2017 Teachers

Elizabeth Peregrina


If you are lucky enough to count Elizabeth Peregrina as teacher and friend, you are lucky! She is a vibrant, passionate, energetic, intelligent, kind, and wise being. Big Bear, Big Bear Yoga and Big Bear Yoga Festival is VERY lucky to have her as volunteer, friend, supporter and yoga teacher!

Elizabeth is a Veda Yoga Teacher, an Ayurveda Wellness Counselor and Reiki Master Healer. She was the past Wellness Program Coordinator at Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda. She studied Ayurveda Wellness at Kerala Ayurveda Academy. She was a regular yoga teacher at Big Bear Yoga.

Elizabeth is teaching Beginning Yoga at the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2017!

Find Elizabeth online on Facebook at @QueenElisheba and on Instagram at @queen_elisheba and @breathflowthrive

Mike Foley & Bill Treadwell


Moment to Moment Meditation (MtM … aka empty meditation) is a program provided through Leafs for Wellness Foundation (http://www.leafsfoundation.org) with Mike Foley and Bill Treadwell leading the program as coaches. We launched MtM March 2016 and have continued to offer MtM as a free program.

MtM is organized around Jon Cabot-Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program, which is used in medical centers worldwide. An excellent reference to MBSR is Jon Cabot-Zinn’s 2013 second edition book, “Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to face Stress, Pain and Illness.” MBSR is a secular program based on scientific research and is independent of religious and political orientations. We have expanded upon MBSR by providing a wide variety of mediation techniques in order for participants to be able to choose their style of meditating. The MtM introductory material plus many of the sessions have been documented as downloadable PDF files on LEAFS website http://www.leafsfoundation.org/projects#MtM

Big Bear Yoga Festival MtM coaches:

Mike Foley moved to Big Bear City as a full time resident in 1981. He has been a full-time writer/editor for more than 30 years, with more than 500 published stories and articles in newspapers and magazines.

In addition, Mike is a Reiki Master and an ordained minister who has regularly practiced meditation since 1975. His meditative experience includes work in Tibetan, Zen and Nichiren Buddhist sects. Mike’s current meditation time is now focused on Cabot-Zinn’s MBSR, which is the cornerstone of LEAFS MtM Meditation Program.

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 the MBSR program. After sharing the MBSR program with Mike, we later decided to offer a free meditation program based on MBSR to help people deal with reducing stress in everyday life.


Jessica Waala


Jessica Waala is a self-love coach and yoga teacher, guiding others to find strength in loving who they already are and who they are becoming. Her journey began in 2011 when she discovered yoga, meditation, and breathwork during Art of Living workshops in college. Through these practices, she found healing for past trauma, anxiety, and ultimately developed true self-compassion. With her work at Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism and teaching internationally anywhere from Myanmar to Peru, she knows deeply in her heart that her calling is to share these practices with others to come home to themselves,and to inspire others to live a life they are in love with.

Instgram & Twitter: @jessicawaala

Elaine Slivka


Elaine Slivka began her Yoga practice 46 years ago on the recommendation of her Doctor. The practice inspired her to teach and began her interest in all aspects of healthy living. She teaches Yoga in Yucaipa at Reps for Life 5 classes per week and loves to travel. She has formally taught at LA Fitness, YMCA and Senior Centers. Her experience has given her the opportunity to do 3 or 4 teaching vacations a year. Sharing her passion for Yoga & health all over the Caribbean & Mexico. She is all about nutrition and believes that Green Smoothies are the best way to enhance our daily nutrition.

From Elaine, “Yoga is a magic pill it just takes an hour a day to take the pill. Three 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.”


Find Elaine on Facebook at YogaElaine and Healthy Eating Cooking Classes.

Kirpal & Radha Khalsa


Kirpal and Radha Khalsa were direct students and members of Yogi Bhajan’s direct staff. Studying yoga for more than 45 years, they are great examples of the positive effects of living a yoga lifestyle. Neither are certified, and both are senior level teachers. They are knowledgeable and have much to share in the fields of Kundalini Yoga, Tantric Numerology, vegetarianism and nutrition, western metaphysics and Yogic Lifestyle in the Age of EMFs, martial arts and sword fighting. They have a diversity of knowledge and passion!

