What is a Vortex?

The Sedona Vortex Experience

What is a Vortex?

The Sedona Vortex Experience

Legend says that Sedona is one of the “power spots” of the world, and that its red rock country is a vortex of energy. Indians tell us “the towering crimson peaks stimulate sensitivity and are the home of the Great Spirit.” Amid red rock country, people come face to face with themselves and the potentials of their nature. Author Dick Sutphen says psychic energy in Sedona is “greater than anywhere else in the country,” and the increased energy rapidly expands higher consciousness.

In the 1970’s, a woman named Page Bryant located several major electromagnetic fields of energy in the Sedona area: in Boynton Canyon close to the ancient ruins of Palatki; on the north side of Bell Rock; at Cathedral Rock and Airport Mesa. There are said to be additional vortexes on Schnebly Hill and Chapel Road close to the Chapel of the Holy Cross as well as in many other areas. Some say that the whole of Sedona is one giant vortex or swirl of powerful energy.

Similar energy centers have been cited in Stonehenge, England, Machu Picchu, Peru, and the Great Pyramids of Egypt.  From as early as 1936, there have been writings suggesting that ley lines (grid lines deep within the earth) are “lines of power” linking prehistoric sites and sources of cosmic energy within the earth. The crossing of ley lines in Sedona is said to create a heightened energy field much like the power of the meridians in the body.

Sedona has long been used by Native Americans for its healing atmosphere and sacred sites. The Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon area has been sacred to aboriginal people since prehistoric times. The Hopi, Navajo and their ancestors, as well as natives from Canada and Central America would journey here for healing and learning. Their sacred ceremonies and offerings of prayer have blessed the land with greater spiritual energy.

As for how the vortexes empower you, there are six theories I share with my Sedona Spirit Yoga & Hiking guests. First, psychic Page Bryant channeled that there are numerous sites with energy that heightens consciousness. She noted that some vortexes are masculine, yang or stirring “upflow” energy—namely Bell Rock and Airport Vortex. Page Bryant cited only one as feminine, yin or soothing “inflow” energy—Cathedral Rock. And she found one to be a perfect balance of feminine and masculine, upflow and inflow energies–Boynton Canyon.  Page Bryant was the first to say that this vortex energy heals, enlightens, clarifies purpose, enhances inner knowing, deepens spirituality, and helps you access Divine guidance.

A second theory appears in the writings of Nicholas Mann, a geomancer who studied the energy of the earth. He said that the grids in the earth cross like the meridians in the body, creating power spots we might call earth chakras. He noted that this makes Sedona a power spot similar to Macchu Piccu, Stonehenge, and the Pyramids, which also have powerful grid crossing.

A third theory, proposed by author Dick Sutphen, is that the Native Americans, who used Sedona as a site of sacred pilgrimage but never lived here, gave the red rocks a sacredness and religious status. In Sutphen’s book, The Sedona Experience, he notes that the Native American tribes believed that Sedona’s red rocks are the “Wigwam of the Great Spirit.”

A fourth theory is that Sedona’s red rocks contain crystal flecks that amplify energy. Crystals send radio waves and magnify what’s present when the sun shines on them. Hence, when you visit a vortex, the crystalline vortex rocks can magnify the intensity of whatever you are feeling and help the energy pass through.

The fifth theory is the “disbeliever theory,” which claims that the vortexes are not real and that the vortex idea was fabricated to attract tourists.  My guests report that some of the jeep tour drivers expressed doubt about the truth of the vortexes and said–“You believe this, and I will tell you another one!”

Finally, the sixth theory is that all beautiful places have a high energy that heightens spiritual consciousness. This suggests that magnificent natural settings like Niagra Falls have enlightening energy, too. The idea is that spectacular natural settings like Sedona have a powerful, mystical quality.

At Sedona Spirit Yoga & Hiking, we share all six theories and invite our hike and retreat guests to choose to believe any or all of them. But the most important thing is to help guests become still enough to feel the vortex energy and experience its effects.

Join us in Sedona to discover the unique effect of this vortex energy that is said to accelerate healing, promote clarity and insight, and forward you on your journey. We will assist you to access the peace within and use the amplified energy to help clear any blocks to your full self-expression. Release the past, heal any old wounds, and open your heart more fully. We take you to majestic vortex sites and guide you to quiet your mind, deepen your breathing, launch intentions for the future, expand your full aliveness in the present moment. You may choose to engage in a transformational vortex experience with or without yoga poses. “Yoga” is actually defined as the union of mind, body and spirit, and that oneness is achieved when you unite your soul essence with Mother Earth in these power spots. You can choose to use the vortex energy to transcend your mind’s limitations and become more fully who you are.


