Big Bear Yoga Festival

Leadership Members and Friends

Core Festival Values

Joy / Fun / Playfulness


Positive Attitude / Positive Thinking

Knowledge / Wisdom


Growth / Growth in Community / Quality Growth


Important Festival Values

Self Development + Inspire Others + Team Work + Kindness

Encouragement + Consciousness + Sustainability + Equanimity

Balance + Warmth + Service to Others + Abundance for All

Financial Security + Change + Consistency + Sensitivity

Timeliness + Success + Planning + Transparency + Freedom

Natural Living + Tidiness + Accountability + Atmosphere

Harmony + Nonjudgmental + Democratic + Collaborate / Cooperation 

Work Smarter, Not Harder + Authenticity + Deep Connection

Coming from Love + Going with the Flow + Respect + Wellness

Amanda Carlin

My name is Amanda, I grew up in the Midwest and moved to Southern CA in high-school and have an awesome mid-west/so-cal combo accent to prove it!  I love the wild side of CA, I spent 17 years at the beach in San Diego and the last 5 in the mountains of Big Bear.  I am a wife and mom, both fur and regular, and am about to celebrate 20 years with my husband!  

I'm a long time educator with a BA in Psychology and an MA in Biology and recently completed my YTT 200 hr (March 2022), as well as being certified in Social-Emotional Learning and a Meditation coach.  I'm also a certified National Geographic Educator.  My studies focus mostly on mental health and outdoor education/conservation.  I've taught many ages and in many capacities, including in the classroom, as a curriculum developer and for the CA State Parks and I currently work as a mental health professional.  I firmly believe in the mind, body, soul connection and have a passion about helping people improve their overall wellbeing and outlook on life! 

Questions For Amanda:

What is your favorite color(s)?

Pinks and purples, blues and greens 

What is your favorite hobby?

Outdoor activities, paddle boarding, hiking, snowboarding, yoga

What are you passionate about?

Being a source of positivity in the world around me

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

Being surrounded by the wild and celebrating all 4 seasons. 

Marianne Hamilton

Marianne Hamilton brings artistic vision and ability to the festival.

Questions For Marianne:

What is your favorite food?

Wine & Sourdough Bread

What is your favorite hobby?

Yoga and hiking.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about my kids and my animals. 

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

I love the mountains and all the open space. 

Cathleen Coombs

I am a rehabilitation counselor by profession who has practiced yoga for at least 17 years. After teaching for the last two years, I have recently completed my 200 hour certification with Yoga Alliance. I love to teach yoga to the beginner that may be too intimidated to try yoga. I also teach to the experienced yogi that is ready to advance his or her practice. My classes focus on the power of the pranayama coupled with correct alignment for a safe and energizing yoga practice.

Questions For Cathleen:

What is your favorite color(s)?


What is your favorite dessert?

Anything chocolate

What is your favorite hobby?

Music, nature, learning

What are you passionate about?

We are all on this earth to help each other. I try to live that value.

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

Summer rain and thunderstorms. Honestly though, I have an extensive list of all I love about Big Bear!

Nova Israel

Nova’s natural artistic talent for mixing up colors first came to the public eye through clothing. Receiving a degree in fashion design at 18 years old, she started her own line of designer patchwork jeans sold in boutique stores including one Melrose in Hollywood, where they were purchased and worn by rock stars and MTV VJ’s in the late 80’s!

Leaving the flighty fashion industry, to explore a deeper meaning and expression through “real art”, she started painting, already having a natural gift of drawing. This led to teaching fine art to children in a small local gallery/art store, showing and selling some paintings here and there at local music and art shows, and exploring work as a paint-and-sip instructor.

Today she is finding the spiritual connection yoga has with meditative art and is honing skills as a Reiki Master, developing a healing practice including all the senses, recognizing that beauty is a salve for the soul.

Questions For Nova:

What is your favorite food or restaurant?


Food preferences/restrictions?


What is your favorite dessert?

Anything with cream and chocolate! 

What is your favorite hobby?

Hiking, or creating anything with lots of color 

What are you passionate about?

Healing, mental health.

and... What do you love most about Big Bear?

The trees talk to me here, the ‘energy’ up in the woods.

Ping / Patrice Carlisle

Hello! I am Patrice Carlisle known to many as Ping. Ping is a combination of Ming and Patricia, friends of my mother who wanted me to be named after them. I have always gone by Ping until I moved to Big Bear. I decided I needed to grow up and use Patrice instead of Ping as my name in Big Bear. That was until the first day in Big Bear I heard someone shout “Hey Ping” it was a friend who I had attended high school with. The person I was shopping with said I didn’t know your name was Ping. That was the end of me growing up!

