Carmen Curtis – AIReal Yoga
Carmen Curtis-owner and founder
AIReal Yoga™ uses a looped fabric (hammock), that swivels freely on a single point taking you to higher level. It allows you to deepen your stretch, correct your alignment, refine postures and safely perform inversions. The hammock further serves as a prop you can hold on to for balance and as a spotting device which safely guides you into yoga postures you might of thought impossible. However, this new form of yoga is equally beneficial for beginners and advanced students alike. You will be practicing your yoga in the air, defying gravity, moving freely, releasing fear, and floating into a deeper understanding of your wellness. You will leave an AIReal Yoga™ class feeling taller, leaner, and quite literally higher. AIReal Yoga™ has the honor of being the first and only brand of aerial yoga accredited by the Yoga Alliance, offering a 200 hour YA certified teacher training, a 50 hour immersion for certified yoga teachers and hammock installations for studios. Founded by Cirque artist, and international yoga instructor Carmen Curtis. For more information check out: www.AIRealYoga.com
Erin McGuire is an Iowa native, who now lives in Los Angeles. She has been teaching Kundalini and Hatha yoga extensively all over the world for almost a decade. She has a passion for being a Soul on Fire and lighting up people’s lives. Her programs involve showing others how to go beyond their perceived limitations and into unlimited possibilities. Her work as a Spiritual Navigation Coach has lead hundreds of people from fear to living their purpose. She has earned a degree in Psychology from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA. She is the Creator of Soul on Fire Workshops and Retreats, a National Motivational Speaker, Reiki Master, Theta Clearer (clearing beliefs in the subconscious mind) and soon to be author. www.purelightwellness.com
Listen to your heart beat – follow the rhythm along with Dan Birker and explore drumming at the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2015! Dan has been playing and teaching World Percussion and Drumset for over 15 years. He is based in Long Beach and is involved in many musical projects including the Fox and Bear Band. Dan joins us this year for the first time, offering his beat in live performances with Bombay Rain in addition to classes on drumming. Bring something to tap on, and join in!
Grim Avenue aka DJ Rob DeSisto
Grim Avenue is the alias for producer, musician, and DJ Rob DeSisto. Rob fell in love with dance music as a teenager in New England warehouses at the turn of the century and cut his teeth at WERS on the station’s much beloved electronic show “Revolutions”. Within a few years he was playing gigs throughout Boston, Providence and beyond as well as releasing his first experimental electronica singles with collaborator Dr. Nigel of Psylab.
Upon relocating to his spiritual home of San Diego, Rob started OMFG Zombies with vocalists Laura Elizabeth and Darius Artiola. Backed by Rob’s production and laptop sets, the trio released a series of EPs and singles on Mojear and Disco Rebels Recordings and delighted audiences with their energetic and cheeky performances. In 2014, Rob started his Grim Avenue project to return to the more visceral, emotional music that has always been his heart song. His melodic, genre-bending tracks have since found a home on Emerald and Doreen Records.
Anthony von Sager
For over four decades Sensei Anthony von Sager has offered Qi Gong classes and workshops worldwide through “Get Fit for Life” Health System ©. Several CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and their executives have used this practice for stress-relief and rejuvenation to prevent burn-out and increase productivity. It is Master Anthony von Sager’s life mission as a teacher and motivator to give anyone who attends his classes the tools and experience to refresh, rejuvenate and restore vital energy whether their goals are to “sell like a samurai” or to get through the day feeling centered and full of vital energy.
Kathy has been playing guitar, singing & composing music since she was 14. In 2007, she was introduced to kirtan, mantra, and the harmonium. The moment she touched the harmonium she felt like she had come home. She is a founding member of Yoga Das kirtan band, is currently a member of The Clapping Monkeys kirtan band, and has recently enjoyed a collaboration with her new kirtan friends, Eddie & Nick Young. The chants she offers are all original compositions set to ancient mantra. There is nothing she loves more than the feeling of becoming one with a community of people through chant practice. Kathy is also a yoga teacher. She believes yoga happens on and off the mat. Her personal practice includes leading women’s wisdom circles & retreats; providing a safe environment for women to gather and share the rich stories of their lives.
