Have Fun, Be Well

Each year for the past 20 years, Sun Valley has kicked off summer with a focus on health, wellness, and fun at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Spanning the long Memorial Day weekend, this year from May 26 to 29, it is the perfect start to the season, inviting participants to think deeply and breathe deeply during a wide range of programming.  There truly is something for everyone.

The Sun Valley Wellness Festival was started in 1997 with the mission of inspiring people to live healthier lives. To that end, they bring to Sun Valley each year the best of the best across a mind boggling range of fields. Experts in nutrition, healing, astrology, fitness, organized living, and so much more converge on the Sun Valley Village with the goal of helping attendees learn to live more purposeful, healthy, meaningful, and peaceful lives and to provide an intimate platform for inspiration and education on innovative wellness topics.

Author, business leader, and powerful woman Arianna Huffington is one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Wellness Festival.

Keynote speeches are always a highlight of the weekend this year’s guests are sure to inspire. On May 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Sun Valley Pavilion, the incomparable Arianna Huffington will speak about “Ending the Stress and Burnout Epidemic by Changing the Way We Work and Live.” Huffington, the co-founder, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, author of 15 books, one of Time Magazine's list of the world’s 100 most influential people and one of Forbes Most Powerful Women, believes that burnout is not a necessary consequence of success. Her address, co-presented by the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, will focus on her theory that the way we live and work is not working for any of us – not individually and not collectively. According to Festival organizers, Huffington will give practical and actionable tools that can help us disconnect, recharge, get the sleep we need, and reclaim our humanity by recalibrating our relationship with technology. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

On May 27, at 7 p.m., Dr. Vandana Shiva will offer an address titled, “Earth Democracy: Cultivating Wellness, Cultivating Freedom.”  Dr. Shiva is at the forefront of changing the practice of modern agriculture. She is the author of acclaimed books examining the current domination of non-sustainable, industrial agriculture. Through her writing, she has made visible the social, economic and ecological costs of corporate-led globalization. Dr. Shiva has campaigned internationally on issues surrounding biotechnology and genetic engineering. She has helped movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ireland, Switzerland, the U.S., and Austria with their campaigns against genetic engineering.  In addition, she is leader in the arena of Intellectual Property Rights, biodiversity, gender issues, and women’s issues. She will speak at the Sun Valley Opera House.

Dr. Vandana Shiva will engage and challenge the audience at her speech on May 27 focusing on taking a long, critical look at how we get our food

Another featured speaker is Wayne Pacelle, author and president and chief executive officer of The Humane Society of the United States. He has spurred major growth for Humane Society which is now the nation’s largest animal protection organization with 11 million members and constituents. His speech will explore the complicated and often contradictory relationship we have with animals and how this relationship and bond has been broken. In the end, Pacelle tells us about the new, humane economy and the way forward that is good for us and good for animals. He will speak on May 28 at 7 p.m. at the Sun Valley Opera House.

For a full list of the engaging Wellness Festival speakers, local, national, and international, please click HERE.

Workshops, movement opportunities, and ways to enjoy the beautiful and uplifting surroundings are also a big part of the Wellness Festival experience

And there is much more to the Sun Valley Wellness Festival than just fantastic speakers. Many presenters also offer workshops – opportunities to explore fascinating topics in an intimate setting. This year, workshops include “Internal Spring Cleaning Through Breathwork and Qigong,” with Anita Boehm on May 26, Guided Meditation with Marie Manuchehri and an Introduction to the Benefits of Feng Shui with Hillary Anderson, also on May 26. On May 29, workshops include “Perfect Nutrition Applied” with Anthony Baucom, “Because You are Beautiful” with Toni Childs, and “Seed Freedom” with keynote speaker Dr. Vandana Shiva. And this list just scratches the surface.

Movement is also a big part of the Wellness weekend, and classes in yoga and guided hikes are offered throughout. In addition, another popular aspect of the festival is the Experience Hall. There, you can browse angelic healing crystals, jewelry, BioMats, singing bowls and enjoy Thai massage, healing touch, and life coaching plus so much more. No tickets are needed to visit the Experience Hall.

Be sure to stop by the Experience Hall over wellness weekend to browse and enjoy the offerings of dozens of vendors

The Festival, headquartered at the Sun Valley Village, spills into every area of the Resort. For those with some down time, the opulent Spa at Sun Valley is offering weekend specials. The Spa will offer $25 off any 50-minute service and up to 50 percent off selected retail items for Wellness Festival attendees. To book a heavenly massage, facial, or other restorative treatment, please contact the spa professionals at 208-622-2160.

In between all the action, enjoy live juicing demonstrations on the patio of the Sun Valley Inn and then switch gears and stop by the Short Line Deli on May 27 and 28 for a wine tasting! From 3 – 5 p.m. on both days, sip on vintages from the Dry Creek Vineyard out of Healdsburg, California and Willamette Valley Vineyards out of Turner, Oregon.  Mingle, enjoy, and take home a bottle for yourself.

If you’d like to book a room at the center of the action, please call 800-786-8259 and ask about the special Sun Valley Wellness Festival rate starting at $139 for rooms in the Sun Valley Inn.  For Festival passes and tickets, please click HERE.

For 20 years, the Sun Valley Wellness Festival has been the best way to start your summer off right. Don’t miss it!

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