Sedona Yoga Festival & Zero Waste

Sedona Yoga Festival & Zero Waste

SEDONA YOGA FESTIVAL & ZERO WASTE

We are beyond excited to have you join us for the 7th year of the Sedona Yoga Festival amidst the majestic lands of Sedona, Arizona!

World-class presenters, workshops and artists are key elements in making this an unforgettable, life-changing experience. To keep the magic alive and deepen the positive impact on our community and our world, our commitment to ecological sustainability is at the core of the choices we make as festival organizers.

As attendees, we know you come here to be part of something amazing; with your help, we will continue creating a leading industry yoga conference that will change the way we celebrate life at the deepest level.

Why Zero Waste?

Our last post talked about the importance behind the Zero Waste movement. For us at SYF, we realize that our health is intrinsically linked to the health of the planet and all beings. We are blessed to join together for a weekend deepening our practices of wellness and mindfulness, and we believe that environmental stewardship is an essential way to give back to this place, this community and this precious life that gives us so much.

How is SYF going Zero Waste?

We’re honored and excited to be taking a lot of steps toward environmental stewardship this year. Here are a few of our major initiatives, including our fabulous partners and sponsors whose support and collaboration are instrumental in our success:
An essential part of Zero Waste is taking responsibility for the inevitable “waste” we produce. This year, we’ll be setting up Resource Recovery Stations where we’ll feature Compost, Recycling and Waste bins — the goal is to Recover as much material as possible, composting and recycling first, and sending as little as possible to the landfill.

Many thanks to Sedona Compost & Sedona Recycles for sharing resources, supplies and time with us toward these efforts.

Water is, of course, is an essential element of any event, especially one with so much emphasis on movement, sweat, replenishment and nourishment.  Providing our attendees with safe, healthful drinking water is high on our priority list, as is making sure that water comes without negative ecological impact.  We aim to keep SYF free of all plastic bottles, and encourage everyone to bring a vessel to refill at our hydration stations. We are proud to have beautiful, clean glass bottles from Sedona Bottling Company for filling and drinking on the festival grounds; for our On The Land excursions, we are grateful to be working with Proud Source Water to provide the highest quality water in recyclable aluminum bottles.

This year, with the help of Climate Yogi, we are providing guests the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets for their travels.  Learn more here.

We are blessed with a wonderful lineup of Conscious Vendors providing thoughtfully, ethically and regionally (wherever possible) sourced food, wares and gifts for guests.  We are working with them to eliminate waste and non-recyclable/compostable materials from the festival grounds. As you explore their offerings, we encourage you to be compassionately curious and learn the stories behind what you purchase.

Perhaps the most crucial element of all in successfully going Zero Waste are the People — You, our beloved Attendee, with your care and attention, make this all possible.

Whether you’re a seasoned attendee of yoga festivals, or if this is your inaugural year, deciding what to (and what not to) bring to a festival is rarely an easy task.

ZERO WASTE GUIDE

We’ve put together a Zero-Waste guide to help you pack your bag and prepare for your amazing journey;

Reusable Water Bottle

Hydration is a no-brainer at a Yoga festival in the desert!  Staying hydrated can be an act of love for ourselves and our earth when we choose to refill bottles made from non-toxic, up-cycled material.

Food Essentials

SYF boasts incredible festival cuisine, and we are proud to have vendors who are as excited as we are to create dining experiences that are not only delicious, but healthy for people and planet alike.  Though we request that all our vendors adhere to strict guidelines and use compostable and recyclable materials, imagine how clean our festival will be if each attendee brought the following items — talk about Zero Waste!

• Wide-Mouth Mason Jar

• Insulated Thermos for hot liquids

• Reusable Utensils

• Cloth Napkin // Bandana

•  Bamboo//Metal Straw

Personal Hygiene

The ritual of cleansing is a central aspect of our Yoga practice, and we certainly want to stay clean and healthy as we share time and space together.  We are thankful to have the support of Sedona Compost to provide an ecological solution for used paper towels, but again, we’ll practice R#2 — Reduce first, wherever possible.

