Girish is an eclectic artist with roots in jazz, world, and sacred music. His musical talents find expression in a wide array of instruments – including tablas, world percussion, guitar, harmonium, and voice.
For as long as he can remember, Girish has created rhythm to accompany life. When he was eight years old, his parents gave him a little red snare drum as a bargaining tool to stop him from banging on everything else in the house.
Drumming has always been instinctual to Girish, flowing freely from his fingers and knowing no musical bounds. In his teens, he started experimenting with pop, rock, jazz and orchestral music. His first experience of music as sacred art came in college, playing with jazz bands. “During improvisational sessions,” he recalls, “there were these unexplainable moments of synchronicity and intuition that felt like magic.”
These moments came just as Girish was feeling pulled toward a sacred life. A college philosophy class inspired him to explore spirituality through Kundalini yoga, meditation, and the study of Eastern scriptures. By the time of his college graduation, Girish was so deep into these practices that he decided to move into an ashram in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Thus began an unexpected journey-a seeming detour that inadvertently nourished his musical artistry.
Girish lived in the ashram for five years, giving up music and taking the vows of a monk in the Divine Mother tradition called Dakshina Marg or Mahashakti Yoga. Yet, here, another compelling sound force emerged for Girish: the chanting of Sanskrit mantras. As a monk in the ashram he spent hours every day chanting. Girish also studied Sanskrit as a means to understand the deeper meanings of these ancient chants, and helped his teacher translate dozens of hymns.
He thought he had given up music for his spiritual practice, but one day he happened upon a set of tablas at the ashram and was instantly compelled to play them. This event set him on a life-changing course. Guided as always by rhythm, and now by his spiritual pursuits, Girish began to study tablas with Jagadish in the Nada Yoga tradition (yoga of sound current), which emphasized the spiritual import of music. He also traveled to New York to learn the art of Indian drumming at Siddha Yoga Ashram.
After New York, Girish then connected with the musician and spiritual teacher Bob Kindler, known as Babaji. “From Babaji, I learned that sacred music is a viable outlet of spirituality, one that is profoundly uplifting and transformative,” says Girish. It became clear to him that his innate musical passions didn’t conflict with, but in fact lead to a spiritual livelihood. Traveling and performing with Babaji helped cement this notion.
Girish also studied with legendary tabla master Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar School of Music in Marin County, California. It was in northern California that Girish met other musicians at the forefront of the chant music explosion in this country. Krishna Das was just gaining popularity at that time and Girish played with him regularly. In this context, Girish was quickly introduced to a wider world of music for yoga. Soon he was accompanying many of the names in the yoga music genre, including Wah!, Dave Stringer, Donna DeLory, Thomas Barquee, Snatam Kaur, Shanti Shanti, Steve Ross, Swaha, and Rasa. His move to Los Angeles in 2000 brought him to the nation’s epicenter of chanting and world music.
As a session player, Girish’s work has aligned him with the likes of producers Glen Ballard (Dave Matthews Band, Alani Morrisette) and Michael Brook (Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan, Youssou N’Dour) as well as the creative team at Lucas Art. His talents are featured on some of the most popular recordings in the world music/chant music field today.
Girish continues to explore and expand musical borders, and has found new avenues for his artistic expression. The yearning to express the power of Sanskrit mantras through his own voice has been a driving force behind his CD’s, REVEAL (Mondolaya Music, May 2004), SHIVA MACHINE (Spirit Voyage Music, April 2006), DIAMONDS IN THE SUN (Mondolaya Music, April 2010), REMIXED (Mondolaya Music, December 2011, and his latest release SKY OF THE HEART (Mondolaya Music, December 2014). www.girishmusic.com
Danny Loves Yoga. It is a practice that completely transformed his life aiding him in his recovery from drugs and alcohol. Six months after taking his first yoga class in 2009, he immersed himself into his first teacher training. Since then he has continued to study, completing both Level 1 Kundalini certification and Shraddhaa School of Yoga’s 500 hour certification process. Currently Danny studies sanskrit, yoga therapy with Amy Wheeler, and classical kirtan with Naren Schreiner. His passion for pranayama and mantra find themselves woven into each of his joy-filled classes.
