cara van der bauwede

Cara is a native of the Appalachian Mountains with a deep-rooted love for Yoga and it’s healing properties. She has been studying the mind and body for 13 years and teaching for 7 years.

She founded Alivenfest in 2016 with the intention to bring people together and encourage each other to find the light within themselves. Her passion is guiding people to become the best version of themselves. She believes we all are full of beauty, magic, and limitless potential.

Currently she is living in France with her husband and her greatest teacher: her newborn baby, Caroline. 


Jenna thompson 

Jenna Thompson, RYT, has been a dedicated yoga student for 15 years. She received her teacher training in Boone NC and considers Boone her strongest yoga family.

She teaches vinyasa flow with an emphasis on alignment.  Jenna believes that with proper alignment, the flow of a yoga sequence can allow someone to connect with poses and themselves more fluidly.  She brings a light intention to her class that invites awareness to the subtle connections we make from the world around us to our true self.  She does this with a combination of asana, mediation, and bhakti yoga.



Jeremiah Brown

Jeremiah is a father, a 500hr. RYT, musician, carpenter, stained glass artist, farmer and event coordinator. He is certified in sound healing and specializes in using crystal singing bowls as well as Tibetan singing bowls for this healing modality.



Taylor Drouet

Learning, exploring, and creating together. The edges.

Building community through movement, Taylor is a seasoned acro-yoga and contact improvisation instructor,  performer, and a massage therapist, but mostly a seeker of truth using movement as a medium for exploring humanity.  She thrives off of exploring not only the body's mechanics and how we move through space with these bags of muscles and bones, but how our own perceptions, truths, and emotions effect how our bodies move through space individually and with one another.



Briana Kidd

Briana has a strong passion to inspire others to be their best and most authentic self.  Her yoga classes guide others to establish an intention of strength, inner wisdom, and harmony within themselves.  She encourages her students to use their yoga practice as a tool to connect to the peace that is inside of them and operate from that peace on a moment to moment basis.

Briana completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification at Yoga Connection in Davie, FL in July 2011 and has been teaching ever since.  She is known for her ability to adapt to the needs of those in the class by offering several options for each posture to ensure everyone feels comfortable, yet she provides the challenge others need at the same time.  In September 2014, Briana opened her first yoga studio, High Country Yoga, in Boone, NC.  The studio has about twelve different instructors and a class schedule that runs seven days a week.  As owner and operator, she stays busy at the studio and in the community, and enjoys sharing her passion and experiences with others.


Todd Bush

Todd Bush began yoga study in the 70’s and is a certified yoga instructor and meditation teacher authorized to initiate others into Kriya Yoga. He also teaches; Photography, Tai Chi and facilitates workshops on the Chakras and basic Sanskrit. website: 


Noelle Austin

Noelle is an alignment based, heart centered teacher who honors the teachings of BKS Iyengar. Her detailed alignment cues, demonstration and soul singing set her teaching apart. Noelle is a 555hr CYT and an IAYT certified Yoga Therapist. She is also a dancer, singer and certified Authentic Voice Work practitioner.


Lindsay Carroll

Lindsay (CYT-500 Hr. Certified Laughter Teacher) has been teaching yoga in various places throughout the High Country for the past four years. She has had formal training in Vinyasa, Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, and laughter yoga. Much of her teaching experience stems from her 200 Hr. yoga teacher training course at Neighborhood Yoga and her 500 Hr. teacher training course at Rishikesh Yog Peeth in Rishikesh, India. Lindsay has obtained two certifications in laughter yoga, and she is currently pursuing her masters in Religious Studies with a concentration in Hinduism and Sanskrit at UNC Charlotte.



Marshall Gilbert

Marshall (AWC-600 Hr. CYT-200 Hr.) found yoga in 2011 while attending Appalachian State University. Shortly after graduating, Marshall’s spiritual journey led him to India in 2013/2014 where he studied Hatha and Raja Yoga at Rishikesh Yoga Peeth for two months.  He recently completed a 600 Hr. course in 2016 at the Asheville School of Massage and Yoga under the guidance of Vishnu Das (teacher/student lineage of Dr. Vasant Lad) and obtained an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor certificate. Marshall is now working on a four-year apprenticeship with Asheville Vedic Astrology as he continues to teach yoga throughout Boone and the surrounding area.


Alena Nicko

Alena is an experienced and certifiedqigong, taijiquan, and yoga instructor. She excels at teaching mindful, intelligent movement to all ages and fitness levels. Her lifelong interest in health, fitness and well-being are woven together to form creative, dynamic and inspirational class experiences.  She has over 35 years of experience in movement arts as an educator, Alena is also certified as a fitness professional in both aquatic and land based exercise.  

Alena entered into the field of Sound Resonance Therapy training with "Crown of Eternity" (Mike and Gallina Tamburo) and is thrilled to offer transformational sonic immersions by painting tonal landscapes with her 32" symphonic gong, Tibetan singing bowls, chimes and voice