• Washcloth

• Biodegradable Soap

• Recycled//Organic Toothbrush

• Ecologically sound Toothpaste

Tote Bag/Basket

For carrying your Zero Waste kit to and fro 🙂 

If you have any questions, ideas or tips, please reach out to our Zero Waste Coordinator, Jo.

With every choice we make, we are given the opportunity to make the world a better.  Thank you for joining us on the journey toward Zero Waste.

With gratitude,

Jo and the SYF Zero Waste Team

 Molly Jo

Molly Jo

SYF Zero Waste Coordinator

For over a decade, Molly Jo (Jo) has been committed personally, professionally and academically to cultivating a vibrant, sustainable existence for herself, her community, and the greater ecology to which we are all inextricably bound. She has been blessed to study, teach and grow alongside phenomenal teachers, healers and seekers among extraordinary landscapes and beings.

She began her journey as an Environmental Educator, connecting students of all ages to the wonders of our Earth through classroom and field instruction. She first learned the Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics as a Wilderness Trip Leader in the boreal forests near Lake Superior, and the principles have since guided her choices and actions as a citizen of the world, an educator, and an organizer. Over time, her relationship to the land grew, and she deepened her skills as a practitioner of Herbal Medicine, through which she became keenly aware of the universal application of LNT — The Honorable Harvest — in which, as humans and stewards of the planet, we not only are responsible for leaving the places we visit and inhabit better than we found them, we are also indebted to use our gifts and our gratitude to enrich all those whose lives we impact.

An avid individual practitioner of Zero Waste (ZW), Jo has actively promoted the growth of the ZW movement through event coordinating, volunteering and education since 2010. Currently engaged in Masters studies in Educating for Mindfulness and Sustainability, Jo is passionate about the intersection between Yoga and Ecological Stewardship. She is deeply excited and honored to bring her love and energy to Sedona Yoga Festival. She hopes to demystify Zero Waste, and bring a little more joy and ease to the practices of Ecological Stewardship and Sustainability with the help of a community on the path of mindfulness, gratitude and love.

2019: A Year Without Waste

2019: A Year Without Waste

2019: A Year Without Waste

As our year moves ever-onward, many of us carry with us our resolutions and goals to make this the best year yet. We at Sedona Yoga Festival are excited to share one of our many intentions for making this the best-ever SYF.

As Yogis, we are always seeking opportunities to live more intentionally, and to create a more balanced, peaceful and joyful existence for all. One important and effective strategy for doing so is by pledging to be a Zero Waste event.

In the coming weeks, we will share more information about what this means for us as a festival, and for you as an attendee, but we thought we’d start with the basics — In a world full of information at our fingertips, it can be easy to get lost or overwhelmed, so the following is intended to help you join us on our journey toward Zero Waste ::

WHAT IS ZERO WASTE?

The following definition comes from the Zero Waste International Alliance, which offers great information and resources,

“Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.”

Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.

Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”

That’s a lengthy definition, I know, so what does that mean for us?

 

WHY IS ZERO WASTE IMPORTANT?

For most of us, it’s simple to understand that creating less waste is a good thing.  But really understanding how much waste we currently produce — and the implications — can be difficult.  In most cases, waste has been designed to be out of sight, out of mind.

For anyone interested in learning more (in a short, highly effective, informative and entertaining format), I recommend checking out the videos and online resources at The Story of Stuff Project, particularly watching the documentary that started it all, The Story of Stuff.

BABY STEPS TO ZERO WASTE

Most of us recall the old adage, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” — and most of us know that recycling is important, but it’s more difficult to truly understand the time, energy and resources embedded in production and in the process of recycling. This is why ‘Recycle’ is the last of “five r’s” — and the final step in the Zero Waste model.

While consumers have much less power over producing waste and creating a Zero Waste society ultimately falls on producers, manufacturers, and lawmakers, each of us can take small steps to eliminate waste from our life by looking at our choices.

