Yoga for PTSD at Sedona Yoga Festival

Yoga for PTSD at Sedona Yoga Festival

Photo by Miguel Guzman at Sedona Yoga Festival’s “Yoga for PTSD”

By Erin Byron

I am pumped about the Yoga for PTSD track at Sedona Yoga Festival.

That may be a weird thing to say because, let’s face it, trauma/PTSD is a difficult subject.

The SYF approach to the topic makes the whole thing easier. Compassionate community, inspiration, and the range of ideas uplift you. It was fascinating for me to experience a deep sense of well-being while at the same time reflecting upon terrible things.

This is a rare kind of magic. The ability to move through darkness feeling calm and heartened is so healing. That’s the tone SYF sets. “It’s okay,” Marc told us during the Yoga for PTSD intros. And the opposite? “That’s okay, too.”

Photo by Miguel Guzman at the “Yoga for PTSD” track, at Sedona Yoga Festival

For those living with the frustrating and sometimes debilitating symptoms of trauma, the Yoga for PTSD track proves that we are not alone and gives us the chance to connect with friendly, like-minded others.

In so doing, there is a softening in our hearts. Somehow the atrocities we suffered or have been witness to spin a thread of connection between us. Connection is the key to healing trauma. Education, tools, and practices aside, SYF brings us this opportunity to rest in like-minded community

Yoga teachers, yoga therapists, and other service providers have the chance to build our toolbox, gaining new insights and techniques. The quality trauma education deepens our range and refinement in applying to the skills and practices we already use. The Yoga for Trauma track is a complete 20-hour certification offering a broad range of ways yoga benefits trauma survivors.

At the “Yoga for PTSD” track at Sedona Yoga Festival.

Want to develop resilience in a high-stress environment? A very special place is held for first responders, too. SYF Founder Marc Titus speaks openly of his experiences as a wildland firefighter and someone living with PTSD. Many first responders join the Yoga for PTSD track of the festival – some more than once!

It’s worth repeating attendance. The presentations change each year. Research on the impacts and best practices for PTSD is continually evolving. The attendees are continually evolving, too! Different people try it out each year while some people return again and again. Each Yoga for Trauma track is unique and rewarding.

Photo by Miguel Guzman, at the “Yoga for PTSD” track at Sedona Yoga Festival

Every year is different and we are different year-by-year, too. We gain new insight and learning more deeply each time we revisit the intention of healing trauma. For your own recovery and for those you love who are living with the aftermath of trauma, know that there are simple, concrete ways you can be part of the solution.

I am so looking forward to sharing ideas and receiving new perspectives at Sedona Yoga Festival’s Yoga for PTSD training this year!

About the Author: Erin Byron

Erin’s Master of Arts research studied the benefits of Yoga practices in coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome and the literary review of the study equipped her for helping people with a range of physical and mental health concerns.

Erin is grateful for the opportunity to support others on their personal growth paths.

Waking Matters

Waking Matters

by Denese Cavanaugh

Ever notice how pets stretch upon waking? And, remember when our basic instinct was to stretch – reaching for the sky with extended arms, along with a big yawn before getting out of bed? The natural instinct to stretch seems to take a turn as humans grow. Sleeping positions and stretching before getting out of bed should be a waking ritual. Natural waking instincts are ways the brain connects to the stiffness we feel from fascia laying dormant, when we sleep. 

Stretching in the morning is an organic way for the body to prepare the joints fluids and muscles to begin to move and fire up. The breath is helpful as well- a way to bring natural heat to the equation. A good night’s sleep mostly depends on conditions, such as the correct bed, and the sleeping positions. Side sleeping along with using lots of pillows under the head and shoulders, could misalign bones and muscles over time. Statistics remain high as back pain is linked to eighty percent of those who sleep improperly. Poor sleeping habits can change our posture, which invites pain. Taking a moment in the morning to return to the ritual of simply giving yourself a nice long stretch each morning, can go a long way. Take it from our four legged friends when waking, let it start with a big stretch before dashing out.