Ashleybaby Yao is full of happy, positive and loving creative energy. She has been practicing zen and yoga for seven years and is currently teaching Chakra Yoga with Flower Essence Healing and Reading Cards at Big Bear Yoga in beautiful Big Bear Lake, California.
Ashley is deeply grateful for her body and the challenge that turned into a gift ultimatley guiding Ashley on her yoga journey. Ashley has been living with 30 degree scoliosis since She was a teenager and it has bothered her for many years. Not only has it caused her pain, she also finds it very difficult to sleep well at night. Through deeper insight, Surrender and acceptance Ashley finally realizes no one is perfect but everyone has their chance and purpose in this life. This new born life called “Transformation,”she always said I love and appreciate everything in my life, I love myself.
(Buddha’s Love), founder and Abbess of Open Door. Melanie is an ordained Novice Zen Buddhist Monk, with The Five Mountain Zen Order. In her ongoing journey she is honored to receive guidance from my Great Teacher, Venerable Charama Bhavika.. As a Zen Monk, it is her pleasure to provide Spiritual counseling in both group settings and one-on-one meetings. Each week her Great Students and her share Dharma lessons, meditation, pranayama (breath work), and Sanskrit chanting classes. Melanie is also a E-RYT 200, RYT 500 ( experienced registered senior yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance) and has accrued more than four years and 2000 hours of teaching. She was trained and certified as a Yoga Therapy Instructor by Pranava Yogadhama’s master teacher and founder, Jayakumar Swamysree, in Mysore, India. Her focus and specialty training includes, Meditation, Pranayama, Sanskrit Chanting, Asana, and a Traditional South India practice. She currently instruct Yoga Alliance teacher trainees and studio students in meditation, pranayama, yoga philosophy, asana practice, and sanskrit chanting. She has two children a daughter in College and a surprise baby boy who is such a blessing. My husband and I have been married for 18yrs and I am one of the lucky people who get to be married to their best friend. We have a house full of animals and hearts full of gratitude.
Owner and maker at HamSa Handpans and Steel Slapper at SteVan Morris Handpan. Stevan grew up playing music in San Diego, and is now a Long Beach/LA based percussionist. He has been working for the last year for Dave’s Island Instruments, a steel drum and handpan maker based in Lakewood, CA. Aside from playing these instruments, Stevan is also learning to make and tune them!
Being a first grade teacher by day – but a yoga teacher in the evenings and on weekends – has made Lisa masterful at breaking down and communicating the intricacies of yoga poses in a very clear, concise and transformative way. She promises not to speak to you like you are in first grade! However, as you move in and out of poses in Lisa’s class she will speak to you about the nuts and bolts of your body. Anatomy, biomechanics, postural alignment, and the beneficial therapeutic aspects of yoga are Lisa’s passion and are integrated into each class in a fun and informative way. Her focus is on helping students get to know the areas of their bodies that may be underused, overused, or otherwise abused, and move them toward balance.
Lisa has practiced and taught hatha yoga at studios around Redlands since 1998. An avid learner, she has received certifications from Erich Schiffmann, Anusara yoga, Śraddhā yoga, and Yoga Tune Up®. Lisa also draws regularly on other trainings emphasizing practices that align, heal, stretch, strengthen and stabilize. Her repertoire includes the unique therapeutic element of self-massage with myo-fascial release balls, to relieve tense or restricted muscles, and help you live better in your body. You really ‘knead’ to experience these balls first hand in her class!
Lisa views the physical practice of yoga as a way of moving toward deeper awareness in our bodies, which ultimately leads to deeper awareness in our hearts. “When we focus intently on our breath and physical bodies, our minds quiet to the other distractions that create veils over our True Self and what we deeply desire in our hearts.” With wit and honest transparency, Lisa brings inspiration and healing to her students by helping them look at all aspects of life with a practical, life-supporting philosophy, on and off the mat.
“Yoga enables change. It enables prosperity. It enables experimentation, challenge, playfulness, and growth.”
These attributes have been a powerful part in changing Shawna’s practice, teachings and life throughout her yogic journey. Shawna Schenk, E-RYT 200, has been practicing–deeply–since 2008 and truly believes in the transformative power of yoga.She continues to transform–positively–every day, on and off her mat.