REFUSE

The most important (and initially most difficult) of the 5 R’s of Zero Waste is refusal.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with stuff! Mindfully choosing to accept what we actually need and refusing the unnecessary is the first step in breaking out of the cycle of waste. Refuse wasteful materials like styrofoam and single use plastics, and choose to support companies who are striving to make it easier for their customers to live a Zero Waste lifestyle – you’ll feel better; trust me!

REDUCE

This is a lot like Refuse, except that it takes into account the fact that it’s nearly impossible to live in our current society without buying things from time to time (if you’ve got that figured out, please tell me all your secrets and super powers!).  

We’re constantly being sold cheaply made items designed to wear out — and this is marketed as convenient.  Our planet and our wallets disagree, however.  

We have the power to save money AND our planet by making mindful decisions to buy items that are long-lasting, ethically produced, and free from unnecessary packaging.  Sometimes, it’s possible or better to borrow, rent or purchase used. In addition to reducing waste, we can reduce the clutter in our lives — a real win-win.

REUSE

Not to sound like a broken record, but Reusing is all about Mindfulness in our choices. This can be a difficult step, but Reusing has incredible monetary and emotional reward.  

This is the BYO step — use cloth napkins, reusable water bottles and coffee mugs, bags and containers for groceries (check out the wonderful  Shopping Guide from Litterless to find stores in your location where you can bring and refill your own containers). Look to mend and repair before purchasing new and look for products with lifetime warranties (check out Patagonia for inspiration from a company committed to Zero Waste).

ROT

The final R is Rot — which means compost! Close to 60% of material in landfills are composed of organic matter that, in an otherwise aerobic setting, could become soil. Have a garden? Why not make your own organic soil?! If you don’t have the ability to tend your own compost pile or worm bin, you can look into local compost programs, community gardens or farms that accept “donations”.  If you do compost, however, consider whether or not you can feed it to others first. The EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy is a great resource.

We know making the switch to Zero Waste is not all flowers and berries.  Initially, it can feel extremely difficult to make these changes, but know you’re not alone and the effort is absolutely worth it — plus, it gets much, much easier (and it feels amazing)!

We’re proud to share our own stories of successes and challenges with you at this year’s SYF; from carefully choosing conscious vendors; improving waste diversion throughout the event; partnering with activists and off-setting our carbon footprint with ClimateYogi; and offering plenty of education and resources to our community during our time together — as Yogis, we believe we have the ability to inspire others and lead the way toward a more harmonious existence.  Stay tuned for more updates and information on how you can get involved with Zero Waste at the Sedona Yoga Festival and beyond.

We are so delighted to have you join us on this journey; it’s the efforts of people like you that make this world a more wonderful place. Please share any questions, tips, or great resources.

With gratitude,

Jo and the SYF Zero Waste Team

 Molly Jo

Molly Jo

SYF Zero Waste Coordinator

For over a decade, Molly Jo (Jo) has been committed personally, professionally and academically to cultivating a vibrant, sustainable existence for herself, her community, and the greater ecology to which we are all inextricably bound. She has been blessed to study, teach and grow alongside phenomenal teachers, healers and seekers among extraordinary landscapes and beings.

She began her journey as an Environmental Educator, connecting students of all ages to the wonders of our Earth through classroom and field instruction. She first learned the Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics as a Wilderness Trip Leader in the boreal forests near Lake Superior, and the principles have since guided her choices and actions as a citizen of the world, an educator, and an organizer. Over time, her relationship to the land grew, and she deepened her skills as a practitioner of Herbal Medicine, through which she became keenly aware of the universal application of LNT — The Honorable Harvest — in which, as humans and stewards of the planet, we not only are responsible for leaving the places we visit and inhabit better than we found them, we are also indebted to use our gifts and our gratitude to enrich all those whose lives we impact.

An avid individual practitioner of Zero Waste (ZW), Jo has actively promoted the growth of the ZW movement through event coordinating, volunteering and education since 2010. Currently engaged in Masters studies in Educating for Mindfulness and Sustainability, Jo is passionate about the intersection between Yoga and Ecological Stewardship. She is deeply excited and honored to bring her love and energy to Sedona Yoga Festival. She hopes to demystify Zero Waste, and bring a little more joy and ease to the practices of Ecological Stewardship and Sustainability with the help of a community on the path of mindfulness, gratitude and love.

