Once a year yoginis and yogis yoke in the red rocks for the Sedona Yoga Festival hosted by Aumbase and sponsors. Besides just soaking up the healing ambience of our beloved environment, these yogis mean business. Whether its in downward dog or on the dance floor (or downward dog on the dance floor), their hearts fully express out into the many amazing moments that make up this festival.
I was lucky enough to receive an all access media pass that got me backstage, on stage, behind the scenes, VIP access. And I decided to make the most of it…
What I love about festival work is that though there is a bit of a schedule and structure to the whole thing, the real magic happens with the total let go drop flow of the heart-rooted faithful falling into pure excitement and bliss. With so many amazing classes and offerings ranging from Yoga for PTSD to Defense Against the Dark Arts to Kirtan to YOUR MONKEY MIND CAN BE A UNICORN, the mind can’t possibly be made up, so I just followed my heart.
Tea Time w/ Tashi
My Kunlun brother Tashi Lam hosted a Gong Fu style tea ceremony to kick off my festival experience. Chinese style tea service differs from Japanese in that the Chinese Gong Fu style is much less formal. Talking, laughing and conversation is actually encouraged. Tashi said “it’s like a fish market!”.
What started as a quiet and reserved crowd soon turned into a lively bunch with the help of Tashi’s charisma and his super deluxe premium teas straight from his family’s village in China. Tashi took us on a journey and showed us how to use tea and tea ceremony as a means of opening up all our chakras and energy centers, appreciating the subtle flavors and energies of this truly special plant.
By the end of the session, we were so “tea drunk”, “tea happy” the world was spinning with joy and delight! Okay, so I was the only one who actually spun around, but I could tell everyone was having a good time.
Acro Faith Flow
With a strong tea buzz I went to go see what was happening outside and I stumbled upon an acro yoga class hosted by Glenn Farley. Besides reminding me of my days as a champion acrobatic gymnast (it’s really easy to be champion when you are the only one in your age group ;) ), acro yoga is a great test of faith and trust. In order to have fun with it, you have to leave the fear behind and totally trust yourself and your partner.
The teachers of this class used a fun game to practice this kind of faith where you walk blindly through the circle and trust your circlemates to guide you on your path.
It’s funny how the macho-ist of humans can be extremely timidified by the simple act of moving with eyes closed. To walk confidently and boldly with no idea of where you are going or where you might end up is truly what yoga is all about. A deep knowing that the universe will take care of you and guide you as you let go of control. When you close your eyes, you must trust your feeling. An immediate drop from the head to the heart.
In addition to the amazing classes, there’s also plenty of amazing vendors advocating for their heart’s creation.
I connected with fellow lover of bodily freedom Steve Stix and his innovative self-massage tool called the Body Lever.
It uses mechanical leverage to address muscular and fascial tension in a whole new way that other self massage tools I have played with cannot. His tool brings self massage to a whole new lever.
I am very particular with my material stuff and I didn’t know if I would be leaving the festival with this new tool. Steve let me play with them all weekend and when I felt the immediate effects of my calves opening up and my feet feeling lighter like they never have, I was sold.
I decided to lev myself up and support my new friend. I am excited to keep playing with my new toy at home.
The highlight of my whole weekend was the late night dance party featuring DJ Drez. By day, Drez is comfortable hosting kirtans, chanting in sanskrit playing soft music about love and oneness. At night we see another side with a bit more volume and bass.
Some people may think that yoga is all about relaxation and calmness, but yoga means “union”. It is inclusive of all life has to offer, even and especially so the peaks of excitement like all the yoginis and yogis created during the dance party.
I left my fears, my reservations and my camera at the door, so I don’t have any pictures of the wildness in action. The first time I’ve been to a party where yoga postures were a regular appearance in the dance battles.
I was deeply inspired by the amount of heart that these yogis and yoginis brought in. Not only incredible energy and creativity with the dance moves, but also the love of the yogini who brings a pitcher of water and several cups to the dance floor to make sure everyone stays hydrated and taken care of.
My heart was pumping with the beat and I used the space to play out to the max. Dancing is my new favorite spiritual practice.
The experience of the 2019 Sedona Yoga Festival opened my heart and provided beautiful space for me to express myself fully and completely. I met amazing people, ate yummy food, received deep healing, and expanding my capacity for excitement and joy.
And there was so much more there available for everyone from different backgrounds. People all throughout the festival were able to find their unique vortex within this magical event.
I am so grateful I got to be a part of it, I had such a blast! And if you’re reading this and we met at the event, please reach out so we can stay connected!
I’m still basking in the toroidal love vortex field we created at the Sedona Yoga Festival, and you know I’ll be ready to bring the higher octave of that energy to next year’s!
I hope to see you there :)