People of all ages and interests have embedded yoga in their daily lives. And it’s more than simple stretching and breathing. It’s a tool to calm, to resolve issues, to tune to the physical self and a conduit to connect with surroundings.
In Sedona, Arizona, yoga enthusiasts gather every year at the Sedona Yoga Festival to share their practice. Instructor Alexia Martin of Ormond Beach, Florida, who came to share at the festival, says yoga is magic.
“What isn’t magical about yoga?” she said. “Yoga has the magical ability to bring you into the present moment. It’s about the art of paying attention. Appreciating who you are this moment.”
In the surrounding desert, Yogi Blair of Vortex Yoga Hiking in Sedona, leads his students to what are called energy vortices, alleged epicenters of moving energy. There, he blends yoga and Qi Gong, an ancient martial art. He says with a little help from the iron oxide in the sandstone, the planet unleashes its energy, and if you try, you can pick it up.
“I feel like Sedona in the pace on the planet where Mother Earth speaks,” he said. “Its more than words can say.” He calls it a thought-perception amplifier.
Other instructors may have some words, and take a different approach.
“I’ve been known to drop the F-bomb in my class,” said yoga instructor Heather Hooten from Durango, Colorado. “It’s sometimes not expected by those who have never been to my class before.”
Hooten has been practicing for 15 years, and she likes to have fun with it.
“I don’t take myself too seriously and I don’t take anybody else’s practice too seriously,” she said. “So I think in that way I have a presence that allows people to come in wherever they are in the spectrum in their practice and feel comfortable and able.”
Hooten also says yoga is different for everyone.
“I think yoga means something different to every single individual who practices, so if you ask a thousand people what yoga means to them, you’ll get thousand different answers and I think that’s the way it should be.”
From the energy epicenters of the universe to the comfort of your own home, yoga and its magic, its presence and its fun is just for you.