You're Not Alone in this World
How often do you look around at your fellow humans and just observe them? I try my best to put away my phone and, instead, look around. It helps that most of the time I am in a place where what is to be seen around me is way more interesting that whatever is on my phone. The beauty of Lake Tahoe is enough to draw almost everyone's attention.
What are you doing? What are the people around you doing? Why are you and they doing that? I find myself asking this question more often lately. It seems, to me, that more people are just doing whatever they want to do regardless of the effect it is having on those around them. Is this because humans are becoming less compassionate, empathetic and generally oblivious?
My husband and I enjoy traveling to places where we can connect with the local community as well as having space to explore on our own. One of our favorite locations is the Bahamas. During our first trip there we met the local fishermen who cooked us food and shared their homes with us. During our most recent trip we were famous before we arrived because our friends who were sailing around the island had let everyone know we were coming. I love traveling to the Bahaman islands because we are allowed to disconnect from technology and reconnect with our fellow humans.
No matter where you choose to travel, try doing so without the use of technology. Are you willing to take a walk or run around the area to get your bearings? Do you read the local newspaper and talk to the staff and owners of the local shops? If Lake Tahoe is a place you wish to visit or head to often, try this approach rather than using Google. You're likely to feel a stronger connection to the area.
Consider Your Impact
What you're doing impacts others. Your car, your body, your trash, your words all effect others. When you're driving in a new place and are trying to wayfind, get out of the way. Tahoe residents, in particular, will appreciate the consideration. Remember that every town has residents and workers that are trying to get to and from their homes, errands and work. They know the way and if you can get out of their's everyone will have a more pleasant experience.
It's fine to be a tourist. Stop, look, wonder, explore, enjoy and soak it all in. Before you do so, look around and consider if the place where your stopping will block or inhibit someone else from enjoying their experience. Be considerate of they way in which others are using the space you share. Consider not only the space you take up, but also the volume of your voice and the impact your presence is having on the space. Can you enter wihtout impact and leave no trace departing with only photos?
There's a Place and a Time
Spending time with friends and having fun is THE BEST! There is, however, a time and a place for everything. For example, we all know that the casino scene is almost always a party scene. Loud music, boisterous crowds, crazy behavior and wild parties are acceptable in that zone. The hike to the top of a high peak or well popular viewpoint is not the place for a speaker and shots. The majority of the people exploring the outdoors are seeking peace, tranquility and the opportunity to enjoy the sounds of nature.
Whether you're out on the resort skiing, wandering a well known trail, walking your dog or shopping for keepsakes consider the decorum expected in the area. These are the times to keep to yourself and be considerate of others. Look around you, listen to the sounds of the area and people, consider the impact you want to have on others. Quiet your music, silence your phone and be present.
P.S. Dog poop doesn't melt, so pick it up because the snow will.
To be "woke" is to be knowledgeable about whatever is going on. Before traveling to the Bahamas we researched the best way to get there, what we needed to pack, the value of renting a car, how to rent a car, proper driving etiquette, where the local market is located, which spots are the most recommended, expected behaviors and more. We do the same regardless of where we are traveling. We like to be woke before we arrive so we can be respectful while we're there.
There are times when you can't help not knowing. Those are the times when asking questions is invaluable. Do your best, before you travel, to lean as much as you can about the expectations and practices of the community. Just as travel to France is much easier if you speak French, so is visiting Lake Tahoe if you know that we have a turning lane so you can move out of the way rather than hold up traffic and that there is a certain etiquette for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and biking. If you don't know, ask someone, so that you can make better choices. A great example is understanding the impact of snow or rain upon travel conditions or how wind effects the lake will help you to be more aware and make better choices while visiting.
Don't just go on an oblivious fool. Be here, now. Be present. Have fun. Participate. If we're all in this together, we'll all get to enjoy it. Before and during your travels consider the impact you wish to have on the place you're visiting. Can you depart with memories and photos while leaving what's there just as it was before you arrived? Can you be the type of visitor that chooses to be forgotten?
Check out the posturing of any athlete and you might be able to identify the activity they engage in the most. Road cyclists have developed calves and glutes. Tennis players have one arm that is more developed than the other. Horseback riders have developed hips.
What about mountain bikers? A forward chest, developed legs and arms. When I see a mountain biker's body all I want to do is help them adjust so they can stand in an upright position. Like so many activities we engage in on a daily basis mountain biking requires front body strength which can create muscular imbalances among our front and back bodies.
