It’s been a few months since I returned from my yoga retreat in Sedona and the experience of sharing two yoga workshops at the Sedona Yoga Festival. I feel really blessed to have visited such a beautiful place and to have these opportunities and I wanted to share a story about how I lived my yoga while visiting the Red Rocks of Sedona.

If you have not been to a yoga festival, it can be a little overwhelming, but in a good way. There are way too many choices of classes to take, and the ones I do take are full of rich experiences that I should let soak in for hours, but instead I jump right into the next yogalicious session.  I should take more breaks, but there is always a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) that creeps into my mind.

IMG_6621 Sharing my Embrace Your Inner Goddess Workshop at the Sedona Yoga Festival.

This year at the festival I had a lot on my mind. I was still on my yoga retreat and wanted to spend time with the retreat participants, I was preparing to teach my own workshops, and checking my phone as much as possible for updates on my mother who was ill and recovering back at home.

When my mind gets full, my ability to hold onto things diminishes, and while I was at the festival I lost three things – my mala necklace, an aluminum water bottle, and my eyeglasses.

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I lost the mala necklace the very first morning. At a Alchemy of Soul: Bhakti Vinyasa (Chill Happiness Flow) class with Silvia Mordini and musical accompaniment from the awesome Jim Beckwith (you’ll be hearing more from him in my future yoga class playlists). Now that is one dynamic yoga duo!

Jim Beckwith at Sedona Yoga Festival

I placed the mala at the top of my yoga mat as I always do, to remind me of the intentions I take into my practice and set off on Silvia’s happiness flow. After class I was so excited to meet Silvia in person (we’ve been social media friends for a long time), that I jumped up, grabbed my mat, and off I went sans mala.

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I didn’t realize I had lost my precious mala until about 15 minutes into the next festival class I attended, and there went my mindfulness. My thoughts started racing to where the mala could be, should I get up and go in search of it instead of waiting for class to be over, and who might have picked it up.

I was able to push the thoughts aside and really enjoyed my next session, but right after class I went in search of the mala. It wasn’t where I left it and hadn’t turned up in lost and found, and as I walked back to my hotel room, I made a conscious decision to let go of my attachment to the mala. I decided that whoever picked it up must need its special powers more than me, and perhaps I didn’t need the mala anymore. As soon as I let go, I felt a shift, a feeling of lightness, the freedom that comes when letting go of attachments. By choosing to let go of my attachment to this material possession, I became free.

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Feeling FREE at Courthouse Rock in Sedona. High waisted yoga capris by Onzie.

The practice of non-attachment in yoga is called aparigraha.  Attachments are tricky things, and attachment isn’t just to material objects, it can be to a thought, a story, or a person.

The water bottle was a lot easier to let go of. It was a really cool water bottle though, that I had been given at Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa, when I led my last yoga retreat there. I figured there was no way I was going to find that again and embraced my inner Elsa (from Frozen) and let out a big, “Let it go!”

The eyeglasses, were a different story. I was in no mood to let those go, and beat myself up pretty silly about being so absent-minded to leave them behind. Again, I retraced my steps and went back to the room where I thought I left them, to the lost and found (and by then, I had become very intimate with the people who worked this desk). I let the beat up session go on for a few hours, but again, made the conscious decision to let my attachment to my glasses go. They had gotten a bit scratched up and I would just have to get another pair when I got home.

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On the last morning of the festival I went to an amazing kundalini yoga class led by Ana Brett and Ravi Singh. After the session I walked out completely blissed out, experiencing an OMazing yoga high. As I was nearing the exit, I was drawn to a table that was littered with flyers and empty coffee cups, and walked up to see what was there. Sedona is known for its energy vortexes, so when I felt a pull, I went to it. I noticed a gold shiny object, registered that it was a pair of eyeglasses, and my focus went right to them. I picked them up. They looked like my glasses, and then I put them on, and they were my glasses! I have no idea how my glasses found their way back to me, but I was grateful they did.

I’m not saying that if you let go of your attachment to something that it will magically come back to you, but I will tell you that the freedom that comes to letting go is a beautiful thing.

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Sharing WOWYoga: Yoga for Menopause at the Sedona Yoga Festival

If you found my mala in Sedona, please keep it. It served its purpose and I have let it go. I have since purchased a new mala that is made of aventurine, black onyx, African turquoise, and jade and blessed with love, mantra, sound healing, and Reiki by Kathy Koziol of Yoga Momma’s Magical Malas, and I’ve set an intention to let its energy bring me creativity, imagination, calmness, balance, and prosperity.

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What are you holding on to? Is it a story you keep telling yourself, a fear, a relationship? Try out the practice of aparigraha, and let yourself go. Buddha had to say that attachment is what causes suffering. Let go my yogi friends, stop the suffering, and feel the lightness and freedom that comes when you practice letting go.