About the Author:
Take one class with Denese and you will see why she is going places and voted “BEST YOGA INSTRUCTOR 2014 & 2015” –Washington City Paper. Denese Cavanaugh ERYT500 has studied with master teachers since 1995, and has been teaching yoga since 1997. Denese teaches various yoga workshops in the US and abroad as well as weekly and monthly classes in the Washington, DC and NYC area. Her many teaching styles include Ashtanga Vinyasa Primary Series, Iyengar Alignment inspired, Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga, Restorative, Prenatal and Kids Yoga. Yoga has helped Denese uncover her most joyful, most authentic version of herself; her non-dogmatic approach inspires others to consciously reveal a new found balance, while having a blast on the mat. Large presentational venues from 500 to 3000 participants come easy for Denese, and she loves sharing with her community. She is humbled and grateful to her yoga teachers for sharing their unbounded insight and generosity, and is honored to also share that generous evolution with others. She currently offers restorative Retreats, Mala Flow 200hr RYT curriculum to teachers here and abroad, such as Milan, Italy and has taught in Goa, India.

Channelings by Amean Hameed

Channelings by Amean Hameed

Note: The following was edited from a recorded transcript of the beginning of channeling session. To read the complete, unedited transcripts, see the link below.

Everybody has the ability to connect with Divine energy on some level. Some people do it through clairsentience (the ability to feel energy or vibration or spirit.) Some people do it clairvoyantly which is the ability to see energy or vibration or spirit. And then some people do it as clairaudient which is the ability to hear energy or vibration or spirit—and that’s what I do.

I developed clairaudience over a ten or fifteen year period. But what I always say to people is, there’s nothing special about me. Anything I’m doing anybody could do; it’s just whether or not you want to put the time into practicing it because that’s what makes the difference. Concert pianists for example do this, because they’ve put a lot of time, intention and attention into learning that skill. Communication with spirit is no different.

Anyone can develop these skills who is willing to put in the time, energy, attention and intention into the process. So, that’s what I do. I hear spirit. When I’m doing a channeling session, sometimes I get actual words from the Ascended Masters; sometimes I get blocks of thought or concepts that I have to break into words—so sometimes there’s a little fumbling on my part trying to get the right word or the right phrase so that the correct meaning is conveyed, and it’s because they’ve given me a concept instead of exact words.

Whenever we do this we start by putting a field of protection around ourselves, and I’ll lead the group through this. We do that because we want to have the intention to communicate with the highest of energies.

When I was learning to channel many years ago, a dear friend of mine said to me (And it’s always stuck with me) “Just because someone is dead, doesn’t mean that they’re smart.”

If I’m talking to energies that are on the other side, I want to make sure I’m only speaking with the highest of energies, the ascended beings, rather than just anybody. So that’s why we put the circle of protection around ourselves and that’s why we’re very clear about the beings we want to communicate with because again we want ascended energies to communicate with us.



To start the session, what we do typically is open it up for whomever the beings are that join us —we open it up to them to speak. And then they generally talk for whatever it takes for them to deliver their message for the day, and then we open it up for the group for questions. Anybody is free to ask any questions that they want and I’ll do my best to get clear answers. And then if we have time—if questions are done and everyone’s feeling complete, if we have time we do a brief meditation where everyone goes into a short meditation and tries to connect with those energies for themselves. That’s how this session tends to work, and then we go from there, so I would invite everyone to get very comfortable. I would invite you to either—whatever is comfortable for you—sitting up, lying down, whatever feels best. And just taking a few deep breathes. A deep inhale and with each inhale we’re affirming that we’re breathing in Divine energy. And a deep exhale and with each exhale we’re affirming that we’re releasing any energy that we don’t need— any stress, any tension, anything that has been burdening us. We intentionally release it with each exhale. Once again, deep inhale, and again, a deep exhale. As we relax and as we open ourselves to Divine energies, we try and recall a time in our lives when we felt love, when we felt peaceful and loving, when we felt totally one with nature, with our surroundings, with other humans, with all of the world, when we felt complete and at peace, when we felt this oneness. Perhaps it was when we were walking in the rain, when we were watching a sunset, when we were holding a child or enjoying a pet, whatever it is we call to ourselves to our hearts, to our minds, that feeling of peace and love. And we use that feeling of peace and love now as our connecting point with Divine. We repeat our favorite prayer three times.

