big bear yoga festival: doing community rightY’all know that IAYB has a soft spot for homegrown, DIY yoga festivals. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing small-scale community festivals popping up all over the place. Now that I’m on the left coast, I’m paying attention to what’s happening around here on this side of the continent.… Read more

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big bear yoga festival: doing community right

Y’all know that IAYB has a soft spot for homegrown, DIY yoga festivals. Nothing warms my heart more than seeing small-scale community festivals popping up all over the place. Now that I’m on the left coast, I’m paying attention to what’s happening around here on this side of the continent. I was recently delighted to discover the Big Bear Yoga Festival in California’s San Bernardino mountains.

The three-day festival takes place August 22 – 24 and features yoga (mostly outdoors), music and many non-yoga activities, including hiking, canoeing and climbing. This is the second edition of the festival, and by all accounts last year’s inaugural event was a raging success.

Here are a few things that the Big Bear community is doing right:

YMCA Camp location ~ In an era of ski hill, upscale hotels and swanky retreat centre venues for yoga events, it is refreshing to see a festival taking place at a camp. YMCA Camp Oakes is situated on 230 acres, and has a swimming pool, a ropes course and an observatory for stargazing. And really, you don’t get much more downhome than the YMCA.

Beginner-friendly programming ~ The festival producers have put effort into making the festival open to as many ages and abilities as possible. A “Beginner’s Track” is integrated into the schedule, making it easy for yoga newbs to select easy and therapeutic classes. The BBYF website is loaded with positive language and beginner messaging, indicated that everyone is welcome.

Locally-grown talent ~ I love looking at a festival teacher bios page and not recognizing any names. Despite its close proximity to Los Angeles, with flashy teachers who could practically be considered “local,” the BBYF schedule features yoga teachers, musicians and community leaders from the region.

If you’re in or around southern California, put the Big Bear Yoga Festival on your to-do list. IAYB is a proud partner of this event — sign up here and save 10%  if you use the code ItsAllYogaBaby. Tell ’em IAYB sent you and have a great weekend!

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embracing the whole: end of summer yoga retreat

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