Danny’s lifelong love for music has finally found its home in kirtan. With an extensive musical backround in rock, jazz and musical theater, he is able to put a very unique and modern interpretation on this ancient devotional practice. Danny is a founding member of The Clapping Monkeys who released Evolution in 2014, and has gone on to form the band Vanara with Ashley Fiala and Ted Blake.
Danny loves to feed people and you can catch a wonderful meal each Monday evening at the TYC before kirtan!
To learn more about him catch between classes at Temecula Yoga Collective and get his story!
Kathy Bolte and Bombay Rain began their collaboration at Big Bear Yoga Festival in 2014. In February of 2016 they released their premiere album, “Wakefulness”.
Kathy is the band’s soulful vocalist and plays Guitar and Harmonium. She also composes all the band’s chants. Eddie Young adds his masterful touch with Cello, Bass, Flute and Udu. Nick Young creates the band’s Indian/Eastern sounds with his Sitar and Bansuri Flute. Christie Smirl adds her deep, rich vocal responses. Daniel Birkir brings it all together with Drums & Percussion.
Some reviews of their music include: “They give the world their heart!”, “Fresh, inspiring, joyful, calming, peaceful and groovy.” and, “You guys are like 4 hearts expressing in one voice”.
The band’s goal in offering their music is to create Sacred Space for the listener to connect to something bigger than themselves and to take a journey back to their own most sacred space – their own heart.
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
The atmosphere in Ashley’s classes is light and friendly. She excels in her knowledge of yoga asana alignment, therapeutics, anatomy, and yoga philosophy. This knowledge comes alive in new, playful and varied sequences as she interweaves interesting and motivating themes that we can carry with us into daily life.
One aspect of Ashley’s teaching that is particularly strong is her knowledge of how the body works and how to accommodate for injuries and limitations. Ashley has always been available to help with anything that comes up in her class whether an injury or a spiritual insight.
She operates from a place of great integrity & wisdom and makes it all look easy & fun. She doesn’t teach from a place of loftiness or hierarchy, but meets everyone where they are, and celebrates that special spark in everyone. Ashley goes above and beyond as she teaches students of all levels and trains teachers to be their best.
Ashley dedicated 12 years of her life to studying the philosophy and alignment of Anusara Yoga. In those 12 years she has been fortunate to make lasting and meaningful friendships with community all over the world. Her time with Anusara Yoga introduced her to great philosophy scholars and brilliant asana teachers. At this point in Ashley’s yoga studies, she is taking that foundation and expanding beyond her previous boundaries. She is currently collaborating with Doreen Madison and Danny White on expanding her current yoga school, Shraddhaa School of Yoga.
Ashley loves holding space for the practice of kirtan and currently offers kirtan with Danny White and Ted Blake of Vanara every Monday evening at the TYC. Kirtan is an amazing bhakti yoga practice that has the potential to open your heart and raise your vibration. Sharing in this practice has taken Ashley’s devotion to another level and opened her heart more than words can describe. She can also be heard on the Clapping Monkey’s album, Evolution.
Ashley and her husband Chris enjoy raising their two children on native land in the hills of Temecula’s wine country. She also loves romping around with her family in nature, raising goats, and eating chocolate.
You can visit her website YogaAshley.com and the SharaddaaSchool.com websites here.
Jen Stillion is a dynamic and entrancing dance performer who blends elements of modern, mime, jazz and hip hop to create a totally unique and magical style.
Movement is her passion and it comes through in its purest form in her classes and performances. There is a powerful element of joy and celebration in her style that infects all around her.
Her excitement, passion and youthful enthusiasm come through in her relations with students and audience members. Jen has a charm and an easy way with people both adults and children. Jen truly has a gift to share with the world.
Jen’s love for dance blossomed at age 22 when she was given the opportunity to choreograph and perform a solo in front of five thousand people. Not having proper studio training in her childhood, this experience made her realize she had a natural performing talent and a genuine love for dance.
From then on, she continued her career in dance as a teacher, choreographer and solo performer for the next 17 years.
During that time Jen has toured internationally, performing with dance and mime troupes and studied under prize students of the legendary Marcel Marceau; Todd and Marilyn Farley.
She has also been a performer for spiritual centers, churches, life coaching events and workshops across Southern California. Other than her performing career, she has found joy in teaching!
She has taught and choreographed dance for all ages in professional studios and as well as elementary schools and preschools in Orange and LA County.
