I kicked off 2016 with a truly special getaway to Sedona, Arizona. I began to hear stories of Sedona’s magic from a warm, intellectually curious, incredibly positive group of yogis during my teacher training this past fall at Santa Monica Power Yoga. All descriptions of Sedona alluded to a powerfully spiritual place of immense natural beauty. Knowing this sacred city was ideal for deep relaxation and renewal, there was no better place to go to set my New Year intentions.
The high desert town of Sedona is regarded as a geological wonderland. It is well known for its breathtaking red rock formations and rich Native American history. The healing energy of the town is highly palpable with a deeply calming metaphysical energy radiating throughout. Each hour of the day casts the multi-hued rock formations in a different beautiful light, creating a surreal environment of natural beauty.
Beyond the magnificent towering spires, jagged cliffs, and smooth red-rock mesas, Sedona is home to a number of natural energy vortexes. These sites are swirling centers of subtle energy that emanate out from the earth’s plane. Many people, including the Native Americans who deemed Sedona a sacred place, believe that the powerful energy of vortexes compound spiritual development and growth. A multitude of sacred sites throughout the world are said to be home to energy vortexes including the Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt.
Through the recommendation of a friend, we landed the services of Sedona-local, Larry Sprague. Serving as our guide, Larry directed us to the major vortex sites, including Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon, and Cathedral Rock. With his profound appreciation of the natural wonders of Sedona serving as the foundation of our time together, he led us through the ancient Native American Medicine Wheel ceremony. Deeply rooted in a sacred connection to Mother Earth, the Medicine Wheel is a symbolic representation of the four elements of Nature and seasons of the year, signifying the cyclical nature of life.
Situated walking distance from our lovely bed and breakfast, the Bell Rock trail was my favorite place in Sedona. The trail begins relatively gentle and flat with sweeping views of the church-bell shaped rock formation. Wildflowers and colorful bursts of greenery scatter the pathway leading up to a small plateau at the base of Bell Rock. The tremendously powerful energy at Bell Rock was unlike any sensation I have experienced in nature. Site to a strong energy vortex as evidenced by the twisted juniper trees, I felt an incredibly deep sense of calm wash over me as I sat upon the smooth, cold rocks, soaking up the magnificent elegance of Mother Nature.
The companionship of a kindred yogi only managed to elevate the experience of this spiritual retreat to Sedona. Enjoying moments of deep relaxation, meditative walks through snowy canyons, and an onslaught of fresh-baked cookies from our bed and breakfast hosts, we left Sedona with a renewed sense of appreciation and deep gratitude.
One of the questions I wished to answer following this trip was whether Sedona lived up to all of the New Age hype and mysticism. Were the energy vortexes real, and on what basis did Native Americans choose to revere this site as a deeply sacred spot? Ultimately, those questions can only be answered with the guidance of our own personal truths and convictions. However, in its awe-inspiring beauty, Sedona revealed to me the undeniable life force inherent in nature. My lasting impression of Sedona is best described by New York Times journalist, Dwight Garner- “Nowhere else in this country does a natural setting feel so much like the inside of a soaring pantheistic cathedral.”