To see the rest of this transcript visit:

Are You Feeling Disconnected or Uninspired? Tap into a natural source of energy to increase your vitality and aliveness

Are You Feeling Disconnected or Uninspired? Tap into a natural source of energy to increase your vitality and aliveness

Are You Feeling Disconnected or Uninspired?

Tap into a natural source of energy to increase your vitality and aliveness.

By Amalia Camateros

After the myriad of programs, processes, workshops and trainings that I have taken throughout the years, I have come to realize that keeping it real and simple is what works best for myself and my clients.  Whittling down the complexity and taking a look at what simply works!

In the busyness of the daily grind, we have become stuck in the entanglements of our mind and forgotten to observe the pure and natural way of being. To let go and drop our tension and let it rest in peace in the soil of the Earth.

Just like a seed that needs to be planted in the ground, in order to begin its journey towards the sky. We too, need to drop in and down from the craze of our mind, into something deeper, sustainable and reliable.  Into our bodies and into the Earth, before we reach our goals in greatest standing.
Earth is a powerpoint that we can tap into freely, not through drilling, plundering and exploiting, but by CONNECTING IN. Mother Earth is the source of simple, pure and natural energy, providing as mothers do, the provision of food, medicine, love and spiritual sustenance. We need to connect into this powerpoint, not to survive but to thrive!

Think of an appliance on the kitchen bench, it sits there ready to be used but unless it is plugged into the powerpoint, it cannot be activated, or used for what it’s function was designed to do….The same applies to us, unless we are plugged into the powerpoint of the Earth, we are not fully activated and connected to the fullness of our greatest purpose and potential.

In keeping it simple, a tree plunges its roots deep into the ground, stabilizes itself and draws nourishment from the abundant life force energy of Mother Earth. It then pulls this energy all the way up to the tops of its branches. We are like human trees, we have roots and branches too!  Our roots flow down our legs to connect to the Earth and our arms reach up towards the heavens.

Photo By: Dexx Negron
As we drop in and down from our heads and plant our roots into the ground like a tree, we too become strong, secure and stable.
A tree with deep roots can withstand strong winds, and gales and remains upright after a storm. As we too root ourselves into something greater than our own busy minds and into something grounded, stable and secure as the Earth, we too can deal with the spin and craziness of the world around us and remain centered, grounded and present.

Being centered, we stand between Earth and of Sky, so that we can invite the light of Spirit Force and of the Cosmos in through our branches, through our trunks and into each step along our path. We can also center ourselves between the dualities of our mind, from the tug of war between the right and the wrong, the good and the bad and all opposites that exist within us.

In our groundedness we can connect with our greater body, with that of Mother Earth and draw from a source of energy that is sustainable and secure so that we remain upright in any given situation.

By being present we become watchful and able to fully respond to life’s demands and experiences. To know where we stand in order to know where we are going, so that we can connect more with our true soul’s purpose.

In the simple truth as Mother Nature intends, let us put our roots down, our branches up high and stand, centered, grounded and present as a tree.

“For the Deeper the Roots, the Grander the Flowering!”

Amalia Camateros

Amalia Camateros

Amalia Camateros, author of Spirit of the Stones, is a Ceremonialist, International Teacher & Speaker, Shamanic Practitioner and Personal Empowerment and Transformational guide, who inspires us to get embodied and centered within our beings and to reconnect with the Earth as a sacred temple of Living Spirit. She is a Naturopathic Doctor (Aust.), who has worked in the field of health and consciousness for over 26 years and was the private health practitioner for the famous Australian rodk band “INXS” for over 6 years. She has garnered a notable reputation as a powerful facilitator of her EarthSpirit Dance™ shamanic dance workshops and Co-Creator of Ecstatic Dance Sedona.
Along with her own healing practice called Earth Spirit Wisdom Healing, she also is a counselor at Sanctuary of Sedona- A Shamanic Based Addiction Recovery Retreat Center.
A service of her mastery is to get you back on track, reawaken your Spirit and embody the wisdom of the Earth into your full potential of self.