Shawna is the president of Y.E.S. (Yoga Education Society), a 501c non-profit dedicated to providing knowledge of yoga in the San DIego community through supporting studios and teachers and offering free and donation based classes, scholoarships, and workshops to the San Diego area. She runs the organization aiming to create a community: a place to feel like a home, to feel comfortable to learn and bask in celebrating health and most importantly, a place, that honors that integrity of yoga and what it truly is: growth for the physical, mental, and spiritual, a practice that enables you to explore your heart and soul.
Shawna currently teaches at TriPower Yoga in Ocean Beach. She gives private yoga lessons varying in private clientale, including those with chronic diseases or those just looking to bring peace and calm in to their life. Private lessons are her favorite as she enjoys growing and improving together, one-on-one. She is always happy to get a new student.
Shawna is also internationally known teaching quarterly retreats and trainings in Central America. She has created and leads 200-RYT teacher trainings–Yoga Alliance Certified–based on curiculum she has designed inspired from The Bhagvad Gita, The Yoga Sutras, and Hatha Pradipika.
Flowing with the teachings of her heart, Shawna aims to provide classes that are experiences—rather than monotonous movement. Her classes honor the integrity of yoga while meshing the beautiful energies of this world. Her classes reflect each sense through providing interactive experiences that impact smell, touch, sight, sound, and taste.
You never know what you will get in Shawna’s classes as creativity guides her teachings: she may be shaking up shots of coconut water (in her Happy Hour class), teaching you to pulse with the powerful, soul shaking beats of music (in her Dub-step Yoga class), pushing you to the edge emotionally through bringing “special guests” (like snakes) to workshops, calming and restoring your energy circles through visualization, color therapy, mantra, asana, and mudra (in her Chakra Series Flow), or implementing journal writing and art as you hold and flow through movement…you may laugh, sweat, be inspired or possibly cry…but you most definitely will connect and transform.
Brian Shaheen, RYT200, I have studied under Leeza Villagomez for the last 4 years and I have completed my 200hr YTT with her yoga school and I am currently finishing my 300hr with her. I also have had the pleasure to study with Shiva Rea and I’m in the process of completing my 200hr Prana Flow certification. I also plan on training with Saul David Raye in the spring. Yoga is more then just asana to me now; in the beginning I was attracted to physical benefits of the practice, now it’s just the complete mind body connection and how I view situations and my reactions. My training has really been focused on less is more, but also learning how the let go of the baby blanket and explore while being safe and conscious. I hope students that practice with me can just let go and drop expectations and really enjoy their inhales and exhales, while respecting where they are at in the moment with the heart open.
Heather was drawn to yoga at a young age. Since high school she was interested in health and fitness and did her very first yoga poses while on a family vacation in her hotel room. After the birth of her daughter; however, she began to establish a more dedicated practice. Suffering from stress, high blood pressure, and anxiety from the rigors of being a full-time high school chemistry teacher and mom prompted Heather to look for healing in yoga practice. She is a believer in the healing power of yoga because she has experienced it firsthand.
For Heather, yoga is about feeling good, never about competition, with others or one’s self. She encourages her students to listen to their bodies, take breaks if necessary, and just do what feels right. It is her goal that students feel refreshed after class, not completely burnt out, and even a little more at peace with themselves. Heather is excited to share her love of yoga with others that are ready to change their lives in the best possible way, by taking care of themselves and exploring their potential.
The Conscious Groove
The Conscious Groove shares their heart’s passion with joy and the intention to unite beings as One through music. Through love, unity, and the conscious evolution of humankind, all dreams are possible. Vibrating positive lyrics and mantra from many different traditions and belief systems, The Conscious Groove serves to spread the frequency of love and devotion, helping listeners connect to the Creative Life Force that lives within the heart. Music unites people together, and as we all “meet at the beat”, all perceived barriers break down, and the heart opens to a new reality of unconditional love. As we all find our unique instrument in the orchestra of life, the most beautiful harmony is born. Through Love, we find truth, and through music, we find peace. May peace, love, and truth live in our hearts for eternity!
Formerly a Ford Model and having lived in more than 17 countries, it’s no coincidence Yoga came to be a way of living for Leeza Villagomez. Yoga has kept her balanced, grounded and healthy.
