Sedona Yoga Festival (SYF) has been a beacon for the collective yoga community since 2012, facilitating connection between practitioners and their deepest potential. As the team behind the magic prepares to come together for 2022 to “Give It Up For Grace,” they’re taking time to reimagine what space can be held for the community.
“Sedona Yoga Festival has a heritage of innovation rooted in community for the purpose of collective transformation and the evolution of consciousness,” says Reggie Hubbard, director of programming. “This heritage, in combination with the natural beauty and powerful energetics associated with the land in and around Sedona, offer a robust synergy that yields healing shifts in mind and body to allow spirit to be more present.”
For those seeking nourishment to address the wounds of a tumultuous past few years, SYF is committed to spark joy through the sharing of yoga’s wisdom and healing. Taking place June 2-5, in the heart of Arizona, this year’s festival is one not to miss.
When deciding on this year’s theme, festival producer Heather Shereé came across the phrase “double down on grace” while contemplating the extraordinary divisiveness the collective has been experiencing culturally as of late.
“As I began to explore the theme for SYF2022, I felt strongly that we must address the grief we are collectively experiencing. We must emphasize gratitude, and most importantly we must truly learn to embody grace. To do that requires a certain level of surrender. Of letting go. Giving up, so that one may give it up for,” Shereé says. “So, while ‘double-down’ spoke to the need for action, ‘give it up for’ speaks more clearly to the need to let go, to trust, to simply BE. And it also succeeds in bringing just the right touch of celebration of others to the entirety of the theme.”
This year’s lineup of impressive presenters all had a different take on what “grace” means them. To Lisette Cheresson, the director of communications, grace is the practice of ishvara pranidhana, of letting go.
“Giving it up for grace is not only an acceptance of what has happened but creating a way through it — a recognition that from the darkest night there is light; that even our most difficult challenges yield an opportunity for learning and healing,” Cheresson shares. “There is joy in recognition of that. As we come back together in purposeful community, we’re leaning into the joy of being in each other’s presence, the possibility of co-creation.”
As we come back together in purposeful community, we’re leaning into the joy of being in each other’s presence, the possibility of co-creation.
SYF features three days of energetic transformation through yoga and meditation, music and kirtan, off campus excursions in nature and more. Each offering is a careful curation of a broad spectrum of voices and perspectives to share what grace means for them. In addition to this, the festival is taking a stand for rest, communal healing and compassion as the community emerges from a challenging season, hopefully setting the foundation for new norms rooted in nurturing the collective well-being.
Each day begins with a communal meditation followed by a light asana offering. From there, the options are endless. One of the unique offerings this year is a trauma informed yoga teacher training that will equip teachers and practitioners with tools to serve themselves and their communities with increased awareness and compassion. The festival will also feature conversations about offering yogic practice with an eye toward more accessibility, expanding the notions of studentship beyond ableist, heterogenous, monochromatic norms.
“There will be chair yoga classes. We will be hosting conversations on teaching to incarcerated populations. We will learn how to hold space for queer and trans communities with our presence and our language. And we will also talk openly about how we can keep expanding ways to incorporate all types of diversity in the ranks of teachers and thought leadership,” Hubbard explains.
Wherever the day takes attendees, every evening will close with a sunset Satsang where presenters will discuss what “Give It Up For Grace” means to them followed by a devotional singing and other music.
“People can expect to walk away with a tender heart, expanded awareness of our common humanity, a refreshed mind/body/spirit and connections with other humans from this tenderness after a season of forced separation and isolation,” Hubbard says.
SYF is for everyone at all levels of experience. Yoga is so much more than asana, and SYF reflects that. The team asks attendees simply to come with an open heart and open mind, ready to be nourished and take the transformation, inspiration and grace experienced back to their own communities.
Learn more at sedonayogafestival.com.
Photo by Danielle Holman.
Paid partnership with YOGA + Life.