The Sister Wound and the Feminine Rising

The Sister Wound and the Feminine Rising

Hello Universe, I want to share with you some circle wisdom that I have gained over the years by looking at some shadow traits of the Divine Feminine.
We cannot truly experience the Light without illuminating the Dark and Healing it.

Lets journey into our own mysteries together with compassion and love.

Feel into these 3 shadow traits of the Feminine…
Insecurity, Jealousy, and Judgment.
Very low vibrational words.
Try saying them to yourself out loud:

Lets look at each word as an individual energy or vibration.

How does insecurity feel and look like in your human experience? When you are around other women do you feel anxiety about Self and lack confidence? Do you feel OUT of your Power and threatened by others? Are you frequently comparing yourself to other women in your mind? Have you suffered past trauma in your female relationships that have wounded you? Friends, bullying, betrayel? Or are you empowered when surrounded by groups of women and lifted up?
The energy and vibration of insecurity is so low and literally at a snails pace. It’s heavy and a total illusion. At your core you are Divine Power, Stable, Wise and Rooted. Trust it.

Judgment. How does Judgment make you feel, inside? Pause, close your eyes and feel the word. Have you felt judged by someone else before? Maybe as a Mother, Lover, Wife or Friend.
Have you felt pressured as to what is acceptable behavior as a woman and what is not? The Good Girl syndrome? Have you too judged other women for being a certain way? A lot of these karmic imprints have been part of the collective feminine for centuries going back to the times of early American civilizations such as the Puritans and the Salem Witch Trials. When women were very much expected to be a certain way, silent, submissive and controllable. There is no room for judgment between women now. It is major block and totally unnecessary. We are all unique and magnificent and never to be duplicated. With openness, honor and love we cultivate Self Acceptance and Acceptance of others.

Jealousy. Such a powerful and intense emotion; feel it.
Think of a time when you felt jealous over another woman.
What comes up for you?
To me I feel anger, lack, and “I’m not enough”.
It feels painful and also highly reactive.
During the birth of patriarchy (our masculine dominated society), women were forced into domestication (house wife-isation) and became isolated from true sisterhood and connection. They spent more and more time indoors and disconnected from of the flow of nature.
In ancient cultures women raised their kids together, they created together and they healed together. And most forms of worship were outside.
They valued each other and the wellness of their community. They were in touch with their gifts and earthly powers. There was no room for jealousy because they were literally breastfeeding each other’s children.

Jealousy leads to loss of Power and no one gains. It’s an extremely low vibration that can throw you off and destabilize a community. Is there past trauma and drama lurking in your field that allows for this vibration? Blocking you from a tribe of sisters that could be elevating your Human Existence? The time is now to reconnect to your own Divinity; that creative force that links all women as One with Earth. Jealousy is a block to reclaiming this ancient power that is our birthright.

These 3 words Insecurity, Judgment and Jealousy are 3 big shadow traits of the Feminine and are some of the most common themes that get triggered when women gather.
They are representations of the Sister Wound that we all have. And this cultural wounding is blocking us from reaching our maximum potential as women. Instead of collaborating and creating a better world for Humanity like our ancestors did, we compete, compare, judge and separate from each other. These shadow traits are weighing down the collective feminine and if we are to Rise we need to prioritize healing the Sister Wound now.

What can we do to shift the consciousness and heal the Sister Wound so the Feminine can Rise?

Use the holy mirror! When you feel your Sister Wound being triggered (ie. The shadow traits above or otherwise are surfacing when around other women), ask yourself
“what is that, that I’m feeling right now”? Get clear about the emotion.
“where am I feeling it in my body?”
“when was the first time I ever felt this way?”
“and what do you have to teach me?”
This is shadow tracking. Its shamanic and one of the truest ways to heal that I know of that negates spiritual bypassing (using spiritual practices to avoid painful wounds “I’ll just go to yoga and I’ll feel better”).

You have to go into the wound. And remember that all of our relationships are tools to make us conscious, not happy. So shadow tracking applies to triggers and wounding related to romantic partners as well.
When our wounds get triggered, the person triggering them has been contracted by your Soul to re-open that wound so you can track it back to the very first time you felt it….