Yoga is a practice of, first, establishing awareness of our postural habits. A well trained guide will help you to become aware of the muscles you tend to contract as well as those you lengthen more often than others. Consistently practicing engaging in complimentary movements or "opposite process" will help you to become more physically harmonious so that you can keep riding for the rest of your life.
Develop Core Strength
You might not realize it, but you may be ignoring some of the most powerful muscles in your body while you're riding. I find mountain biking to be incredibly challenging. This is mostly due to my lack of upper abdominal strength. My lower abs are really strong, but my upper abdominal muscles aren't quiet as powerful. When I get on my bike I can feel this weakness.
I've seen plenty of mountain bikers who rely on their arms to do the work on the bike. As they climb they are pumping up and down like they're doing a push-up on the handle bars. When they descend, they muscle the bike around corners and over obstacles. Building strength in your core through a variety of Yoga postures is key to feeling more in control of your body and bike while riding. It can help you to reduce the work in your arms so that you don't get fatigued and can ride longer and more challenging terrain.
Bike geometry has certainly improved over time offering more balanced bikes, more travel, increased wheel sizes and more. Whether you are developing new skills or adjusting to a new bike balance can be what keeps you on the bike or dumps you off. Developing steadiness in your body and awareness of your breath can help you to remain calm and focused while riding even when on a new trail, in tricky terrain or while getting comfortable on a new bike.
Lake Tahoe Yoga guides practices in RajaHatha Yoga. What does that mean? Every movement is combined with a breath. Learning to breathe to move when going through poses on the mat can help you to do so while on your bike. If you can keep a calm and steady breath while balancing on one foot or moving through a flowing sequence of postures, you can likely do the same while climbing over rocks or riding a log.
At the end of every Yoga practice we rest on our mats in savasana (corpse posture). The intention is to offer an opportunity to "soak it all in." Your body has been moved, manipulated, adjusted, engaged, stretched and balanced. As you lay on the earth you get an opportunity to relax physically, energetically and, maybe, mentally.
Translating this sense of tranquility onto your bike can help you to feel more calm and at ease while riding. If you take the time to stretch and prepare before and after you ride, include a moment to sit or lay down and consider your ride. What do you hope to accomplish? What are you proud of? What are you going to work on next time?
Some of you may be into riding with music in your ears. You do you. Just make sure that you're also aware of what is going on around you. There are more people out mountain biking than ever. Sharing the trails means knowing the rules and being considerate of others. Your bliss experience may include your favorite playlist. Other's may find bliss through peace and quiet.
In a group class we have to consider how our actions might effect others. Falling over and onto your neighbor's mat could disrupt the entire group. Chatting with your friend would be distracting. Snoring during savasana might disrupt others, but it might also be out of your control. Hey, if you're tired, you're tired.
Yoga philosophy discusses practices that are for ourselves and that help us to be considerate of others. Many can be applied to mountain biking: be honest, be helpful, share, take only what you need, practice moderation, be content with what you have, learn from every experience and leave things as they were.
Ride Like a Local
Want to learn more about mountain biking in Lake Tahoe? The Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) brings the community together through rides, trail development and maintenance, mtb events and more.
Need guidance and gear for riding? Tahoe Sports LTD is one of Tahoe's best shops staffed with local pros who know about mountain biking from tires to trails.
Are you a mountain biker who wants to try Yoga? Lake Tahoe Yoga is a supporter of TAMBA and offers classes for you.
Do you travel to ride? LocalFreshies.com features articles and videos about the best places to ride and how to "Be a local wherever you go."
Visiting Lake Tahoe during the Fall opens the door to places and experiences often too busy or inaccessible during the Summer and Winter. Leaf your stress behind when you join Bliss Experiences this Autumn.
Today is a Great Day to Begin Practicing Yoga
Bliss Food & Wine Experiences: Dare to Pair
There’s a perfect pairing for every meal, and Dare to Pair seminars will teach you how to find it, whether you’re craving a classic steak au poivre or spicy Thai takeout. In each interactive tasting event, learn the basic science behind food and drink pairings before experimenting with classic and innovative combinations. Discover the nuances of your palate, how childhood nostalgia affects even our most refined tastes, and learn how to create perfect pairings at home to suit any meal or event.
Bathe in the Forest
Taking a walk in an unfamiliar forest, on new trails, with limited time
can be more stressful than relaxing.
