An Enlightening Experience At The Sedona Yoga Festival!
“Age means nothing, just wake up every morning look at the sun and say today is going to be a beautiful day, and it will be!” - Tao Porchon-Lynch
By Jennifer Goodman
I was blessed to attend The Sedona Yoga Festival this year! It's the 7th year for this festival which is put together by the amazing husband and wife team of Marc Titus and Heather Shereé Titus. This beautiful team also co-founded Aumbase Yoga and are very dedicated to helping raise the consciousness and awareness in Sedona and beyond. It was so refreshing to see that SYF was a zero-waste event, due their passion for the environment.
I have to say, I was blown away! I loved that everyone was a part of this festival, including the organizers, presenters, sponsors, production team, attendees, and the team that helped with everything else behind the scenes. It really made this festival a special experience. Then there was the magic of Sedona. Sedona, "rich in energy vortexes, has long been known for its magnifying, regenerative powers- making it the ideal place to come together in large groups and create a concentration of energy that will resonate far beyond Sedona, and long after.” I had been to Sedona one time before about 15 years ago and remembered it was a special place, but this visit and experience was another level. I fully felt this energy and a shift within me that I am still feeling weeks later back in the city life of Chicago.
The daily schedule was packed morning until evening with over 200 classes, workshops, and special events offered throughout the weekend including sound healing, kirtan, wisdom talks, in-depth immersions with master teachers, and a full-time kids yoga program. Utilizing the magic of Sedona, there were over 50 sessions offered on the sacred land- permitted by the National Forest Service, with hikes to the red rocks and vortexes to experience meditation, sound healing, and kundalini yoga within this rich energy. This year SYF also offered an optional integrated 20-hour training for Yoga teachers “Traumatic Stress: Resiliency and Healing with Yoga,” designed to provide teachers with the skills to share yoga with first responders, Veterans, trauma survivors, and those affected by PTSD. This 20-hour track was integrated into the SYF experience with full access to the conference outside of the intensive.
Another additional training within SYF, which I was grateful to be a part of, was an “Intro to Kirtan Training” with Mike Cohen. Mike Cohen resides in Boulder, Colorado and is dedicated to sharing bhakti yoga and kirtan with as many as he can to help open hearts and connect through love. Mike provided a harmonium to each student and took us step by step through how to play and chant for our desired purpose, whether it be for our home practice, for classes, or in leading our own kirtan someday! It was a beautiful and magical experience for all who attended.
Another special presenter and highlight for me was Tao Porchon-Lynch, famous for being the oldest living yoga teacher at 100 years of age! I had heard of Tao before but didn’t know the whole story behind this amazing and inspiring woman and icon. I found out that Tao marched with Ghandi, studied with master teachers & gurus in India, was an actress with MGM studios, a model in France, and a competitive ballroom dancer. Tao is in The Guinness Book of World Records twice! Tao taught a couple of master classes and took the stage alongside famous yogi photographer Robert Sturman for a “fireside chat.” My favorite words from Tao were “Age means nothing, just wake up every morning look at the sun and say today is going to be a beautiful day, and it will be!” And “Don’t procrastinate, believe in what you want to do and do it now!”
Some of the other highlights for me: kirtan with The Band of Now , a soulful journey yoga class led by Marti Nikko with soundscape by DJ Drez, an energizing kundalini practice with Shakti Naam, a soothing yoga nidra & sound healing with Alissa Kepas, a beautiful sunset yoga class with Dana Damara, and a clearing & connecting pranayama practice with Michael Brian Baker.
And lastly, I can’t forget to mention the conscious vendors from all over the country sharing beautiful, soulful products, services, and food.
I am still riding the high vibes & rejuvenation from the Sedona Yoga Festival and can’t wait to experience this again next year. If only there were another one sooner! To learn more about the Sedona Yoga Festival visit: sedonayogafestival.com.