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Russell Burns

Russell Burns - Director

I am full time yoga teacher trained in traditional Hatha yoga, and the founder of the Austin Yoga Festival. I'm also a native Texan and have a love for all things Austin, having lived here for nearly 40 years, and I've experienced many of the exciting facets and changes of our dynamic city. In addition to my involvement in the Austin yoga community as Director of the Austin Yoga Festival, Austin Yoga Conference,Vice President of Free Day of Yoga, inc., Founder of the Yoga Teacher Center. I'm also an artist , musician, and photographer.

I came upon yoga in 1999 at a gym, after a sports injury prevented me from continuing my running routine. At first I assumed it was just another form of exercise, and it wasn't until a few years later, that I began to understand the depth of yoga and it's philosophy on leading a happy, healthy and joy filled life.

My hope with our events is that others who may be looking for a path to whole health, may find yoga as a means to live the life they never thought possible, as I have. I operate under the belief that all beings want to find happiness, and often just need direction in the way of a regular pratice, until they find their own path, and begin to help others, where true happiness is found. Additionally, we donate proceeds from our events to those needing help to get back on their feet, and begin the journey.

To follow through with this intention, at our events we have and continue to offer children's classes at little or no charge, distribute free passes to those without means who would like to learn about yoga, and raise funds and food donations for Community Yoga and the Capital Area Food Bank. These two causes we believe to be at the core of a happy and healthy life for those in need.

We also grant space at our events to other causes seeking to help others both here and around the world such as The Amala Foundation, Global Seva Challenge, the Food is Free Project and other worthy causes.

We began our event under the organizational name of Austin Namaste LLC, and have been managing our events for $1 an hour, and the hundreds of positive messages we receive thanking us for our efforts, which inspire us daily. Just recently, we filed with the State of Texas to become a non-profit corporation operating under the name Yoga Festival, Inc. and that transition is under way. We have big plans for our future, and are seeking sponsors who share our values and vision, to make them happen. If you or your organization would like to join us, please contact me for more information.

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Mary Esther

Mary Esther Middleton - Logistics Director

Mary Esther has been practicing yoga since 1997. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) with Yoga Alliance at the 200 hour level. She attended the Living Yoga Program teacher training in June 2003. She started teaching the day after her training and has been enjoying sharing what she knows about yoga ever since!

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Mary Esther

Lk Bookman - Social Media

As a former runner, Lk found yoga to be the perfect compliment to help improve her flexibility and stamina. She also discovered that practicing yoga provided so much more … relief from stress, anxiety and other physical and mental difficulties. She began practicing Ashtanga yoga in 2000 and has since found that Vinyasa, Yin, Kundalini and meditation to be extremely beneficial in providing for a well-rounded practice. Practicing yoga has transformed Lk's outlook on life, health and well-being, so in 2010, she entered a 200-hour Hatha teacher training program to deepen her own practice and learn how to share the gift with others. The teacher training curriculum focused heavily on safety and anatomy, which provided a strong foundation for developing sequences suitable to all fitness levels and ages. She is currently pursuing advanced training towards the 500-hour level certification and has trained with Chase Bossart, Donna Farhi and Leslie Kaminoff.

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Community Yoga Travaasa Austin TravelHoat Capital Area Food Bank Amala Foundation LUNA Bar The Austin Chronicle KGSR Satyananda Yoga Center Yoga Yoga Natural Epicurean Core Power Yoga AOMA Town North Nissan Austin Yoga Festival

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