Join our guide; Felix. He knows the way along the path and will manage time so you can wander the woods and truly enjoy our alpine forest. Relinquish control over where and when you are. Instead, bathe in the sounds, smells, and energy of the mountains. Felix will share his knowledge of the outdoors while allowing you the time to reconnect with nature and your Self.
Relax Body & Mind
Reiki & Sound Healing is offered as a virtual experience you can tune into from anywhere. With the provided link you can attend from the comfort of your home and don't need to worry about logging out. If you drift away into a peaceful place you can remain there knowing you don't have to leave.
Harpist Anne Roos, longtime resident of South Lake Tahoe, follows the Siddha Yoga meditation path and has improvised live music to accompany relaxing yoga classes. Each session includes mindfulness instructions followed by relaxing harp music, and then a closing reflection.
Tour Tahoe from the Water
Confident Paddlers can enjoy the glassy waters of Tahoe all year long during our Stand Up Paddle Board Tours. Private Tours are available as long as the winds and weather permit. Experience Tahoe without boats and experience bliss on the water.
Retreats, Wellbeing, Yoga
We Create Custom Curated Experiences for Renewal and Reconnection
Our mission is to connect you with the best small businesses and professionals we can find who are passionate about Lake Tahoe, nature, and self care. Before you travel to the basin check out our curated experiences, customizable retreats, and connected providers.
We look forward to sharing Bliss Experiences with you.
Virtual or Live; this is the question. Each has it's merits, but which is the Right choice for you? We delve into the advantages and disadvantages of both outlets and how our Tahoe meeting space can provide you with an in-person venue as well as virtual offerings. In business or pleasure we'll make sure that you'll create positive memories for a lifetime.
Seeing, hearing, watching, and engaging in real life with others provides us with opportunities to connect in a multitude of ways. As we interact we collect all types of information from each other. Whether we notice it, or not, we are gathering details about personalities, preferences, comfort levels, and more.
At Bliss Experiences we consider all of these aspects when curating our experiences. When you join one of our classes, workshops or lectures, our intention is to create opportunities for you to feel noticed and understood as well as to connect with your guide. Our in-person experiences are more than guided tours; they are chances for all of us to experience Bliss and union.
Developing the skills necessary to present and participate in virtual experiences takes time. During the pandemic there was much to be learned in regard to managing virtual rooms on Zoom, behaving appropriately while presenting, making sure the perspective from the camera to the screen was accurate, recording, editing, being patient with sound delays, and dealing with internet & tech issues.
Now that we have become professionals at virtual presentations and as participants these skills will continue to remain useful. We can attend classes, workshops, lectures, and more live and on-demand with the people we choose no matter where we are. There are countless opportunities to learn from others and experience new things.
Some things will never be the same virtually as they are in real life. Experiencing a room, location, or space is one such thing. There is nothing quite like floating on the lake on a paddle board. A hike in the woods is more full when you are there in person. A room looks very different when you can see all four walls, the ceiling, and floor with a turn of your head.
Spaces hold energy and Bliss Experiences Tahoe meeting space is designed to do so. Every color and all of the décor was specifically chosen to create a sense of peace, calm, and relaxation. Whether wine tasting, checking out the latest styles, painting Tahoe, or practicing Yoga, we hope that you'll experience of sense of reconnection with nature and yourself while sharing our space.
The Magic of Connection
Sweet and salty, Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Pasta and Cheese; some things just work well together. Creating experiences that include both live and virtual attendees is no easy task.
Our new space is outfitted with a 10' projection screen, camera, and video equipment. You will be able to attend workshops, lectures, and classes in-person as well as virtually in real time. We hope to help you connect with teacher, guides, and presenters, as well as the other participants from any distance.
We're looking forward to seeing you in 360* and sharing Bliss Experiences with you outdoors, in our new space, and virtually.
We have lived through an historical moment. Has it changed you? It has certainly changed me and reinforced my desire for Bliss.
Less is Good
The transition from "stay at home" to "normal" has an interesting vibration to it. There is an energetic buzz and a sense of exploding excitement over the opportunity to return to doing all the things we did before the pandemic.
While following the directives to stay at home I learned a valuable lesson: I don't need very much. I don't need fancy food or cocktail service. I don't need live concerts (although they are fun) or pedicures. I don't need to go shopping for new clothes, toys, or belongings. I don't need to be doing things all of the time. Less is more.
