Annalisa Berns & Renee Fulkerson

 
 
 

Annalisa and Renee are soul sisters and the two beauties behind the scenes of the international Big Bear Yoga Festival. They collaborate to make the California yoga festival shine. They met in Big Bear, California via yoga at Renee’s yoga studio, Equada Yoga and over the years have realized that they are a perfect match for bringing dreams to reality.

Renee first had the idea of something big in Big Bear. She saw a spark of possibility, but life called her to Hawaii. She wasn’t sure if it was a yoga retreat, yoga festival or yoga gathering. She passed the torch and inspiration to Annalisa.

Renee is all about love. She practices love towards herself, her beloved family, friends, all beings including animals (and especially the cats of Hawaii), and towards the creation of the Big Bear Yoga Festival. She treats the festival like a small child to love and look after. To support, nurture, and see grow. Renee volunteers with her family to help animals in need. She has spent time volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society in Utah with her family. Renee is drawn to the spiritual practice of yoga, and her heart sings when learning from teachers who share wisdom and inspiration about the ancient teachings. Renee attends Shakti Fest and Bhakti Fest every year in Joshua Tree, California and loves the music and spiritual teachers. She loves to learn from Syamarani, a master of Bhakti art. Her physical practice recently included a teacher training program with YogAlign.

Annalisa’s life purpose is to help animals. She is an animal advocate, speaking up for those who have no voice. Annalisa helps to find lost pets and speaks at conferences about lost animal behavior and to educate pet professionals and pet owners alike to keep pets safe and what to do when they go missing. She is a foster home for special needs animals, right now she has two feral dogs and is helping to rehabilitate them. Two of the dogs came from an extreme hording situation. Annalisa’s love is her friends, family, community and spreading the word about the healing properties of yoga. Her studies have included Iyengar Yoga, Svaroopa Yoga and general Hatha. She attends Shakti Fest every year in Joshua Tree, and enjoys studying with Sean Johnson.

When Annalisa got the divine inspiration to have the first Big Bear Yoga Festival, she was in Ojai attending the Ojai California yoga festival and retreat, Lulu Bandha’s Ojai Yoga Crib. She attended Sean Johnson’s intensive workshop there where he shared the story of Hanuman, the flying blue monkey. The story goes that there was an epic battle between Lord Rama and evil Ravana and his army. It was a devastating battle. Lord Rama’s beloved brother Lakshmana fell in battle, and the only way to heal him was 3 magical herbs brought from the mountains high in the Himalayas. Hanuman flew (as monkeys do!) all the way to the snow-covered mountains. But, by the time Hanuman got there it was in the middle of the night and the monkey couldn’t find the herbs. In a moment of frustration, fear and inspiration Hanuman actually picked-up the entire mountain and carried it on his shoulder all the way back to the battle zone. The flying monkey returned as a hero, saving Lakshmana. After the amazing retreat Annalisa was so inspired by the experience and the story of Hanuman bringing healing with the mountain, and she could see the vision that it was possible in the San Bernardino Mountains too with creating an international yoga festival, and a great yoga festival in California.

The first time Renee and Annalisa brought the Big Bear Yoga Festival to life was in 2013. The festival has grown to be one of the most delightful yoga festivals in the US. What Renee and Annalisa enjoy is bringing people together, sharing new ideas and experiences, and opening their beautiful community of Big Bear to others.

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