Every Soul Has a Journey. What’s Yours?

Every Soul Has a Journey. What’s Yours?

Every Soul Has a Journey. What’s Yours?

SoulJour is the result of a lifetime of seeking. It is the intersection of many worlds: yoga & meditation + outdoor mountain adventure + international travel + rock ‘n’ roll + design + sustainability.

Short for Soul Journey, pronounced Soldier, we are a holistic lifestyle brand built on the roots of yoga for the seeker, sage, and warrior. We are a force of empowerment: a source of transformational experiences and purposeful product. We believe in the collective journey to reveal our essence, activate our purpose, and always rock our Truth.

SoulJour is a mindset. It’s the courage it takes to look in the mirror and uncover the veil. It’s the focus it takes to scream down a mountain bike trail with a cliff on one side and poison oak on the other. It’s the freedom felt when the band kicks it into high gear and everyone tunes into the same frequency. SoulJours are edgy and disruptive – while always being mindful of the planet. We believe in leaving a mark, but also in leaving no trace.

Our sustainable accessories includes a Cork yoga mat made from premium cork and rubber – a game changer for anyone who has sweaty hands/feet, who lives in a warm climate, or who practices in a heated room. Our reusable 100% bamboo spork saves hundreds of plastic utensils from entering the landfill each year. Lastly, we have a luxuriously soft, one-piece cashmere hood perfect for sivasana, meditation, and is best when worn outside on a cold winter’s night. Made from the underbelly hair of Mongolian goats, no harm was done in making this awe go-to statement piece.

Our t-shirt offerings represent four storylines and make up our Essence Collection: Truth, Abundance, Strength, and Balance. For example, our Abundance tee depicts the 8-pointed star of Lakshmi representing all aspects of material and spiritual wealth. No matter what your situation is, there’s a graphic to remind you of your soul’s journey back hOMe – to remember your Self.

SoulJour on and Rock your Truth like you were born to do…

ClimateYogi: Awareness + Action

ClimateYogi: Awareness + Action

ClimateYogi: Awareness + Action

In the Bhagavad Gita, written long ago in a much different culture, the warrior Arjuna finds himself in a situation that he doesn’t want to be in, but cannot avoid. A great battle is about to begin, and is sure to result in great suffering. His friend and chariot driver Arjuna, who is an incarnation of God, reveals yoga to Arjuna, teaching him about the necessity to fulfill his purpose and to act to the best of his ability without being attached to the results.

As I considered the reality of climate change, Arjuna’s situation and the lessons of the Bhagavad Gita shone with new brilliance and clarity. I also find myself in a situation I would prefer not to be in but I cannot avoid. I am alive at this time when the impacts of human civilization on the environment are inescapable. The earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming, with a myriad of impacts around the globe. Climate change and its impacts will be the context for the rest of my life. I didn’t choose this situation, and I’d prefer not to have to face it, but, like Arjuna, there is no escape. How do the ancient teachings about yoga apply? How can yoga help?

Yoga can’t directly reduce global warming emissions, but yoga can change people. Yoga can open people up to their relationships and interconnectedness. Yoga can help people be more content with what they have and be more understanding and compassionate toward others. Yoga can help people see the consequences of their actions.  In these ways, yoga can change people’s priorities, change the way they see themselves in the world, and change their actions from ones that harm to ones that nurture. Yoga can create resilience in us as we stay engaged in this lifelong endeavor to deal with climate change.

ClimateYogi sits at the intersection of the inner-world practice of yoga and the outer-world reality of climate change.  Many people know yoga only as the postures, a practice of physical exercise, and I’m often asked, “What does yoga have to do with climate change?”

As a yoga teacher, I love to get this question, because it opens the door to discuss the full scope of yoga: the truth that our actions are important and we are responsible for their consequences; the ethical principles which include non-harming, truthfulness and non-greediness; the stages of meditation; and how the physical practice of postures and breathing support meditation and ethical living.