We are thrilled to have them teach at the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2017!

Kirpal and Radha are also adamant supporters of the Big Bear community.


Mary Lucas Duman


Mary Lucas Duman is an artist, teacher, and healer. She studied yoga and meditation at the Meditation Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota and with master yogis in Rishikesh, India. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for 20 years. She is also certified in a movement modality known as Nia, which combines modern dance, healing arts, and martial arts.

Shamanic healing, ritual, and ceremony are also integral aspects of her healing work, informed by her studies with Sandra Ingerman, the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, and the Institute of Modern Wisdom.



Kalina Walker


“Originally from Big Bear, I now write songs out of the sleepy California desert. My music has both modern and Americana influences. Yoga and music have both saved me. They are so similar in the way that they provide a place for community to happen; in their simplicity, and in the way they can soothe. Sharing is so important and music and yoga encompass that. They transfer feelings of connectedness, and in that way cultivate compassion.”

Kalina is sharing her music with us at the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2017! Come bring a chair and enjoy the tunes at 9:30am in the Picnic area. What a great, chill way to start your day!

Sarai Enriquez


Sarai began with Pranic Healing® in 2009. A wife of an Airman and mother of 3 at the time, she used to experience high levels of stress and anxiety that often affected her quality of life. Her husband Rafael actually sought Pranic Healing® out as a means to helping Sarai heal and began practicing the teachings the very first night of class.

Immediately Sarai felt relief and soon after took the healing into her own hands and learned how to heal herself with Pranic Healing®. The two of them have become advocates for Pranic Healing® and meditation throughout the Inland Empire, working closely with schools, Veteran Centers, Mental Health Centers, and with community members looking for other means of taking care of themselves and their loved ones.

Sarai will be teaching Super Brain Yoga. A class on how to use lower creative energy to boost your brain and vamp your development. This workshop is audience participation oriented. You will be taught specialized techniques

to “Scan” your own energy and brain power. You will be taught this ancient Indian exercise to move lower creative energy upwards and bilateralize your brains and boost mental and emotional clarity.




Leslie St. John


Leslie St. John is a self-expression muse, helping people get “unstuck.” Using the modalities of yoga, qoya, and writing, she helps you unshackle creativity, feel your body as an ally, and cultivate more self-intimacy. She is the creator of Prose and Poses and offers yoga and writing retreats.

Leslie holds an MFA in poetry from Purdue University and is author of Beauty Like a Rope (Word Palace Press). Her writing is published in Elephant Journal, Teach, Yoga, Yoga Revolutionaries, Apersus Quarterly, Oxford American, Rebelle Society and Verse Daily. She teaches Literature at Cal Poly.

A 500-hour RYT, she has studied with Tias Little, Noah Maze, and Rocky Heron. Her classes have been described as “Sweaty and Spiritual.” Be prepared to move. Deepen your connection to your true self.

You can find her writing at a cafe, hunting vintage shops, or hiking with her beagle Lucy in the hills of San Luis Obispo, California.


Rae Vavra


Rae Vavra is a certified yoga teacher and has been teaching since 1994. Rae’s focus is on the safe alignment of all asanas, breath and guidance with hands on adjustments.

Rae incorporates Thai massage and restorative postures into her classes.


Monica Heim


Monica Heim is a RYT-500 from Monrovia, California. She currently teaches Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga variations throughout the San Gabriel Valley and is working towards offering a new yoga festival in that area. Keep your eyes peeled!


Ren Rasa Yogamaya


Ren Rasa Yogamaya is registered at the highest level with the Yoga Alliance as a 500 Hour established teacher has been teaching for over 20 years and is a continuing Yoga presenter with the Bhakti Fest. She is also a writer, a syndicated columnist and the author of Eat By Color: Foods, Colors And The Chakras. She has studied under masters including, Yogi Bhajan, Swami Satchidinanda, Swami Anand Tathagat and Drunvalo Melchizedek who imparted to Ren the eastern practices of Kundalini, Integral Hatha, Tantra, Kama Sutra, Tao, Zen, Tibetan Vajrayana and the ancient wisdom of The Flower of Life. Ren is one of a very few advanced Yoga teachers who practices and teaches from the lineage of T. Krishnamacharya, from The Yoga Korunta and is a natural channel for Universal Source.