I grew up playing with whatever was available. We would run around the fields, climb trees, build rock & tree forts, and build mud pies. Our imaginations allowed us to create anything out of anything.
The first time my sister visited me in Tahoe she said, "You live in a postcard." When I guide tours and classes people ask, "do you ever get tired of this?" My answer is, "Never." I get to live the dream and value that I do it in Lake Tahoe and recognize how the choices I made in life helped me to get here. At Bliss Experiences our intention is to help you develop similar values for your life.
Every day I get to look at a beautiful lake, run through the forest, walk on the beach, stand on top of a mountain, hike through the desert, bike, ski, paddle and play. The pandemic has added stress to my life, but enjoying Tahoe has helped me to manage it.
Patience & Empathy
People fled the cities when the pandemic hit. There was a general perception shift that the mountains are safer than the seaside. Our tiny community became inundated with visitors and new residents. The lack of infrastructure, staff, response teams, inability to educate, and enforcement became increasingly evident and the impact has been significant.
Tahoe runs on tourism. We have gotten better, throughout the years, at supporting and sharing information with the influx of visitors that come to the basin every Winter and Summer. This year was a new opportunity for us to learn and change our practices.
As a business owner I had to become more patient. Messaging from my business had to change. I had to constantly remind myself to try to understand the perspective others have; they are just trying to do something "normal" The pandemic has helped me become more patient and empathetic with myself and others.
Sense of Community
Small businesses are the soul of our country. As businesses began to shutter it was obvious that the corporations and larger ones would survive. Small, individually and family owned business needed our patronage.
Bliss Experiences promotes and partners with the small businesses and professionals in our community. The pandemic further reminded me to remain in touch and to continue to bolster them. As we emerge from this historical moment we will continue to grow our list of providers so that you can continue to experience Bliss with them.
I believe that when spending time with someone it is important that your full attention be dedicated to that experience. When teaching classes, guided lessons, or out on a tour I am fully focused upon making the experience special for those joining in.
Now that we are using more virtual tools including live video streams it's easy to be doing many things at once: live feed while recording for later while doing an Instagram live and chatting over text.
I chose to continue to practice focusing upon the task at hand even while learning to use new formats for teaching. I have noticed that, as I venture back out into the world, I would rather be with a small group and have dedicated conversations than in a place where there is a larger crowd and many distractions. Being present and enjoying the moment makes for a far better experience.
When Bliss Experiences opens we will continue to honor quality of experience over quantity of participants so that we can be dedicated to making yours the best.
There are so many things to love about Tahoe, and a few that are not so loveable. Learn more about the things that bring us Bliss when we enjoy Tahoe and the stuff that we all could do without.
We Love Those Big, Blue Skies
One of my favorite views is that of the sky in Tahoe. The color changes daily. I love it on a crisp Winter day when the tree branches are tufted in white. During the Spring the flowering trees can make the blue seem even deeper. In the Summertime the sky sometimes appears turquoise. Daily, hourly, even by the minute, the color of the sky can change.
But the Traffic. . .
A noticeable effect of the Covid-19 pandemic was a reduction in pollutants due to decreased travel. In Tahoe, it wasn't the air pollution that we noticed had decreased, but rather, how few vehicles were on the road and how quiet our town had become.
As the pandemic continued to limit activities in other places our town became more and more inundated with visitors in need of a mountain escape. The traffic increased and, soon, the roads were as packed as they become on Independence Day Weekends. Before you travel to enjoy Tahoe and a view of our beautiful blue skies take a moment to learn about how to travel safely to and around the basin.
Check out these resouces:
Tahoe Road Trip
Parking In Tahoe
Winter Driving In Tahoe
The Dangers of Parking for Snow Play
Fields of Fluffy Snow
A fresh snowfall leaves everything blanketed in white. It is one of the most quiet times to be outdoors. Walks in the woods, cross country skiing, backcountry tours, and resort adventures are "in." The forest colors and smells are a little different. The beaches have a different feel to them. It can seem like there is endless space for play. It's just magical.
But the Disprespect. . .
Now, I have only lived in Tahoe for a dozen or so years, but I have never seen what I have seen this Winter before. The meadow near my home is a lovely place to enjoy a walk or snow play. There is a small parking lot nearby that provides all you need including bathrooms and baggies for dog poop. Instead of accessing these amenities visitors parked on highway shoulder to access the meadow and even created fires which could have easily gotten out of control and put our homes at risk. Trash from broken sleds, packaging and food was picked up by the pounds.