As a step in raising awareness and taking meaningful action on climate change, ClimateYogi has partnered with Cool Effect and the Sedona Yoga Festival to make it easy for you to offset the climate impact of your travel to Sedona.

SYF provides a link to cooleffect.org from the festival registration page. If you’ve already registered but would like to offset your travel now, go to:

www.cooleffect.org/content/news/sedona-yoga-festival

Galen Tromble

Galen Tromble

Founder | Climate Yogi

’ll be at SYF with information about ClimateYogi and cooleffect.org. I look forward to talking with you about your thoughts on yoga and climate change, and how the yoga community can help create a more life-nurturing and sustainable future.

www.climateyogi.org

Yoga for PTSD Training and Healing Village at SYF2019

Yoga for PTSD Training and Healing Village at SYF2019

Yoga for PTSD Training, a Trauma-Informed Yoga training for everyone

  • Are you or someone you know living with PTSD
  • Do you work or want to work with this population?
  • Are you interested in trauma-aware tools, techniques & practices with proven efficacy in managing PTSD?
  • Each year, the Sedona Yoga Festival hosts an annual Yoga for PTSD training.  Click here to learn more about it…  

Please share this page with someone who may benefit… 

  • PTSD is fast becoming a concern in the First Responder Community, yet how will this ‘can do against all odds’ culture adopt methods to address this emerging health and safety issue? Especially when those methods are often viewed as antithetical to the traditional community norms.  
  • Ancient Science and Technology (i.e Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, Meditation and other down-regulating practices) are fast becoming recognized by present-day medical science as key implementations needed to facilitate healing in the First Responder Community, as they have been adopted recently by the Military, Dept of Defense with tremendous success.
  • Sedona Yoga Festival serves as a bridge between the first responder community and the touchy-feely world of the metaphysical healing arts.  Made possible this year by SYF Founder and ex-Wildland Firefighter Marc Titus and Retired Phoenix PD and Unstoppable Healing Founder, Les Finkel, SYF Gives Back offers resources for First Responders to dip their toes into the healing waters of the sublime and nurturing world of Yoga and Meditation.

SYF GIVES BACK offering FREE Trauma and Stress Relief to Fire, Police and First Responders at inaugural Healing Village in addition to Yoga for PTSD training!

Firefighter Yogini, Essie Titus | Robert Sturman

March 14-17th, 2019 Sedona Yoga Festival unrolls the proverbial mat in Sedona for the 7th year running.  Held at the Red Rock High School and Sedona Performing Arts Center (SPAC), SYF2019 features world-class teachers and students alike presenting and soaking in the high vibes these practices are known for. Sedona, a powerful place, amplifies the experience. 200+ curated workshops, classes and experiences provide ample opportunity for the experienced yogi all the way to a complete beginner unfamiliar with downward dogs to experience Yoga. SYF is a platform that attracts thousands from near and far, an international conference recognized the world over. “SYF Gives Back is our way of supporting service, or Seva in yogic terms, and exists to do just that, be in service and since the start, this program has provided trauma-informed training to over 500 teachers, practitioners, service providers and trauma survivors. Focusing on service providers has amplified our effectiveness, “ says Festival Founder, Marc Titus, “We share proven efficacious tools, techniques and practices, that ameliorate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress. These folks return to their communities and begin helping those who suffer; by training 100’s we have helped thousands.”  This year Marc aims to train over 200 and will personally ask them to return to their communities to support the Local First Responder Community.

First Responders in this country are here to ‘protect and serve’, and consist of a wide range of professionals who when the call comes, drop everything to manage crisis, and bring order to chaos. As natural disasters and the like, continue to present greater and greater challenges for First Responders, the scope and emotional weight of the work required of them has become more intense than ever.  Serving the very communities affected by natural disasters, these brave men & women push their bodies and minds to the limit, sometimes in the face of their own familial tragedies unfolding.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

In times of catastrophic events, such as the extreme urban interface wildland fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods we have witnessed these past several years, these responses can last for weeks and months at a time.  In the daily battles to save lives and to protect many First Responders can lose the most precious thing a human being can lose. Their will to live. This doesn’t happen overnight, seemingly unforeseen and often long ignored, trauma builds and is stored in the body. Severe depression, PTSD and other high-stress symptoms stemming from chronic endurance environments are still not completely understood, nor properly addressed within the responder communities.