Ren offers Private Sessions and Teacher Training for serious Yogis who wish to advance their practice and knowledge of Yoga. Her offerings include: Hatha, Ashtanga, Kundalini, Raja Vinyasa, Krama Vinyasa Yoga, Yoga Therapy and Chakra Life readings by scheduled appointment.

At the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2017 Ren Rasa Yogamaya will be offering Introduction to the Yoga Korunta : The lineage of T. Krishnamacharya, The “father” of modern Yoga. A gentle Hatha practice that includes an intro to the Ayurvedic principles: The current Sun and Moon Cycle, The coinciding Chakras, Sacred Geometry, the Tattva-Lokas (the dimensions). Class begins and ends with meditation and includes one vinyasa flow. This is the oldest form of Yoga: it is the foundation from which all Yogas derived from including, Kundalini, Hatha, Iyengar, Astanga, Anasura, etc.


Jesselle Pena


Jesselle learned her first asanas from her mother—a bona fide Humboldt County hippie—and began to delve into her own practice when diagnosed with scoliosis as a teenager. Drawn to health and healing from an early age, she studied nursing before completing a 200 hour certification program at The Yoga Shack with Tommy and Lori Anderson. Her training gave her a firm grounding in the science of yoga while still embracing the softer spiritual side. She is now the owner and founder of the studio Yoga Shine in Nipomo, California, where she strives to give this balance to others and help them along their own path of health and wellness. Her teaching style is colored by her playful energy and her belief that yoga is for everyone.


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 jewelry, friends and food. She loves community and the 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!

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!” 



Emilie Bean


Emilie Bean is a friend, animal advocate, artist, photographer, yoga teacher and bold being whose light shines bright and is a long-time supporter of the Big Bear Yoga Festival. You definitely recognize her photography as her mesmerizing pictures have been featured in promotions for the Big Bear Yoga Festival for years.

We are thrilled to have her join us as a teacher this year to facilitate creativity, growth, exploration and fun! She is leading the Vision Board class. A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life. It is powerful tool, and vision boards have been used over the years to help create the amazing Big Bear Yoga Festival! Learn how to harness this too in your own life and create your own vision board.

Emilie teaches yoga at Anam Cara in Riverside, California.


Michael Garrity & Friends


Michael Garrity (Swami Turiyananda) has been teaching yoga since 1981. He studied at the Bihar School of Yoga in

Munger Bihar India as well as with teachers in the U.S. He has also studied psychology and has a master’s degree with a thesis focused on East/West psychology. Although he has taught and still teaches classes in asana, the physical posturesof yoga, his main emphasis is on dhyana yoga or meditation. He also leads group kirtan, devotional singing.


Aminah Teachout


Aminah comes to the Big Bear Yoga Festival via Rim of the World Highway 18! This mountain local loves fresh mountain air and can wait to sip some with you!

Aminah was introduced to yoga via a VHS tape to regulate mood swings as a preteen. She used yoga asana as selfcare throughout her adolescence and adopted a yogic lifestyle during her twenties. Her study of yoga expands beyond the Sutras, the Upanishads, and the Bhagvad Gita to also include readings about neuroscience and kinesiology, curation of a TEDx, bodywork training, and interviews with spiritual leaders, life coaches, doulas and business owners. For Aminah, yoga is an approach to life and sustainable development. She loves that the practice of yoga transcends age and culture to unite people towards a lifestyle that harmonizes mankind and nature.

Aminah’s yoga training is eclectic and emphasizes safety and selflove. Her practice reached a new level with personal training from Chirayu Thakkar in Cairo, Egypt during 2008-09. Afterwards Aminah returned to her career path in Washington, DC but committed almost as intently to a rigorous hot hatha practice. In 2013, Aminah earned her Cosmic Kids Yoga Certification, left her career in diplomacy and sought mentors in aerial yoga, gentle yoga and meditation. In 2014, Aminah co-created EmpathiKIDS with Michelle Sharp RYT, LMT. Based in Phoenix, AZ., EmpathiKIDS offers classes and builds community around sustainable wellness across the US (www.empathic.us). During 2015 Aminah taught Yin Yoga and AquaFit classes while managing Spark Yoga’s Merrifield, VA location.

