Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wellness festival shapes up for 9th year

Rumi subject of keynote address

Express Staff Writer

Tibetan Lamas from the Drepung Loseling Monastery.

It's time to embrace our potential for being well and living in harmony. The ninth annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival is set for Thursday, May 25, through Monday, May 29, in Sun Valley.

The invited speakers include Coleman Barks, the author of "Essential Rumi," visionary artist Alex Grey, numerologist Glynis McCants, the Enzyme Empress and founder of BioStet Dr. Ellen Cutler and healer Sabine Grandke-Taft.

Tibetan Lamas from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will create a sand mandala over the course of four days.

Several authors will be speaking, including Kevin Griffin author of "One Breath at a Time," and Charlotte Kasl, author of "If the Buddha Dated."

Cherie Byrd, author of "The Kissing School," will be conducting an all-day session on Tantric energy. The event is co-sponsored by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts.

The festival has two new administrators in director Amelia Smith and assistant director Sazevich.

Smith, a graduate of the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University in New York, spent two years working with the Wildlife Trust. She returned to the Wood River Valley last summer, where she is working on animal health and well-being.

Sazevich has spent more than 25 years studying various healing modalities, meditation and dance techniques, and staffing numerous wellness workshops internationally. She studied traditional Japanese dance and theatre in Kyoto, Japan, for six years.

She then lived at a meditation ashram in Puna, India, for six years, where she practiced meditating and learned many healing techniques. She currently runs the advertising department of Spirit of the Valley, a holistic magazine. She also teaches Bliss Ball, a dance meditation based on Gabrielle Roth's Five Rhythms.

"The people coming in are nationally acclaimed. On the whole, these speakers are top notch. It's a real gift to the community," Sazevich said. "There are many more exciting speakers, workshops, vendors, healers and cutting-edge movement instructors as well."

She added that the Exhibit Hall and Hands On Hall are free to the public for the first time.

"Everyone is welcome to just enjoy great shopping—for food, amazing teas, imported goods and jewelry, yoga gear or get a tarot reading or a delicious massage," she said. "You can also hear keynote speakers, musical performances and attend workshops without an event pass."

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