It's important to look for signage before stopping to take photos, a walk, or play in the snow. If there isn't a parking lot or sign that indicates you can park, don't do it. If you don't see a fire pit you probably shouldn't have one. If there aren't trash cans available be prepared to carry out that which you brought with you. Look for and read the signs posted. They are there to help you know how to respect and protect the area.
All That Open Space
Living in Tahoe is not easy. You have to earn the lifestyle. We pick and choose our days off, where we play, what we do, and who we do it with. Yes, we have secret stashes and hidden spots. Sometimes we choose not to go to a place we love because it's better to allow those who can't always get to it to enjoy it. Timing is everything. We know exactly where to be, when, so we can experience Bliss.
But, the Evidence of Humans. . .
Leave no trace is an important practice. Like staying within the ropes at a ski resort or putting away your toys at home; leaving no trace is a way of demonstrating integrity. Remember those big blue skies and fields of fluffy snow? You can be the one who let's everyone else enjoy them when you leave no trace.
-Carry out your stuff (and whatever else you find that doesn't belong)
-Leave stones, sticks, logs, etc. where they are (unless they are dangerous)
-Leave the snow as it was before you arrived
-Clean up after your pet
Bliss is Everywhere
Bliss can be shared among all of us if we are all considerate of each other wherever we are. Whether you are enjoying the views, playing in the snow, exploring a new spot, or spending time in your favorite place consider how your behavior could be effecting others. Can you make the change to have a positive effect?
If you're seeking more information about planning a trip to Tahoe we're here to help. From experiences to resources and classes to guides our intention is to shared Bliss with you.
Tahoe is a wonderland. Every season creates not only beautiful landscapes, but also new opportunities to get outside and play. For those of us that enjoy playing in the outdoors there are some simple practices we can all engage in to spread cheer all year and everywhere.
In the show “The Crown” the queen educates Margaret Thatcher on proper behavior while stalking a stag. She mentions the importance of dressing properly, speaking quietly, and avoiding wearing perfumes. The same is true for spending time outside while visiting Tahoe.
Before heading outdoors consider your clothing; are you dressed practically for the temperature and weather? Have you dressed up as though going out to dinner or spending time in snow, dirt, and potentially changing weather conditions? Feel free to skip putting on scents that distract from those naturally occurring in the forest and you’ll be able to enjoy the smells of juniper, ponderosa, and sage.
Listen to the Silent Trees
There are so many magical sounds to hear while you are outside. From unique birds to the whisper of the wind and the crunch of snow beneath your feet the opportunity to fully experience the outdoors includes listening.
Leave your personal speaker or stereo at home. If you do choose to listen to music do so with one headphone only. Not only will you be better able to hear the sounds of the next osprey or eagle that flies overhead, you will also be able to hear other people as they approach you.
Leave Only Footprints
As you travel take notice of the naturally occurring flora and fauna around you. Banana and orange trees do not grow in Tahoe. Plastic bottles and wrappings do not grow on any of our plants.
Help to decrease litter in the basin by not only carrying out what you have brought with you, but also by grabbing any trash you find while outdoors. In addition, leave the outdoors outside. Building cairns, taking pinecones, or gathering other items from the forest impacts the basin. Take only photos and leave nature in its place. Leave the place you visited just as it was before you arrived.
Not all parking areas have parking spaces delineated. When parking at a trailhead or in a backcountry access area take a moment to consider the shape, how other cars are parked and how your vehicle can fit while taking up the least amount of space.
It helps to check out the license plates. Look for a car with local plates and take note of how they parked. They may know some unspoken rule and following their example is likely a good choice. Remember to get out of your car cautiously when parking in outdoor access areas and be sure to keep your person, pets, and belongings out of the way of other vehicles. Be considerate and aware of your surroundings at all times. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to turn off the “beep” sound that your car alarm makes when you lock it up.
Share the Space
You are unlikely to be the only person exploring Tahoe’s outdoors. With every step you take, imagine that you are about to walk into a stranger’s home. After all, you aren’t in yours anymore.
While adventuring into this new territory remember that all of the animals and plants call it home. Not only are you likely the only animal in the area, you are probably not the only human. Allow others to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents.
Show your respect for the wilderness and it will show you it’s magic
We're always happy to share Bliss with you! Allow us to be your guides when you visit Tahoe. Our inside knowledge and connections will make your trip blissful.
Jenay Aiksnoras, Experience Curator