Now Aminah and her family call the San Bernardino Mountains home. You can connect with her and her practice in Skyforest,CA as well as virtually @skyforestyogi.


Lauren Beth Jacobs


Lauren Jacobs is a yoga and fitness entrepreneur who left her life as a lawyer in order to empower others to realize their deepest dreams and discover their healthiest and happiest selves. Her yoga offerings are inspired by her own vinyasa practice, which supported her through high school and college athletics and her career transition, and, continues to fuel her journey.

At the Big Bear Yoga Festival 2017 Lauren is going to teach an advanced class of Bad-Ass(ana) Yoga Flow: Unleash Your Inner Superhero – Discover your fullest potential in this rockin’ and detoxin’ vinyasa session. Dive into challenging poses to identify and release the fears that distract you from your truest dreams and most courageous self. Flow, sweat and renew while exploring – and maybe even mastering – deeper holds, arm balances, inversions and more. Let go of the sh*t that holds you back – and prepare to fly. Class includes a short discussion, vinyasa flow and partner work.


Betsy Laban


Betsy’s message is important for all to hear – Yoga is for every “body!”

After several years of teaching traditional Ashtanga / Hatha yoga, she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and chronic pain. She found two Gurus, Dr. Larry Payne and Dr. Marc Halpern. She learned about Yoga Nidra and Prime of Life Yoga. Both helped her to see more clearly that her dharma included teaching what she learned to help heal herself to others. Prime of Life Yoga and Yoga Nidra changed her life and she wants to share that gift with you!

If you are curious about how yoga can be a way to move gently, join Betsy for Gentle Yoga at the Big Bear Yoga Festival. Her Gentle Yoga class uses dynamic and static yoga to warm up and stretch before holding poses. Beginner level class. All levels can benefit from this insightful and healing practice.



Angelina Ugalde


Angelina Ugalde is a school counselor by day & yoga teacher by night at Inner Evolution Yoga in Redlands, California.

Angelina teaches yoga to empower her students to heal in mind, body, heart & soul through guiding them into a deeper connection with themselves & their sources of healing. Her classes are focused on pranayama (breath) primarily & asana (poses) secondarily.


Marianne West


Marianne West practiced Yoga off and on for most of her adult life and became a Yoga Teacher in 2010. She studied Hatha, Hormone, Kids and Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga is especially dear to her since people of all ability levels can participate and benefit.

Marianne also studied Permaculture and earned two Permaculture Design Certificates. Much as Yoga, Permaculture is a lifelong learning opportunity.


Michelle Kearney Lopez


Michelle is an elementary school teacher and devoted yoga practitioner. She has 22 years of school teaching experience, and is dedicated to bringing heart centered yoga and mindfulness to the classroom. She has developed a training program for teachers on the practice of yoga and mindfulness to use in with students.

She is also a reiki master, crystal healing practitioner, and a life and wellness coach. She started Sacred Earth Holistic Healing and Wellness to share healing and knowledge, and promote healthy lifestyle alternatives to the people in her local area. She is the mother of two teenagers and is happy to be speaking at the Big Bear Yoga Festival.




Jenise Stout Fryatt


A Southern California native, Jenise Fryatt grew up in the suburbs under a brown sky, playing on blacktop and eating Coco-Puffs.

Nature was a well manicured park or rare family vacations at her retired grandparents’ North Dakota farm. Nevertheless, she had a deep reverence and love for the Earth that she couldn’t explain.

This feeling led to grief in college when she learned how terribly harmful to the planet humans had become. After graduating with a B.A in communications, she briefly considered going back to college to learn a skill that would help, but settled instead for a job as a reporter at her hometown newspaper.

She was going to be Woodward & Bernstein eventually. Instead she got a rude awakening about the myth of independent journalism.