Leeza’s love of Yoga led her to complete a number of teacher training programs as well as studies with a variety of teachers, traditions, and lineages. In 2011, she lived in an Ashram in India while learning how to tape into the spirit, mind and body. The years of continuous study has manifested her own style that emphasizes the needs of the people, as well as the individual practitioners, which aids in their journey of healing.
The Yoga Den began in 2000 and has evolved over the years into an international 500HR Yoga Alliance Certified School. At the Yoga Den Holistic Yoga School you will embody everything you need to know to share the art and the heart of yoga.
Bien Ful – ver
Bien teaches a vinyasa flow style class with options to increase or decrease intensity. He also teaches several of our beginner yoga classes which have a slower pace and more gentle approach to vinyasa flow yoga. He likes to use a mix of music to set the environment, not usually that loud.
He is a seasoned veteran teacher who has taught classes all over the area including Cal State San Bernardino. He is a calming and soothing yoga instructor who will leave you feeling refreshed and recharged.
Gina Decker began the practice of yoga 17 years ago. A doctor had recommended she look into yoga to gain more flexibility. She went on to teaching yoga and later to teaching others how to teach this amazing practice. Gina has been teaching in the Inland Empire since 2001. She completed her 200 level teacher training with Devi Yoga in Claremont, Ca. After completing two other teacher trainings including YogaWorks and YogaFit, Gina received her 500 level teacher training with Cloud Nine Yoga under the direction of Erika Faith. Gina continues to be a student by expanding her education through various workshops and yoga conferences. She is also a Reiki Master. Gina retired as a Deputy Sheriff in 2011 and began working full time at what she loves to do,“help others”. She also received her certificate as an Ayurvedic Practitioner from the American University of Complimentary Medicine in 2013. Gina has experienced the healing of yoga on the mind, body and spirit and loves sharing the gift that was bestowed on her so many years ago.
Dr. David Phears
There has always been a “Divine Hand” in my life. I truly believe that Life, or Infinite Spirit or God has looked out for me in my “sewing wild oats” years. Along the way, I have made mistakes, taken misleading advise, questioned my choices and subjected myself to some addictive illusions. Yet, all the while there was no doubt that there was a definite plan for my life. So this website is no accident, and my services that are being offered did not ‘pop up’ overnight. For the past thirty years, I have been transforming my thinking, celebrating little daily victories, co-creating a loving family life and learning how to give into the world community with faith and joy. Everything that I was allowed to go through in those ‘challenging’ years has given me compassion, vision, clarity, humbleness and an ever growing appreciation for the Higher Power that is within all of life and it is always desiring the best for all. I am very passionate about my profession and I love what I do in being of service to those who are led to make a difference in their own lives and the world around them. Through many years of study, a few personal miraculous healings, and practical revelations about the available power of transformational living, I am ready, willing and able to be of service to you. If your life challenges are real, and if you are tired of really hurting, I can support your choice to change your life and coach you along your way to victory and wholeness. If you are moving successfully along your chosen path and seem to be stuck or not clear on the next move, my services can be customized for your requirements. If your life seems to be embroiled in conflict and battle, yet you are seeking peace and highest good or if your addictions outweigh your joy and you want to live life more fully, functionally and freely I have the skills, experience, references, ability and willingness to partner with you on your journey to your vision of a thriving lifestyle, free to be what you were always meant to be. Let’s look at the possibilities and weigh the probabilities of the reality that all you are seeking in life is already seeking you – it’s simply a matter of establishing a clear vision and consciousness to welcome your new beginning, perhaps making a few slight inner adjustments along the way. You are encouraged to join me in exploring the concept of living the Fulfilled Life beginning right where you are. All it takes is a decision – so contact me and let’s discuss the process and success of your personal vision for your greatest life yet!! . David Phears
Elka is a worldwide yoga teacher sharing a juicy yoga practice like none other. Since 2002, she has successfully owned and operated a San Diego based yoga studio, trained hundreds of yoga professionals, held enlightening workshops, and led yoga retreats throughout the globe. Elka is the creator of Yoga Samba Dance, inspired by the soul of her homeland in Northeast Brazil. She is also the creator of Choco Vinyasa, a delicious blend of energetic movement, exotic chocolate, and the freedom to shake your booty. With thousands of hours of teaching experience, she is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance. Additionally, she holds certifications in Holistic Massage Therapy, specializing in Thai Medical Massage, Reiki, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy and Tuina. Her infectious personality, combined with years of knowledge and experience will give you a juicy practice that will stay with you for life.
