latest scientific & psychological research as a healing modality for traumatic. She was appointed to the YA advisory board in 2012 and was later published by the Omega institute in its “Best Practices for Yoga for Veterans” journal.
Tanya Rodriguez
Y12SR - Yoga for 12 Step Recovery


Tanya's yogic journey began in a small Florida ashram in 1997 opening up her path to meditation, Medical Massage training and yoga teacher training in Australia and Asheville. As a grateful member of Al - Anon, she infuses the language of recovery, love, compassion and humor in every class.
Deanne Hampton
Vortex Hike Experience


DeAnne is a teacher, radio host, author and energy intuitive. Her work is based in a New Paradigm of Consciousness and Energy called the New Human. Her guided nature experiences offer not only the opportunity to immerse yourself in beautiful, secluded nature, this experience will help you to fill in the gaps between what you love, what you do, how you serve and the greater purpose you came to the planet to fulfill.
Libby Hinsley, PT, C-IAYT, E-RYT 500
Breath-Centric Asana


Co-owner of Asheville Holistic Physical Therapy, and a Licensed Physical Therapist & Certified Yoga Therapist, Libby has been teaching yoga in Asheville for over 10 years. Her style is informed by many yoga traditions, most notably that of TKV Desikachar. She invites practitioners to slow down, turn in, and use their yoga practice as a mirror to better understand themselves. She uses the power of the breath to create suppleness & strength in body, mind, and spirit.
Anna Levesque
SUP Yoga


Anna is a former pro kayaker, paddling instructor, yoga teacher, Ayurveda Wellness Counselor and author of the book Yoga for Paddling. Named 2017 Most Inspirational Outdoors Person in the Blue Ridge, Anna weaves her passions for paddling, yoga and nature (all paths to present moment awareness) into her SUP yoga classes.
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2017 Speakers

Anton Mackey
Vinyasa Flow; Spiritual Philosophy

An experienced and passionate Vinyasa Yoga teacher based out of Phoenix, Arizona, with a background in anatomy & physiology and a passion for seeking the truth, Anton skillfully bridges the gap between the physical and spiritual, giving students the freedom to experience the beauty of the divine feminine grace and inner masculine strength. He travels around the globe teaching workshops and teacher trainings, presenting at festivals and leading retreats.
Kerri Kelly
Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Community Cultivator


Celebrated instructor, educator, & passionate change agent skilled in the art of cultivating community through yoga. With 10+ years of teaching, she makes yoga truly accessible to a wide range of practitioners. Her energetic sequences, dope beats & signature smile have gained the attention of pop artist Janelle Monáe & she has graced the cover of Yoga Journal. Her Ph.D. in Ed. Studies has served as the foundation for her community program for teen girls at Spelman.
Robert Sturman
Yoga Photography


A dedicated yoga practitioner, photographer Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work. His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is light everywhere. In Sturman's own words, "I often think of Rumi's words 'I can't stop pointing to the beauty.'
Michelle Johnson
Vinyasa Flow


500 RYT, Michelle desires to create space for others to understand, feel, know, & embody that we are enough as we are. In a world where we are told we are broken, damaged, & no good, where oppression causes some of us to be unseen - Her goal is to empower people to connect to their true self. Michelle's training, Skill in Action focuses on the intersection of yoga & social justice. She is also an ambassador for the Africa Yoga Project & a licensed clinical social worker.
Carrington Jackson
Soulful Vinyasa Flow


Carrington began teaching in 2004. Her classes are a canvas of movement, breath, prayer and magic. Her passion is helping students to unify the pieces of self into the more powerful whole. She teaches internationally and is the Yoga In Action Coordinator for Off The Mat Into the World and regional leader for CTZNWELL.
Cat Matlock
Therapeutic Yoga


Cat Matlock, Founder of West Asheville Yoga, is a chronic pain specialist known for her deep knowledge of anatomy. She blends the use of therapeutic rolling (think foam rollers and balls) with strengthening and opening yoga, breathing practices to soften the nervous system, and guided meditations for restoring balance and harmony at all levels of being.
Brooke Tyler
Pilates and Acupuncture


Brooke's journey with classical Pilates began in 2002 when she trained in Seattle with Dorothee VandeWalle. The more she instructed, the more she saw how her clients could benefit from the rich tradition of Chinese medicine. She attended grad school for classical Chinese Medicine, then opened Clasique Acupuncture & Pilates Studio in 2009. Brooke brings depth to the practice of Pilates, and lightness to the healing art of chinese medicine.
DeAnne Hampton
Vortex Hike Experience


DeAnne is a teacher, radio host, author and energy intuitive. Her work is based in a New Paradigm of Consciousness and Energy called the New Human. Her guided nature experiences offer not only the opportunity to immerse yourself in beautiful, secluded nature, this experience will help you to fill in the gaps between what you love, what you do, how you serve and the greater purpose you came to the planet to fulfill.
Richard Fabio
Inner World Philosophy


Richard Fabio has been fascinated by the inner world of mystery, magic, and spirituality for as long as he can remember. His lecture style is one of simplicity and practicality making story, myth, and philosophy directly relatable to one's life experience. Talks with Richard leave participants feeling more vibrant, inspired, and connected to their own innate wisdom. In addition to lecturing, he regularly teaches yoga, qigong, and meditation in Asheville, NC.
Melissa Scott, MA, LPC, E-RYT
Core Strength Vinyasa


Melissa Scott is a yoga teacher, writer, therapist, and life coach on a mission to help you live your most authentic life possible. Blending classic asana with cutting-edge anatomy and psychology knowledge, her Core Strength Vinyasa classes will help you revolutionize your practice and feel stronger from the inside out.
Marcy Braverman Goldstein, Ph.D.
Language & History of Yoga

Marcy teaches Sanskrit, & the history & philosophies of yoga. To design her courses, Marcy draws from her academic training and twenty years of yoga practice. At UNC Charlotte she teaches “Yoga Through the Ages.” For Sanskrit Revolution, she teaches at yoga studios, teacher training programs, & yogafests. Marcy’s passion is to help people discover the history & fascinating linguistic foundation of yoga.
Sundar Balasubramanian
Science of Pranayama


Dr. Sundar Balasubramanian is a researcher at the Medical University of SC studying cancer therapeutics, & Yoga. His recent research provides evidence on how Pranayama practices can promote wellbeing in the context of health and disease. Sundar is a member of Intl Assoc of Yoga Therapists & the Integral Yoga Teachers Assoc, and is IAYT-certified. He’s the Founder/Director of PranaScience Institute. His recent book is “PranaScience: Decoding Yoga Breathing”.
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For Presenter inquiries email: amanda@ashevilleyogafestival.com

© 2020 Asheville Yoga Festival

Website Photo Credits:

Miranda Peterson,

Emily Nichols,

Steven Freedman,

Robert Sturman,

Raleigh Harris,

Phillip Shanaghan, Britney Mellone,

Alice Arthur,

Amber Kleid

Paul Lewis Anderson

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