About Johanna

Johanna jokes that she is starring in her own soap opera called “As I Live and Learn.” She is a life-long learner and longtime teacher, whose own spiritual journey to deeper peace and joy motivates everything she does. In her first career in New York City, Johanna taught high school English for seventeen years, worked as a staff developer for eight years, earned two NYC high school principal’s licenses, completed the course work for her Ph.D., and led workshops in corporations as Write Well Consulting. Then after being smitten on a vacation to Arizona, she left the school system to follow her bliss in Sedona.

Johanna Maheshvari Mosca leads vortex retreats and excursions in the red rocks of Sedona.

Johanna Maheshvari Mosca leads vortex retreats in Sedona’s red rocks

Johanna so loved being out in the red rocks that she camped out, first in a tent then in a van, for over fourteen months. She quotes her father saying to her sibling: “Your sister is crazy! She lives in a truck.” During this time, Johanna would do her yoga practice on the flat rocks by the creek and rock scramble up trails to majestic cliffs where she would sit and meditate. To share the wonderful transformation she experienced, Johanna invited others to do yoga and hiking with her amid the red rocks. With her first retreat in February 1994, she began her adventures as Director of Sedona Spirit Yoga & Hiking.

Throughout all of her life, Johanna has focused on self-development, striving to be all that she could be. She engaged extensively in Landmark Education personal growth seminars and became a course leader. In one of the advanced courses, she was asked to make an “impossible promise” that would be her life’s purpose to fulfill. Johanna’s promise was to “help people discover their voices and fully develop themselves as lifelong learners with a contribution to make.” She worked to fulfill this promise as a key member of the New York City Writing Project and the NYC Teacher Centers Consortium, where she led workshops and chaired conferences for teachers. At the Teachers’ Consortium, Johanna also helped pioneer team-building and vision-planning workshops for “Schools of Tomorrow Today.”

Now, after over twenty years’ leading hikes, workshops and retreats and extensive yoga study, Johanna is no longer “striving” to be anything, but simply learning to keep clearing her energy so that the love she already is at her core can shine through. Johanna teaches that it is all about vibration and letting go. All that we are is energy. We pick up stuff, which sticks to our ego like Velcro, and it blocks our essential light from flowing. No one can “wound” or diminish us unless we let it be so in our own minds. So all there is to do is to keep clearing ourselves daily, just like brushing our teeth. She encourages students to do centering through yoga postures, breathing and meditation, or simply by learning to quiet the mind a bit, focus inward, and let go.

Johanna’s yoga career began when she started teaching Yoga in NYC in 1990, after earning her first 200-hour certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She followed this with another 200-hour certification to do assisted yoga and became a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist. Once in Sedona, Johanna enjoyed over fifteen years of intensive study with Rama Jyoti Vernon and earned a 500 hour diploma from the International Yoga College. For six weeks in India, Johanna studied “The Healing of Yoga”  at the Krishnamacharya Yoga School with TKV and Kaustub Desichar and colleagues.  Johanna later successfully completed a 200-hour Meditation Teacher Training from the McLean Meditation Institute. And, most recently, Johanna compleated Richard Miller’s I-Rest Yoga Nidra Meditation Teacher Training Modules I and II.

Johanna is passionate about “Yoga as a way of life.” In 2000, she published a book (and later a CD set) about living the yoga principles for peace and contentment. YogaLife: 10 Steps to Freedom is now being acclaimed by yoga teachers and students worldwide. In YogaLife, Johanna teaches the value of these essential life principles to enhance success. She the authored two other books Cultivate Contentment: Using Ancient Wisdom to Thrive in Today’s World and Teen Triumph: 10 Ways to a Winning Life.  Johanna Maheshvari has been a leader in the yoga community, serving as a founding board member of the International Yoga College and as past president of the Arizona Yoga Association.

As Sedona Spirit Yoga & Hiking goes into its third decade of providing transformational experiences, it hosts a trail of worldwide publicity and stellar endorsements. The Yoga Journal featured Johanna’s retreats as one of ten holiday retreats, and Shape Magazine publicized her retreats as one of six recommended yoga and hiking experiences. Both Essence and Alternative Medicine magazines sent authors to attend retreats for feature stories. Johanna has been filmed doing yoga in the red rocks for television by MTV, the Shakti Hill Cable TV Show, and Good Morning Arizona. If it is all about energy as Johanna says, each of us is a vortex. Playfully alluding to her red rock journey, when Johanna met a guide who called himself “Mr. Sedona,” she thought it would be fun to be her own comic book character “Madam Vortex” as she spins her transformational projects.


By | 2017-05-03T00:40:10+00:00 December 2nd, 2015|Johanna's Musings and Articles, Sedona Vortexes|Comments Off on What is a Vortex?