Elka’s authenticity inspires her community to keep the integrity of yoga. She believes that yoga is not merely stretches and exercise but, a deeper connection with our essence. To embody this belief, Elka and her community of volunteer yogis have supported Casa Hogar, an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico since 2009. This expression of Seva Yoga (yoga for service) allows Elka to spread the happiness in her heart, from where her yoga springs.
Elka’s belief in yoga and its ability to heal the mind and spirit are rooted in the way in which she was personally transformed by this practice. She discovered yoga while experiencing a severe depression that she felt had no end. Yoga and meditation allowed her to become aware of and work through her emotions instead of being controlled by them. This personal transformation allows Elka to help students struggling with anxiety and depression find new pathways to their heart, illuminating their own journey.
Leanna teaches Vinyasa Flow, where she integrates creativity, strength, and grace. Leanna believes that yoga is a form of creative expression, and encourages this throughout her classes.
Leanna grew up in Redlands, CA, and then studied dance at Belhaven University. In 2010, she was first introduced to yoga. There was no turning back. She was exhilarated by this foreign exercise where athleticism and creativity were hand in hand. Leanna found that as the dance world became something of the past, yoga became the present. She was able to express her artistry through Vinyasa Flow. After two years of being an eager student, Leanna decided to hop on the band-wagon, and pursue becoming a yoga instructor. She trained through one of her inspirations, Tiffany Cruickshank Yoga.
Leanna’s favorite pose is Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand). In a world where you feel like there is no stopping, handstand requires you to stop, and be fully present. Handstand also encourages blood circulation and a renewed sense of mental clarity. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself upside-down in one of her classes.
In Nick Young’s childhood home playing music was as natural as breathing. As a young person along with vocals, guitar and bass guitar Nick began to study the sitar. in his 20’s he formed an improvisational music group with his dad and other friends called BombayRain. The band has been actively performing and recording for over twenty years. Nick also writes inspirational New Thought music and performs weekly at the Inspirational Living Center of Orange County in Huntington Beach, CA. Somewhere along the line Nick added the Japanese bamboo flute (bansuri) to his arsenal of instruments. Specializing in improvised music with voice, sitar, flute and bass Nick translates the energy of his spirit into sounds that inspire and delight.
Carol Treadwell, LCSW; EEM-AP is a certified Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) Advanced Practitioner www.innersource.net and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, www.timeoutwithin.com
Carol has worked in the Social Work and Mental Health Fields since 1984 and 1993, respectively. In 2009, Carol began training in Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) which is a practice rooted in Ancient Chinese Medicine; specifically, Acupuncture and Qigong.
While in training, Carol began teaching Energy Balancing Classes that serve to organize six of our nine identified energy systems, balance emotions, and restore overall wellness and joy. Throughout the class you will use your hands to move energy in and around your body by tapping, massaging, tracing, and stretching the energy systems. Her classes conclude with a 10-15 minute guided meditation that will continue to balance and stabilize your energy to further create a relaxed energy state and enable you to continue throughout your day feeling rejuvenated.
Carol was certified in EEM as an Advanced Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner in 2012, after a four year training process. She continues to teach two classes a week, one at the Big Bear Yoga Studio in Big Bear City, CA, on Tuesdays at 1:15pm, check www.bigbearyoga.com for further information. The other class is a private, invitation only class. Carol offers individual Energy Balancing sessions and family/group sessions by appointment only through
her Time Out practice . Contact information – email : Carol@timeoutwithin.com or call 909-878-4388.
Carol is a longstanding supporter of Big Bear Yoga, Big Bear Yoga Festival, healing, well-being and peace in the Big Bear Valley.