I call myself a volunteer junky. When I see a need I can solve, I am all in. A few of my volunteer positions have been hospice worker, creator of the Big Bear Moms Club, founder of Simple Suppers, a Meals on Wheels delivery person, Board member of Habitat for Humanity and the Leafs Foundation. I was born into a family of activists and lived in Arlington Virginia as a child. Peace is my passion. A friend asked me a few years ago if I realized Ping meant peace in Chinese ( he’ Ping). I was born to be a peace activist!

I discovered yoga when I was 14 living in Laguna Beach. There is nothing more soothing then the sound of the ocean and doing yoga on the sand! Life got busy for me and I rediscovered Yoga again in Big Bear. I must say, doing yoga in the mountains is pretty awesome!

I met my husband Robert in Big Bear. We have an adventuresome 30 year old son Preston who lives part time in Bellingham Washington and Bethel Alaska. I was forced retired from 22 years of being the director at North Shore Christian Preschool due to the Covid pandemic. I truly miss the energy and excitement of the little ones but I am glad not to have to deal with the issues that the pandemic has presented to the schools. Retirement and the pandemic have opened the door of hiking for me.” The mountains are calling and I need my endorphin rush” is my new life motto.

I look forward to the next Big Bear Yoga Festival where I get to meet the nicest people on the mountain!

Questions For Ping:

What is your favorite color(s)?

Purple wait orange, no blue, ummm yellow? All the colors of the rainbow!

What is your favorite hobby?


What are you passionate about?

Helping others

What do you love most about Big Bear?

The awesome friends I have made (like the person who is reading this.).

Allison Hagen Kennedy

Questions For Allison:

What is your favorite color(s)?

Golden Yellow, Warm Pink, Pale Lavender, Caribbean Blue

What is your favorite hobby?

Kayaking, Painting, sewing, gardening

What are you passionate about?

The Adirondacks

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

Trees. Big Bear Yoga Festival

Carol Treadwell

Carol is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Advanced Practitioner (EEM-AP) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

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.

Questions For Carol:

What is your favorite color(s)?


What is your favorite hobby?


What are you passionate about?

Sharing energy work.

And...What do you love most about Big Bear?

Space and being in Nature.

Bill Treadwell - LEAFS for Wellness 

Bill Treadwell moved into Big Bear in 1998. He has worked in the market research industry for 20 years and another 15 years consulting in computer corporate and government document management systems.

After recovering from stage 4 colon cancer, Bill started exploring meditation in 2012 with a small group of local Big Bear residents with the primary focus on wellness. In 2015, Bill discovered and began studying Jon Cabot-Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. 

Bill is a long-time supporter of Big Bear Yoga Festival and has volunteered at the event, taught and has helped make it happen. 

Elaine Slivka

I have a blog it tells my story and has helpful info on Yoga. I also am on Facebook as Yogaelaine that page also shares what I consider helpful and inspirational info. I also have a page Healthy Eating Cooking Classes. I currently teach 5 classes a week at Reps for Life in Yucaipa Ca. I have formally taught at LA fitness, YMCA, Senior centers and many venues in Arizona. I have downsized my teaching in the last 3 years. I do teaching vacations all over Mexico and the Caribbean. I love to teach outside in nature and my travel has given me the opportunity to teach in absolutely beautiful locations.

I have been practicing and teaching Yoga for over 50 years. Yoga is a magic pill it just takes an hour a day to take the pill. 3 years ago I started hiking with one of my students that leads hikes with the Sierra club and I love it. I am a senior Yogi and my inspiration is the Worlds oldest Yoga Teacher Tao Porchon Lynch. It I was blessed to teach with and spend some time with her in Jamaica. Proof that we can enjoy strength and flexibility for the entire length of our lives.

Questions For Elaine:

What is your favorite color(s)?


What is your favorite food or restaurant?

Anything Whole Food Plant Based

What is your favorite hobby?

Water skiing

What are you passionate about?

Yoga Health and Wellness

And... What do you love most about Big Bear?

The fresh air and beautiful landscapes.

Kathryn Dusty Demke

Owner and founder of Dusty Bottoms Toiletries, Kathryn has been a vendor at the festival and taught also! Kathryn makes the most amazing and beautiful soaps! She is a yoga teacher, mother and sky lover. 

Annalisa Berns

Founder of Big Bear Yoga Festival. Not perfect. Libra 100 percent - loves balance and justice. Loves animals. Loves to travel.  xo

Questions For Annalisa:

What is your favorite dessert?

My mom’s raspberry pie and crepes in Europe. 

What are you passionate about?

Animals, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

My friends and the beautiful scenery. 