Jen Stillion not only loves dance, but she loves to inspire everyone and anyone to unleash their inner dancer and be truly themselves.
Kali Samadhi is a Kirtan/Bhajan Band dedicated to raising the universal consciousness through mantras and kirtan. JAI JAI MA!
Kimi teaches yoga to help others find clarity in their mind, body and spirit. She guides students through their practice by riding the waves of breath, continually aligning breath and body into a rhythmic flow of consciousness.
Kimi has a master’s degree in literature, and loves to combine the power of stories with yoga. She often weaves the myths and stories about various poses into the class. Her transformative Yogic Lore Flow workshops are a fun combination of stories, asana, meditation, and mantra.
Kimi was featured in Origin Magazine’s Inspire Series, was the featured ambassador for Ahnu Footwear June 2013, and her writing has been published on several blog sites.www.kimimarinyoga.com
Julie began practicing yoga as a relief from her hectic schedule and stressful job. She quickly came to realize that yoga was not just about the physical movements, but also about the calming of the mind and spirit. As previous elementary school teacher, she has a passion for working with children and began her journey of sharing yoga and mindfulness by getting her first Children’s Yoga Certification through Karma Kids in 2010. This ignited a whole new passion for yoga and she has taken several other youth oriented yoga trainings from organizations such as Street Yoga, Yoga Education for Autism Spectrum, mini yogis, Sean O’Shea Foundation, The Art of Yoga Foundation, and Niroga Institute. Her experience with youth ranges from toddler to teen and she is the founder/owner of Zen Warriors – Yoga for Youth. In 2014, Julie obtained her 200 hour RYT Certification from Elka Yoga, deepening her own practice and expanding her teaching experience to adults. She is also is a Reiki Master. Incorporating her energy and sound healing experience into her gentle, restorative yoga classes, Julie creates the ultimate zen relaxation class. In 2015, Julie explored yoga in the element of water and became certified by Aqua Kriya Yoga, bringing yoga to the pool.
Samuel believes that the connection of yoga to everyday life off the mat comes from what we do everyday and bring into our yoga Practice.
Grateful Garden is a garden of pure gratitude and sharing of all things positive that promote wellness. Everything from individualized wellness consultations, participation as weekly co-host for Thyroid Nation Radio, to aromatic medicine and beauty products formulated and hand made by Grateful Garden are designed with the intention of health and well being. NO soy, synthetics, gluten, yeast, parabens or synthetic preservatives are ever incorporated. Gift certificates are available in any denomination for consultations, products or special orders, which is always best for those with unique needs or concerns. Thank you to all who have supported Grateful Garden’s mission of mind, body and spirit wellness and advocacy of accurate, hype-free, evidence based health education over the years. ~Tiffany www.GratefulGarden.biz
“Robyn is a hula hoop dancer, teacher, and performer based in Los Angeles, and has always had a passion for movement. Practicing dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading from a young age she has taken her love of performing and applied it to the hoop in her adult life.
After watching hoopers on the beach in 2014, she became inspired to learn and was instantly in love. Soon after, she started Spinning Happiness Hoops as a way to create hoops for the community and inspire flow, self expression, and happiness in the circle. Robyn has performed at local artist events and festivals, and has taught beginner hoop classes to children and adults. The hoop has transformed her life completely; from the health benefits, to the meditative practice of spinning, to the joys of playing again.”
Brian Shaheen, ERYT-200 RYT-500, I have studied under Leeza Villagomez for the last 5 years and I have completed my 500YTT with her yoga school. I also have had the pleasure to study with Saul David Raye & Shiva Rea and I’m in the process of completing their trainings. 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.
DoNutsAcro began by combining instructors, Bien Hernandez-Ver and Heather Murillo’s two favorite things: acroyoga and food. Sharing a six years of teaching yoga, they aim to spread the fun and excitement of yoga with a partner in a safe and supportive environment. The two believe that through trust and encouragement, all people can discover they are stronger and can do more than they ever thought possible. Heather and Bien are certified yoga instructors and although their adventures in acro continue to be largely self-guided, they have trained with some of the leading acro yoga instructors in Southern California and are always looking to expand their partner practice. DoNutsAcro can be found leading workshops and private lessons in the Inland Empire and surrounding areas. When not teaching, the two can be found eating pastries and taking Instagram selfies (@donutsacro, @bienx2, @heathermurillo).
