Imagine my surprise when I received an email from the Yoga Journal, asking me if a few of their tour ambassadors could join one of my retreat activities. With the permission of my three gracious retreat guests, we made arrangements to have the Yoga Journal reps join us on Tuesday, June 14th, for a four-hour vortex Yoga hike to Bell Rock, meeting at 7:30 am in front of the Arabella Hotel lobby.
On Monday evening, when my group and I returned home from a full day exploring the Grand Canyon, we saw the Yoga Journal van and took a few fun photos in front of it. Realizing that they were also staying at the Arabella Hotel and this was really happening, we were all very excited!
Tuesday morning, my guests Angie, Kim and Cathy, came early to support me on this special day, and we all shared hugs. Then we met our three delightful Yoga Journal Tour Ambassadors—Chris, Tarah and Taylor. While Chris excused himself to take care of his overdue video editing, Tarah and Taylor hopped into my van with us. We chatted as I drove to Bell Rock, pointing out features of the terrain and places of interest.
Tarah and Taylor shared with us how blessed they are to be touring Yoga sites and let us know that they had just come from back east at the Kripalu Yoga Center and then stopped to share Yoga at the luxury health spa Miraval, in Tucson. Throughout their journey, they are spreading the good word about wonderful Yoga offerings via social media, Facebook and blog entries.
Once we arrived and stepped on the trail, I led our group in a centering that I call a “drop-in”, guiding us to breathe into our backs, then exhale lifting our hearts up, tailbones down, and grounding our feet in the earth. As we slowly walked the trail, I pointed out local plants and told of how the Native Americans used these plants for medicinal purposes—such as soap yucca, banana yucca, snakes’ broom, the mighty juniper tree and the majestic century plant.
Pausing at a look-out point, we saw Airport Vortex and Cathedral Vortex in the distance, and I shared how powerful an energy it was to be in the presence of three high energy vortexes circulating in the breeze. Reaching a plateau, we had a discussion of six theories of how the vortexes came to be power centers. I invited my guests to believe any or all of the six vortex theories and shared that I like to think of the vortexes as “chakras of the earth.”
Upon rising from the vortex talk, we did some fun Breaths-of-Joy, gleefully waving our arms, opening our hears to the energy and beautiful surroundings. Continuing towards our meditation spot, we climbed to the base of Bell Rock Vortex, where the energy is known to be strongest coming through the fissures or little cracks. First, I invited the ladies to partner up and anoint each other with essential oils—Frankincense and Ylang Ylang. I suggested they first THANK the partner for something, the WISH her something. Annointing with pure essential oils is always heart-opening and energy-clearing.
Following the anointing with oils that assist in deepening meditation, I invited my five ladies to separate and find a seat with their backs against the base of Bell Rock for a 20-minute clearing meditation. Once they settled in comfortably, I slowly guided them to look within and clear their minds, emotions and physical bodies, letting go and releasing everything. Then I asked them to remain in the silence, say a heartfelt prayer, express gratitude, and set intentions. Everyone seemed to go quite deep inside in the stillness, and I took one or two snapshots of the group meditating at the base of Bell.
After my guests shared about how relaxed they were, we climbed to a higher plateau, in a spot that is called “a portal to a higher dimension.” There we had fun doing a photo shoot with everyone’s friends taking cell phone photos and our ambassadors using their camera to get some magnificent red rock Yoga shots to share with the media.
And lastly, we set out our purple Yoga mats, and I guided them in spinal warm-ups. Then to prepare for a Yoga flow with the one-legged-down-dog, we practiced deepening our down-dog and one-legged-down-dog poses. In this flow that was created for me by my teacher Saraswathi from the Krishnamacharya Mandarim in India, she gave me a heart-opening moon chant to sing at each exhale to extend the outbreath and heighten relaxation. So I guided my five ladies to chant “Om somaya namaha,” which simply means “peace—moon—honoring.” We all enjoyed chanting softly from the heart.
Then after I modeled the Saraswathi Moon Flow once, we all enjoyed doing this lovely posture flow three times with the chant honoring feminine Moon energy. After a few wind-down poses lying on our backs and enjoying a knee-down twist, we were off the mat on the red rocks, practicing our favorite balancing poses.
Finally, as noon approached, we ended on the mat, blocking the blazing sun with hats and clothing, and nestled into a 15-minute Yoga Nidra deep relaxation, melting into the red rocks, literally and figuratively. I have to thank my retreat gals who did not want to stop my class to tell me they were starting to feel “baked.” Of course, I was so energized by the teaching that I did not feel the heat.
All in all, it was quite an awesome experience shared by all. Later that afternoon, our Yoga Journal contact emailed us –“Tarah and Taylor had an amazing experience with you and the group today!”
The Yoga Journal will let me know when our Bell Rock vortex Yoga hike appears in the media, and I will share that with you via my Facebook and newsletter networks. To follow the Live Be Yoga Tour Ambassadors, visit their website www.yogajournal.com/livebeyoga Our Oct. 15-19 Sedona Spirit Yoga has already filled! To find out more about our Sedona Spirit Yoga Nov. 5-9 Ultimate Sedona-Grand Canyon “Thanks Giving” Retreat, visit the retreat page of our website http://www.yogalife.net
Namaste, Johanna Maheshvari