SYF Founder Marc Titus on Assignment circa 2005 | Mount Rainier NP

The solution is not always to run to a therapist who has never worn a bulletproof vest or nomex jacket for years on end. That’s why there is such a gap in treatment as well as a resistance in the community.  SYF wants to help raise awareness around and eventually overcome this bias as it takes its toll on personnel; people… just like you or me. Often they can be the last to know there is a problem lurking within.   “When I finally broke,” Marc shares gazing off into the distance, “I had no clue what was happening… I was completely, ya know, f’ed.  Suffice to say, I was unable to function. I was in a constant state of hyper-arousal and having flashbacks daily. It was ugly. Period. Dark, cold, nasty and alone. Mean and callous; cold and calculating. Did I say it sucked!”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING AT SYF2019!

Not only is SYF hosting its 6th official training, this year presented by the Mindful Yoga Therapy team from Newington, CT, they are creating a Healing Village that will provide a place for First Responders to explore and experience various healing modalities and educate First Responders by providing  an array of services, providers and educators in an mini- expo type setting for free. Healing sessions are also offered on a limited basis to First Responders at no charge. “SYF intends to ‘bridge the gap’ between the first responder community and an oft confusing world, known as yoga and meditation. We want to make it easy and safe to explore what scientists are now proving incredibly effective at combating the symptoms of PTSD, trauma and the stress of high performance work teams, “ says Festival Director Heather Titus, “by offering a trauma-informed track in the main festival program, we are sure to provide many opportunities to learn and experience the effects these practices provide. They’ve worked for us; we want others to benefit as we have.”

Marc Titus & Les Finkel on a motorcycle adventure

The 2019 Healing Village is the brain child of Marc and retired Phoenix Police IT System Specialist and Founder of Unstoppable Healing, Leslie Finkel, himself, offering healing sessions to First Responders.  With a bond they share in service, both have dedicated themselves to finding alternative solutions to their high-stress careers and are now bringing these healing technologies to their brothers and sisters in the trenches. “We know what it’s like. We’ve been there, healed and come back with the good news. You don’t have to suffer anymore.” Les says. “You wouldn’t walk around all day with a 50 pound dumbell strapped to your thigh, right? The stuff we’ve experienced becomes just that; these practices and techniques facilitate dropping the dumbell, and that feels real nice!” Nothing at all to be ashamed of they both share, in fact at times these practices can be challenging both physically and mentally, no different than other training regimes. “Yoga requires discipline,” says Heather, “So, with all the warrior poses and such, it’s actually an effective and approachable healing modality for First Responders.

SYF2019 provides a unique opportunity for area First Responders to ‘get away’ for the weekend or in the middle of a shift; the village will be open daily during festival hours and the training available to yoga teachers, practitioners, service providers, first responders and more.

Jane Tyska | Digital First Media | Getty Images

Leslie Finkel aka Unstoppable Healing is a proud sponsor of the Healing Village at SYF2019.

Equally passionate and devoted to this mission, Leslie Finkel has joined forces with Marc to launch the inaugural Healing Village at SYF2019 for the sole purpose of providing a fully honoring and dedicated healing space – for First Responders.

Whereas Marc is looking to create change on a larger organizational scale, Leslie specializes in compassionate, individualized hands-on healing, one person, one story, at a time.

During his 26-year law enforcement career, he saw first hand the hardships, sacrifices and suffering many police officers and firefighters endure from complex OTJ hardships, tragic accidents and events. He also saw how their psychological and physical wellbeing was overly stressed and detrimentally affected, often slowly disintegrating their families and relationships.