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
Zach Jenkins was born and raised in the fertile green of Louisiana. During his time at Louisiana State University, Zach began to practice meditation at a local Zen Buddhist Temple. Following the recommendation of a friend, he found the practice of yoga and enjoyed the synergy between the two. As his interest grew, he started to study the philosophy of yoga. As a Literature student, he began to devote more of his reading and research to yoga related topics, crafting a self-study in the union between myths, stories, and philosophical traditions of both the East and the West. Soon, Zach found himself inspired to learn more.
After graduating from LSU, he left Louisiana to learn more about many different wisdom traditions. Following his inspiration and heart, he traveled to the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, New York. Through this work-study program he was introduced to many spiritual teachings. In the midst of these teachings, Zach felt called to become a yoga teacher.
Zach answered this call by traveling to India. An influential Kundalini teacher had told him of an Ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas. It was there along the banks of the holy Ganga that Zach fell in love with Yoga all over again. He completed his first Teacher Training program at Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Following his training, Zach left for Dharamsala where he practiced Karma Yoga as an English teacher and first started to teach Yoga. Practicing high up in the mountains in the shadow of the Dalai Lama’s temple, Zach listened to the wisdom of many teachers. Feeling called to share this wisdom, he returned home.
Once home, Zach wished to listen more closely to the reverberations of the teachings. He had learned of the roots, the traditional yogic teachings from India; but he wished to learn more about what the teachings have grown into here in the United States. So, he decided to take another teacher training at Wild Lotus. After completing Soul School, he was asked to apprentice and then begin teaching at Wild Lotus.
Zach’s prayer is, “May this heart lead me from division to a vision of the sublime singularity, the union. May every heartbeat and every breath act as an offering to the benefit of all.”
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.
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.
Lisa began practicing yoga in 1998 and has been a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance since 1999. As a lifelong learner, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Humanities. Lisa focused her Master’s studies on Eastern Philosophy and Religion which allowed her to incorporate her love of yoga into her academic studies by writing a thesis on the contributions of Paramahansa Yogananda on the humanities. Lisa has a great passion for the eight branches of yoga and blends yoga theory from these branches into her classes as she guides her students through asana and pranayama. She believes that yoga is a lifestyle to be practiced on and off the mat and that it can positively enhance your life. Lisa shares her yoga practice at Inner Evolution Yoga in Redlands, CA.
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!
Marcella has been practicing Yoga for over 20years but a work injury led her to rethink her health and career. In February 2013 she completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher Program with a emphasis in Yoga Therapy. She has since been teaching at Harmony HB, Huntington Beach, California. Because Marcella’s teachers come from many different yoga backgrounds, she is not devoted to a single methodology or lineage. Marcella’s training allows her to help her client/student find the remedy best suited to their needs. Marcella is excited to share what she has learned and to see others find not only fitness through yoga, but also Contentment and peace.
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.
Check back for more information about: international yoga festival, international yoga festivals, yoga festivals California, yoga festivals California 2016, yoga festivals in the US, yoga festivals in the US 2016, yoga festivals, yoga festivals 2016, yoga festivals United States, yoga festivals USA, yoga festivals 2016 United States, yoga festivals 2016 USA, yoga festivals 2016 California, yoga festival Big Bear, Joshua Tree yoga festival, yoga festival United States, yoga festival Joshua Tree, yoga music, yoga song, ahimsa, beginning yoga, yoga for beginners, advanced yoga, yoga for stress reduction and more.
Bien teaches a vinyasa flow style class with options to increase or decrease intensity. He teaches beginner yoga classes at The Yoga Room in Redlands, CA 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. The Yoga Room loves Bien!! The Yoga Room
Kathy Bolte is a Kirtan musician, singer – songwriter, yoga teacher, mantra teacher and facilitator of women’s wisdom circles. She recently spent 2 months in Rishikesh, India studying Nada Yoga: the yoga of sound. She is a member of two Kirtan bands, “Kathy Bolte and Bombay Rain” and “Akashvani”. The Chants she offers are all Original compositions set to ancient mantras. There is nothing she loves more than the feeling of becoming one with a community of people through Kirtan. Whether teaching yoga and mantra, teaching Kirtan, or leading women’s circles Kathy’s passion is to help people open to their full, whole hearted potential.