When you remember the initial wounding, forgive those involved and release them. You can do this through meditation, journaling or ritual. Be sure to ask your Soul what the wisdom is after you complete your healing. This is the alchemy or the Gold you retrieve from doing the actual work of going into wound instead of avoiding it. You will definitely learn something about yourself and how to show up in the world more openly.

Your tribe of women is waiting for you. They are ready to elevate your consciousness and lift you up to that unstoppable force within that is your Truth! By establishing sisterhood you gain a steady flow of power, support, strength, wisdom, trust, love and stability. You become more connected to the Light traits of the Divine Feminine: grace, elegance, pure love, playfulness, whole, complete and connected to nature. Intuitive, creative, sexual and fulfilled with Life!

The mission of the Goddess House is to provide a safe, sacred space for women during the Rising Feminine. A space where women heal themselves, those they love and then the world!

Join the Goddess Revolution today!

 The Goddess Embodied, Weekend Retreat for Women.

Joshua Tree, Ca. April 20th-22nd.

The Yogini Priestess Path
In Person: April 15th-July 8th
Online: May 15th-August 9th

Massive Love to All,
Nicole Ballantyne
The Matron
The Goddess House of Yoga

 Nicole Ballantyne is creating a powerful culture for Women to Rise up and Heal. Through unique retreat opportunities and Goddess based teachings and workshops students can expect to leave her events as changed Humans. More Connected, Aware and in Love with life. Students gain Empowerment and Clarity about who they are and where they are headed.
Nicole is the Matron and Creator of the Goddess House of Yoga. The Goddess House is an old world concept flowing through her similar to the ancient House of Maidens in Arthurian Times. A Sacred House where women were initiated and trained as Priestesses. Nicole lives in the Goddess House (in central Phoenix) with her fluffy German Shepherd, Sierra Nevada and her black kitten Midnight. As Matron she runs Ritual Sisters, a Sacred Women’s Circle, that provides Support and Sisterhood for women who are ready to Release, Heal and Rise above the drama and trauma of the past to find a new way of living fully.
Nicole also created the Yogini-Priestess Path, a Triple Moon Intensive, to help all women understand and embody the Divine Feminine. Through the YPP program, women can expect to gain the tools necessary to create a Higher State of Being. A Yogini-Priestess knows and flows with all 8 phases of the Moon, the Cosmos and the Seasons. She is the Maiden, Mother, Wise Woman in One. The Holy Trinity of the Divine Feminine. Both Saintly and Sexual.
Part of Nicole’s mission is to activate other Leaders, and YPP students can expect to be ready to lead their own chapter of Ritual Sisters if they’ll called to upon completion of the 3 month program. In 2020, She is planning to unite the different chapters/circles of Ritual Sisters forming a Goddess Festival and Celebration of the Rising Feminine.
Nicole resigned from being a registered nurse 3 years ago to dedicate her time and energy to her Soul Purpose of healing the world through yoga, spirituality and the Rising Feminine. She has taken a personal oath as a protector of women and nature and bares this oath as a bow and arrow tattooed on her Heart. She is the Mother of 2 astonishing daughters. That are so Amazing and Wise. Tatum 20yo and Alana 18.
In her spare time she likes to hike and adventure in nature. Camp and backpack with her friends. She practices Vinyasa Yoga 6 days a week and loves to be upside down. She likes to drum, dance, chant and sing. And most of all be silly.
She is here to remind women of their unlimited Potential and the Power that is formed through community and sisterhood.

The Spirit of Yoga in Sedona

The Spirit of Yoga in Sedona

The Show Must Go On…

Many of you were present for the Opening Ceremonies and may or may not have known the the House Film Screening equipment failed that night (we hear it was all the high energy causing equipment to blow all weekend!). Many of the speakers had to wing it without their planned presentation slides AND we were excited to show you “The Spirit of Yoga in Sedona” a beautiful creation by Wari Om produced with support from the Sedona Yoga Festival and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce.

If you’ve never seen this movie before, stop what you’re doing and treat yourself to soemthing of beauty. And if you have seen it, it’s worth another watch!

Here it is now, please enjoy!



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