Friday, May 25, 2012

Get well this weekend

Sun Valley Wellness Festival offers something for everybody

Express Staff Writer

An artist applies a henna tattoo during last year’s Wellness Festival. Henna tattoos and other services are offered Saturday through Monday at the Wellness Expo.

Quick, throw away those misconceptions—this weekend's Sun Valley Wellness Festival is not just for those who do yoga in their sleep and eat food picked at sunset by vestal virgins. The festival, now in its 15th year, offers a huge array of mind-enhancing, body-enriching and soul-supplying classes, workshop and lectures. There is something here for everyone.

Dedicated Wellness Festival devotees most likely already know about the lineup of world-class speakers, including Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, Saul David Raye and Alan Cohen, and are likely to be intimately acquainted with the more than 40 speakers, dozens of workshops and classes on offer this weekend. But for those who have yet to fully embrace the path to wellness, and who don't know their downward dog from their Deepak Chopra, here's a little sampling of what's on offer to tempt you to break out of that mold.

Wellness Beginner

Dip your toe into the wellness pool with a gentle introduction to the world of bettering your soul and body. Start off by getting to grips with that pesky downward dog in a gentle yoga and meditation class offered Saturday from 8-9 a.m. in the Ram Room.

Then, prepare to transform your life by learning how to change your home through green living, clutter-clearing and feng shui with Laura Carlin and Alison Forbes' "Change Your Home To Transform Your Life" class from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday in the Sawtooth Room.

Finally, plan your course for the next six months with the guidance of internationally recognized astrologer David Pond as he discusses how to align your energy with the tumultuous times in store for the astrology of 2012 on Sunday from 3:45-5 p.m., in the Continental Room.

Wellness seeker

Looking for an alternative cure to your common ailments? The Wellness Festival has a dozen speakers focused on the human body, and with topics ranging from digestion to sexual health, there's plenty of information to help you take a new perspective on the health of your body.

Maria Maricich will explore the importance of digestion by explaining why it affects you physically, emotionally and spiritually on Friday from 1-4 p.m. in the Columbine Room, and Julie Johnson, owner of the Ketchum health food store NourishMe, will discuss how best to eat at 6,000 feet on the 45th parallel on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in the Limelight Room.

Sex is also on the Wellness menu this weekend, with a lecture on "Creating Great Sexual Health for Woman and the Men Who Love Them" on Saturday from 3:45-5 p.m. in the Limelight Room. Presenter Laurie Steelsmith will also offer a women-only sexual vitality workshop on Monday from 2-5 p.m.

And, of course, the secret to aging will be revealed Saturday at 11:15 a.m. in the Continental Room, by Dr. Uzzi Reiss. His lecture on "Hormonal Optimization for Anti-Aging" will apply his experience as an OBGYN with his research in anti-aging medicine to explain how individualized programs of natural hormones, nutrition and mind/body principles can address PMS, aging and other hormonal fluctuations

Wellness child

There's lots of fun to be had for families with young children at the festival. The organizers are offering a special kids pass for $25 that includes the child-focused classes offered on Saturday.

Those include Mary Kay Foley, coordinator of St. Luke's Wood River's integrative therapies program, explaining "Healing Touch for Children," at 10-10:45 a.m. in the Lupine Room. "Mindful Relaxation for Kids," which teaches children games and techniques for learning how to relax their bodies, is from 11-11:45 a.m. in the Lupine Room, and a children's yoga class will help children get to know their bodies and explore the different things they can do with them, 12:15-12:55 p.m. in the Ram Room.

A journaling class led by local artist Pam Street will help children and their parents create a personal journal dedicated to their family, filled with photos, watercolors, buttons and strings, from 1:30-2:45 p.m., also in the Lupine Room.

Wellness expo

If your interest has been piqued but you're still not committed enough to pick up a festival pass, drop in to the free Wellness expo hall for a festival taster. Featuring a Hands On hall packed with Thai massage, akashic reading, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, henna tattooing, psychic readings and soul frequency aligning, the expo starts Saturday at 9 a.m. and is open through Monday, May 28, in the Limelight Room at the Sun Valley Inn. The Wellness expo exhibit hall also offers some unique shopping opportunities featuring an array of products to try and buy, ranging from sustainable clothing to organic skin care.

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