Spotlight Festival: Sedona Yoga Festival



AWAKE Festival - group shot on stage

Looking for something to do next Spring? We are thrilled yoga festivals are back and can’t wait to check out all the amazing events taking place around the world. This week we had a chance to connect with Heather Shereé Sanders, Producer of Sedona Yoga Festival who we are thrilled to partner with next April!

What inspired you to create a yoga festival?
I am passionate about Yoga, and after decades of creating events around community, sustainability, and the arts I found myself ready to retire from production work to practice and teach yoga. I was burnt out! Yoga was healing me and it was a very personal journey I was on. When I was invited to co-produce SYF in its inaugural year my original answer was “No”! I am so grateful to have agreed, as I discovered that production does not take away energy when it is matched with passion. Working in the yoga community is always interesting and not without its challenges. Moving through these challenges with grace and ease is supported by the knowing that each who is practicing yoga is seeking peace, practicing to the best of their ability non-harming, and believes in equanimity. So we move forward with that assumption and beautiful things happen. I learned as I began to produce SYF on my own in 2014 and ever since, that marrying passion (yoga) with purpose (gathering people to collaborate and co-create) is the magic formula of my life purpose. My dharma, if you will. 

What makes your festival unique? 
Sedona, of course! It is a powerful landscape for practice and transformation. In addition, SYF has long been known for offering a diverse range of deep-dive classes and workshops. We offer CEUs, we have so many presenters that no one gets to be the “rock Star” yogi. Over the years we have cultivated an audience of highly educated attendees, two-thirds of which are yoga professionals. So, it is a great place for conversation about the industry itself, and also a great place to discover your unique yoga as a practitioner, with such a wide array of offerings. 

What offering/presenter or class are you most excited about for this year’s event? 
We haven’t announced any of the presenters yet this year but one thing we are very excited about is the expansion of our team to include a programming team. The proposals that come in through SYF’s application process are now being reviewed by a team of yoga professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and styles. We pride ourselves in finding amazing teachers that are not always drawn to the festival circuit and curating a program unlike any other, where each attendee may choose their own adventure from the numerous offerings available on the schedule. We always have a huge roster of teachers so that none is deemed more important than the other. It is all the parts that make up the whole, as is acknowledged in this year’s theme: Emerge to Imagine. Our aim with the offerings this year is to support those who show up with the tools to increase awareness of how each unique way of being, each independent action, intention, and thought is responsible to the whole, is interdependent in that we each affect the outcome for humanity. As we all emerge from what has proven to be a time of deep introspection – shadow work, even – and increased self-awareness, we are anticipating that “self” care begins to take the shape of community care.



Frances Hunt chats with Reggie Hubbard from the SYF programming team.
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