At the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2017 Carol will teach Energy Balancing. This class offers something for all levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced as it is an introduction to several energy systems that serve our bodies, minds, emotions, and energy. Energy balancing is a movement class in which participants will use various
techniques to move energy through the body: breathing, tapping and massaging specific acupuncture points, stretching and tracing energy systems using electromagnetic energy in your hands to move energy through the body. The class is designed to release stagnant and congested energies in the body and to organize energy systems to best serve the physical body. The movements and techniques are based upon Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) and Qigong. Both modalities involve processes of working directly with the body’s energy systems to help create health and wellness.
They are rooted in Ancient Chinese Medicine; such as, acupuncture and other indigenous cultural practices. These modalities work in harmony to organize your energy, release emotional energy that accumulates in the body, and open channels to restore joy and radiance in your life. There are five sets of exercises within a class session. The session concludes with a guided meditation designed to further relax your energies and increase stamina.
Lemia is a passionate artist and teacher – sharing her love and devotion to oneness consciousness with the world in a field of unconditional gratitude. She brings a blend of soft vocals, groovy percussions, healing didgeridoo melodies, and bowls, gongs, and chimes to her yoga classes and live concerts. Lemia is dedicated to serving all life through music and Divine Spiritual Wisdom with compassion, grace, and an open heart.
Lemia Astarabadi is passionate about spreading the message of Love through Naam Yoga, Shakti Naam, Medicinal Essential Essences, Holistic Health, Live Music, and Kabbalistic Astrology. She is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, Harmonyum Practitioner, Birth Doula, Singer/Songwriter and Percussionist in “The Conscious Groove”, and is a Certified K-8 Teacher with a Master’s Degree in Education. Lemia utilizes her diverse background to bring a universal approach to self-healing in all of her classes, workshops, and trainings. Her deep connection to Mother Earth and love for music and sound therapy has been an inspiration for Naam Yoga & Shakti Naam set to live music with essential oils. In 2013, she co-created the first “Love Takes Flight Festival” in Irvine, California. As a member of the Naam Yoga Teacher Training Team, Lemia is committed to sharing this transformational and heart-opening practice with all who come to learn.
Joshua is a practical spiritual lover of music and yoga. He loves to share with all people the positive effects of sacred sound through guitar, drum, native flute, Tibetan bowls, and voice. His intention is simple: collective community consciousness of love via music and heart to heart communication.
Joshua Bowser is a Holistic Health Practitioner, a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist, and Naam Yoga 1, 2, & 3 Instructor, and a Harmonyum Healing Practitioner. Joshua graduated from Healing Hands School of Holistic Health in the spring of 2007, and has since been on the path of truth and healing through Naam Yoga, meditation, Harmonyum Healing, nutrition, plant medicine, massage therapy, and laughter. He is an enthusiastic teacher and is passionate about health, the environment, and the conscious evolution of all life, and he shares his passion for teaching as a member of the Naam Yoga Teacher Training Team. In 2013, he co-created the first “Love Takes Flight Festival” in Orange County, California. Joshua is a rhythm guitarist, singer, and songwriter in the band, “The Conscious Groove“, and believes that music is the greatest example of how to flow and find harmony and joy in life.
Christie Smirl believes that the power of healing resides inside everyone, this power only needs to be awakened! During her lifelong journey as a healer she has combined her skills as a Nurse Practitioner, Master of Science, Yoga Teacher – RYT 500, Meditation Facilitator, Doctoral student of Ayurvedic Medicine, Reiki Master and Mother. Her passion is to help guide people from darkness to brilliance and inspire inner harmony.
Tim Catching has been playing music his whole life, and since discovering yoga some years back, he has learned a lot about rhythm, not just in regard to music, but to yoga, and life as a whole. Tim brings his heart, and opens his soul to each performance, and he has really enjoys fusing his yoga and music into a new experience. Tim is looking forward to sharing his music and yoga with you. Tim comes to join us in the mountains from Las Vegas!