Lisa Ann Gold

Lisa Ann Gold is an artist in many ways – she creates amazing yoga classes, she weaves words and stories together to unexpected conclusions, she makes yummy food and loves bringing people together. She loves community and Big Bear Yoga. 

Big Bear Yoga and Big Bear Yoga Festival would not be here today if it weren’t for her loving hands. She says “yes” to life and other people’s ideas and helps find creative solutions. She said “yes” to keeping yoga alive in Big Bear with Big Bear Yoga.  

As a yoga teacher, Lisa Ann is in love with helping find the best of yourself. She is versed in most physical forms yoga incarnates. Through our experience of breath, movement and stillness yoga becomes our inner language, to deliver the expanding and contracting energy of life itself. Lisa Ann is one of Big Bear’s beloved teachers, sharing her gifts in the beautiful mountains. Lisa Ann utilizes common sense in sharing mindful gems all yoga leads one to. She would love to give that to you, do join her for a blissful practice!  

Lisa Ann offers Yoga Alliance certified 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. She is also 300 RYT from Bhakti Nova Yoga school from Nubia Teixeira. What students have to say about Lisa Ann: “Lisa Ann is an incredibly knowledgeable teacher. She understands the body, movement and breath. She has a clear natural ability to guide students to strength and healing in a gentle way. If you have any sort of injury, pain or are in recovery, she can show you how yoga can help! I love her classes!”

Questions For Lisa Ann:

What is your favorite color(s)?


What is your favorite food or restaurant?

My favorite restaurant is when people cook special for each other. 

What is your favorite chore around the house?

Taking the dog out in the springtime for a walk.

What is your least favorite chore?

Taking the dog out in the winter for a walk.

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

The sunshine in Big Bear from the east mid-spring time. 

Alona Smith

Yogini, friend, positive vibes and long-time supporter of Big Bear Yoga Festival. Alona has been here from the beginning, helping to make the festival what it is today. Alona is a Yoga and Meditation Teacher, smart business woman, and artist. She joins us all the way from Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

From Alona:

“My mission is to teach people how to become their authentic, whole selves by releasing their limiting beliefs, dreaming bigger possibilities, clarifying their life vision, and making life-sustaining, healthy changes that will impact their lives, and ultimately the world.I specialize in integrating yoga, nutrition, meditation and wellness coaching while creating a proactive approach to health and wellness. I have experience with diverse individual and group populations in community, corporate, and private settings to include seniors, youth, athletes, and weekend warriors. 

My passion for health and wellness spills into my clientele eliciting health benefits beyond initial weight loss goals such as building self-confidence, increasing strength, achieving positive body image, decreasing pain, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and reducing or eliminating medication, while reaching health and fitness goals.”

From Alona:

What is your favorite color(s)?


What is your favorite hobby?

Yoga, gardening and art.

What are you passionate about?

Healing people

What is your favorite chore around the house?


Do you have any pets?

Yes! Three dogs!

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

It's so beautiful up there!

Elizabeth Peregrina

Elizabeth Peregrina is an Ayurveda Counselor & Nutritionist, Hatha Yoga Teacher, Usui Reiki Master, Pranayam Teacher and Chakra Energy Healer. Her journey into the healing arts began in 2006 with a back injury. Ayurveda, Yoga and Reiki saved her back and her life! She has studied two extensive programs that covered asana, Ayurveda, pranayam (breathing techniques), mantra, yoga therapy, and Chakra therapy.

Elizabeth believes you are your own best healer. She believes your intuition is better at discerning subtle health imbalances than relying on external sources. She believes taking control of your health inspires self-worth and self-empowerment. As you begin to see positive results developing in your spiritual life, doubts begin to vanish: clarity, confidence, and mental peace begin to dawn.

Questions for Elizabeth:

When is your birthday? 

October 2nd! Libra in the house!

What is your favorite color(s)?

Pink and purple

Food preferences/restrictions?

Vegetarian since 2004

What is your favorite dessert?

Strawberries with cream.

What is your favorite hobby?

Reading! I love to read and read a new book every month.

What are you passionate about?

Cooking nutritious food!

And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

The air quality, the scenery, and the people!

Helaine Apollo

Questions For Helaine:

What is your favorite color(s)?

Purple and teal

What is your favorite food or restaurant?


Food preferences/restrictions?

Mostly vegan

What is your favorite dessert?


What annoys you?

Working on it. 

What is your favorite hobby?

Hiking and reading. 

Coffee or tea? What do you put in it?

Herb tee, vanilla latte. 

What are you passionate about?

My serenity and many things. 

What is your least favorite chore?

Yard work.

Do you have any pets?

Kai - black lab.

What is your favorite smell?


And… What do you love most about Big Bear?

Small town and outdoor lifestyle.