By the time she was in her mid 20’s her less-than-healthy childhood habits began to catch up with her. And when modern medicine didn’t seem to help, she began to hone her diet and lifestyle a bit more.

Parenthood brought her to La Leche League, a breastfeeding support group that led her to whole foods cooking and attachment parenting. It was largely due to that influence that she chose to have her second child at home with a midwife attending.

Wanting to make sure she did the best job possible as a parent, she read LOTS of books. In the end she realized that to be a good parent, she had to be the kind of person she wanted her children to be. This led her to pursuits that were her passions as well as those she believed would help her to be a better person. These included: acting, improv, Al-Anon, yoga and meditation.

In 2010 when her two children, Giselle and Tyler were nearly grown and out of the house, difficult economic times led her to discover social media as a way to find clients for the family audio visual business, Icon Presentations. It was a turning point for her, as she discovered that the skills she learned in college as a communications major were perfectly suited for digital marketing. She began blogging on a regular basis both for Icon and for outside clients.

In 2012 she began working with Smarter Shift as a content marketing strategist, a company of which she is proud to continue to be part.

Financial independence came just as she was beginning to reassess her life. Would being an empty-nester consist of eight hour workdays punctuated by T.V and trips to the mall? She began to see modern society and it’s work/consume/debt “system” as a trap that was causing all humans untold suffering as well as damaging the planet. And she longed to live in a place less planned and more inline with nature.

Fortunately working from home gave her new freedom. No longer tied to a particular workplace, she and her husband Mike bought a couple of acres of land in the San Bernardino mountains and have begun to set up their homestead. In addition to her content marketing job she now tends a garden and some chickens and is learning how to use permaculture principles to create a diverse ecosystem that works with Mother Nature and supports self-reliance.

To connect with Jenise and catch her podcast, go to: sustainablelivingpodcast.com

Samuel Odiakosha


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.

Tiffany Mladinichi


Radio show co – host at Thyroid Nation and founder, formulator and consultant at Grateful Garden.

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

Stevan Morris


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!

Lisa Harris


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.

Carol Treadwell


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.


Kartar Kaur


Karen May’s spiritual name is Kartar Kaur, translated as “Lioness/Princess of God’s deeds” — an active, creative principle, applicable to her life, work, and spiritual practice. She took her first Kundalini Yoga class in 1987, and has been teaching since 2004 as a K.R.I. certified instructor, honoring the tradition of Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan®. Each class offers insight into a particular theme, connecting the body, mind, and spirit, and linking the finite with the infinite. She completed a two year certificate course in the ancient Indian healing modality called Ayurveda, and often integrates these healing principles into classes.


Colin Schour


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!


Alona Smith


Alona began practicing Yoga over ten years ago. A knee injury received after running a marathon led her to her first class. There she received more than just a workout. It was spiritual and emotional and a sure introduction into what would then become her way of life.

Alona’s intentions as a teacher and as founder of the Anam Cara studio are to be compassionate, empowering, and inspiring, and to create a safe and fun environment where students can learn to listen to, honor and respect their bodies, achieve more balance in life, reduce stress, and increase flexibility. She holds true that continual physical movement, meditation, mind/body awareness and good nutrition are the road to well being and happiness.

Her classes emphasize a balance of strength and ease in the body, with attention to alignment and safety. Alona’s personal style is Vinyasa flow with an influence of the various styles she has practiced over the years. She enjoys working with people of all ages, body sizes, shapes, abilities and genders, helping them feel comfortable with yoga and themselves.

Alona will be offering a beginner to intermediate Vinyasa Flow class at this years festival. Alona’s classes are spirited, energetic and flowing – synchronizing breath with movement while emphasizing strength and flexibility, breathe, sweat and invigorate your mind and body! Alona is the beautiful owner of Anam Cara.


Nancy Rascon


Nancy Rascon is a beautiful light of energy and joy! At the Big Bear Yoga Festival she will be offering Transformational Breathwork.

Nancy is a holistic health practitioner. She is a yoga instructor, a breath work facilitator, a psychic, and a healer.

Nancy incorporates her love for life and adventure into her teachings. She teaches at Breathe Yoga studio in Redlands, California.