A former professional dancer and showgirl, Cheryl Slader has been teaching dance and yoga for 30 years. Cheryl has been certified to teach yoga by Eric Schiffmann Jivamukti Yoga and Dough Swenson. Cheryl completed her 500 hour teacher training, which included an apprenticeship in New York City with Jivamukti senior teacher Ruth Lauer-Manenti. She recently assisted Eric Schiffmann’s teacher training in Venice Beach, CA. Cheryl is the yoga professor at the College of Southern Nevada and teaches at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, the spa at the Bellagio, Spa Aria and Redrock Casino. Inspired by rock star Sting to pursue yoga Cheryl emphasizes the philosophy of living the practice off the mat. Cheryl is the founder and owner of Blue Sky Yoga, Las Vegas, NV. A “pay what you can” donation-based studio. By the living the practice, trusting the universe, and extending kindness and compassion, Cheryl hopes to change the lives and share the sacred teachings of yoga to all people no matter what their financial situation is. Cheryl holds true that union is created by serving each other. Love is the key.
Claudia Eads, MD
On leaving her medical practice in 1989, at a time of great stress and loss, yoga found Claudia. For the first time, she began to enjoy experiencing her body and quieting her mind, learning to release stress and relax, gradually letting workaholism go.
A couple of years later, on moving to Big Bear Valley, she looked for yoga classes, without success. When a retreat leader suggested she take a teacher training course, she was dubious, to say the least! But she did (has completed seven trainings, in fact!) Since May 1994, Claudia has been teaching twice weekly classes at Park and Rec in Big Bear, CA. Claudia is a member of the Big Bear Yoga Community, sharing her love of yoga to all.
Claudia borrows from many sources for her classes, adapting to the needs and abilities of her students. She teaches easy-does-it hatha yoga, sometimes easy, sometimes more challenging. At the Festival, she will be teaching iRest Yoga Nidra, meditative, relaxing, very healing, a profound transformative practice that can lead to lasting physical, psychological, and spiritual healing.
As an athlete, student, teacher and outdoor enthusiast, Yoga came quite naturally to Colin… sort of.
After years of football, basketball, baseball, rock climbing, road cycling, mountain biking, surfing, skiing, wakeboarding, and “running through the woods,” Colin had more than a few injuries. However, it wasn’t until Colin’s discovery of Yoga that he began to become intimately aware of his misalignments and imbalances that were both the cause and result of his many bodily problems. The physical practice of Yoga proved quite challenging for Colin. His multiple surgeries, chronic asthma and active lifestyle left him tight and closed. However, with dedicated practice, Colin managed to wean himself off three different asthma medications, open his body to places he never thought possible and improve his performance in each and every aspect of his life. Yoga was to Colin what steroids were to Mark McGuire. (This is not a perfect analogy…)
Having diagnosed many of the misalignments of his body, Colin’s studies of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali inspired him to turn his attention to the “fluctuations of the mind” (e.g. ego, fear, attachment, hatred, chocolate chip cookies, etc.) With two Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in English Literature and Philosophy, Colin had extensively studied the philosophy of the mind, ethics and metaphysics. However, the personal nature of Yoga helped rein in the abstract tendencies of philosophy so as to apply it directly to himself. What he previously viewed as objective and intellectual became subjective and experiential. He began to discover the subtle power that ego, attachment and fear claimed over his own life as he began using the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” to calm the noise. His studies into Yoga continue to impress his philosophical mind with the concrete results they provide.
As Colin continued to witness the tremendously positive changes that Yoga produced, he began sharing his experience with others. This sharing quickly evolved into a desire to teach. Already a California certified school teacher, guitar instructor and certified waterski/wakeboard instructor, teaching Yoga came quite naturally. Beyond his inherent patience, understanding and respect for the learning process, Colin’s firm belief and ongoing study in the practice of Yoga make him an ideal instructor.
Colin now brings an understanding of nature, movement and healthful living to his yoga classes. His supportive teaching style links the Iyengar and Ashtanga methods so as to encourage comfort and stability, while still challenging students to progress in their practice. With an eye towards alignment and the breath, Colin’s classes aim to advance concentration, body awareness and bliss. Ultimately, Colin hopes to inspire curiosity and understanding of the self.
In addition to teaching yoga, Colin is also a school teacher, rock climbing guide, wakeboard/waterski instructor and professional musician. He attributes any and all success in these professional endeavors to his constantly evolving Yoga practice.
Colin is honored to have received his training from Olivia Barry and Tim Senesi. He is forever grateful for their teachings and inspiration.
Colin is a long-time supporter of Yoga in Big Bear and the Big Bear Yoga Festival. Thank you Colin for your love and support!
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.
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