That’s why Leslie is a proud sponsor of the Healing Village at the SYF2019, making the support staff and village infrastructure possible. Beyond the event, he is a personal key supporter of Marc Titus and his team to make this a lasting and ongoing success. They both ride adventure touring motorcycles and when they tour together… the adventures are, well, unstoppable!  

Who is Leslie Finkel?

For 26 years, Leslie Finkel was in charge of managing mission-critical infrastructure/information technology systems for the City of Phoenix Police Department, the 5th largest city in America. He has now dedicated himself to helping people in their physical and emotional healing journeys.   Before Leslie became a full-time emphathic healer, he studied and trained in the ancient Tibetan healing modality of Chi Nei Tsang in addition to his full-time IT career at the Phoenix Police. He brings 35 years of direct experience in military, law enforcement and corporate worlds to the Healing Village.

What is Unstoppable Healing?

Leslie Finkel founded his healing business called Unstoppable Healing™ because of his belief that the human body always strives to come into a healthy and harmonious way of being. He uses an ancient healing science along with his empathy and intuition to help free people from their traumas, pains, and everyday stresses so they can thrive in their body and enjoy their life to the fullest.

“We are all team members in our community, so it’s imperative that we all help each other. Let us not leave anyone behind, First Responders and Veterans included!” – says Leslie Finkel, Founder of Unstoppable Healing

Keep calm and do some Yoga

Keep calm and do some Yoga

In a world of extremes, it is high time for a mindful time-out.

How Yoga & Meditation reduces stress in the body.

The current state of affairs in our country is such that the population is constantly bombarded with stress-inducing stimuli, from the harried morning commute to the evening news.  We very rarely, truly relax and it is taking its toll on families, communities, businesses… all relationships. Our lifestyles create tension in the body and without a conscious means of releasing that tension the body begins to falter; the mind and mental health can soon follow with anxiety and depression becoming the new norm. We find ourselves in the sympathetic nervous system, or fight/flight, the place where we can fight off the saber-toothed tiger or lift a car off a baby or run fast enough to catch our dinner.  Spend enough time here and things get worse, i.e. in the case of trauma survivors and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

How do we release this tension? How do we balance it out? We must relax, truly relax which means engage the parasympathetic nervous system; the body’s antidote to fight/flight and the reliever of tension. Relaxing isn’t easy in this day and age; it’s hard to take the break our body’s need so much, but we must or things will eventually break.

Practices that bring awareness to the moment, also known as mindfulness, such as yoga and meditation have now been proven by modern science to ameliorate the effects of stress and tension.  Science also shows that by controlling or shaping the breath, we can consciously engage the parasympathetic nervous system and down regulate at will.  For some this can be a game-changer, providing enormous relief from the anxiety an over reactive nervous system can produce.

Yoga and meditation provide an easy access point for those interested in, or needing to relax and down regulate.  Yoga primarily we see as physical postures, or asanas, shapes the body makes that are often linked together in a flow of movement.  Anybody can do them, especially when we use the breath as our guide, regulating and shaping our breathing patterns and timings to achieve the desired result of entering the parasympathetic nervous system.  Each posture ‘does something different’ for the body; different breathing patterns have the same phenomena!  So, one could design a asana class to support energizing the body, helpful in the case of depression, or down-regulate for anxiety.  Ideally, the practice leaves us in a balanced, or parasympathetic state, so that we can meditation

Here, too, we use the breath and when we combine breath awareness with a seated or supine meditation we are in true relaxation mode!  This is the ‘place’ we must go to truly relax and when we do, we receive the benefits in greater health and vitality, peace and tranquility.  Our lives get easier, the more we practice, not because things out there change, rather because we have conditioned our nervous systems to be less reactive and more resilient. We become more calm and peaceful; wouldn’t it be nice to provide calm and peace in your family’s and relationships, businesses and communities? We think it is… 

Learn more at the 2019 Sedona Yoga Festival, March 14-17, 2019 (sedonayogafestival.com) or try a class at Aumbase Sedona Yoga in West Sedona (AumbaseSedona.com).

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