Many of us do yoga for a sense of retreat from the craziness of our daily schedules. Some go as far as trying to attain zen, while others are content with securing a free, uninterrupted hour for themselves. And while doing yoga in the confines of a studio is often enough to help you meet your objectives, nothing beats the feeling of doing yoga in nature – particularly a hiking trail and there are many beautiful trails in Big Bear to take you outside and into nature.

A Big Bear local and certified yoga instructor, Stefanie Ruland shares her experience with outdoor Yoga in Big Bear Lake. She hikes her way to the top of castle rock trail early in the morning with her yoga mat, and favorite hiking companion her furry friend Lulu. Castle rock trail is a fairly short 2.4 miles round trip journey with stunning views. The first mile or so is a little steep but levels off when you reach granite rock at the peak. She is doing yoga where the ground isn’t completely flat, and holding poses where one can enjoy the silence and then, later, try to fight distraction from barking dogs and screaming children. More interestingly, though, Stefanie provides a glimpse into what it’s like to do yoga in a place where you are disconnected enough from an increasingly connected virtual society, while still being close enough to learn to overcome the challenges of deliberately plugging out.

Here are some reasons for you to try outdoor Yoga:

Explore New Places
As creatures of habit and comfort, we gravitate toward our favorite spots in the park and miss out on other great areas the park has to offer. Outdoor Yoga encourages you to seek out less populated, if not oft-deserted, areas to execute your poses. Be careful not to get lost, though. And if possible, go on outdoor Yoga trips with a group of people. This is safer and guaranteed more fun. Which leads us to our next point…

Meet New People
Outdoor Yoga really is a great way to meet and mingle with new people. There isn’t a better way to connect with other people than through a shared love for yoga, and in a rather unconventional setting, at that. If you don’t have that option though, why not take the lead and gather around a group of your yogi friends for a new experience up in the mountains?

Learn to Focus
When hiking in the mountains, there will be quiet areas and noisy ones–those with barking dogs, chattering moms, and squealing, screaming, and wailing kids. Yet therein lies the beauty of such a challenge: in an environment that isn’t conducive to focus, you are forced to learn other ways to do so.

Break Free
Outdoor Yoga teaches you what it truly means to break free and disconnect from the familiarity of a routine. More importantly, it teaches you what it truly means to be balanced in a world with distractions that never permanently go away.

As an American I always feel just a little bit more patriotic than usual during this time of year. I mean, it’s our Independence Day! I am grateful to be free and I appreciate the freedoms that I have. Last year was my first Fourth of July in Big Bear Lake and it was awesome!

4th of July on the Lake

I had only lived here about four weeks last year when the fourth of July rolled around – some of my newfound friends invited me to go out on their boat to watch the fireworks. I was skeptical; small town, small fireworks. Boy was I wrong. The firework display is one of the best I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen quite a few.

The music was great, the company was fantastic and fireworks were incredible!

There are all kinds of activities in Big Bear Lake to celebrate 4th of July.

Whether you are coming up to BBQ with your family, spend the day on the lake, or watch the fireworks, there is something for everyone! If you haven’t booked your cabin yet, give the Vacation Planners at Big Bear Vacations a call or search for your big bear cabin here.

Snow Summit always has something going on. But this year’s event is called, “Above the Boom.” Catchy right?! They will have dinner, drinks, live music, kids activities, etc. I mean, you can ride the lift up to the top of the mountain and watch the fireworks at 8200 feet elevation!!! Great view of the fireworks from up there. For more information go to: www.bigbearmountainresorts.com

If Snow Summit isn’t your thing that’s okay! We’ve got more!

The Rotary and Marina Resort will host a BBQ on the lake. This is a great spot to view the fireworks and there will be a DJ to keep it rockin’. Price: $20 – $100, call: 800-424- 4232.

Miss Liberty Paddleboat Fourth of July Cruise. You can board the boat and watch the fireworks explode above the lake. Hors d’oeurves, drink tickets and best view of the star-spangled skies. $100 per person.

Captain John’s Independence Day Extravaganza! DJ Reggae music, bring your own picnic, BBQ’s and coolers. Huge beach – bring your chair and blankets and all party needs!

The Pine Lakefront Fourth of July Celebration. You can choose from Pines Garden Patio and the Pines Terrace both buffets will be ready. Music by Fantasy and live feed from KBHR radio during the fireworks. $75-95. Call: 909-866- 5400 for reservations.

The Village is always free for firework viewing! You can set up your spot on Pine Knot then wander around until the show begins.

As always, Big Bear Vacations wishes you the happiest of holidays!

Spring Fever hits me every February, (yes I realize it’s now mid-March, but my fever hits early). It’s that cusp between full blown winter and hints of warmness. I think longingly of warm sunny days, crisp nights and the knowledge that summer is just around the corner.  I realize this is a bit hasty.  I mean, it’s still technically winter, but I cannot stop the daydreams of tank tops, shorts and longer days.

Spring Break is a really great time to come to Big Bear Lake. We have so many year round activities, but spring is the best.  Trees and flowers are starting to bud making it a fun time of year to go hiking.  Big Bear has more hiking trails than you can count, from beginner to expert.  The Discovery Center on the North Shore is a great place to take your kids and explore the forest. Take a walk up Cougar Crest Trail where it meets the Pacific Crest Trail.  You can be a trail angel and leave goodies for the PCT hikers! For more information on what the Discovery Center has to offer, visit: http://mountainsfoundation.org

We’ve had a wonderful winter in terms of snow. Snow Summit and Bear Mountain should be open until the end of March, and if we get some more storms, maybe even April. Both of our tubing hills will also be open.

Prefer water over snow? Big Bear Lake reopens April 1st. Clearly a sign that summer cannot be far off! Go fishing, take the boat out, dip your toes in the water!!!! Book a spot on the pirate ship and learn about the history of Big Bear Lake.

After a full winter of books, learning and being inside while at school, the kids deserve to have some outdoor time and so do you!  We have a spring promotion going on with incredible discounts that will save the pocket book. Give us a call – our vacation planners would love to assist you with creating the best spring break ever!!