Western resorts host festivals, with Sun Valley’s including a footrace that welcomes Nordic Walkers
The word “illness” has been in the English vocabulary forever, but “wellness” is newer. It is now understood to encompass a variety of proactive health maintenance habits, spiritualituality and various types of healing. Mysticism, meditation, prayer and other spiritual practices are also components of wellness, as are proper nutrition, exercise and the mind-body-spirit connection.
Ancient Eastern and more recent New Age philosophies and practices are major at the 11th annual Sun Valley Wellness Festival, May 23-26. Admission ranges from $60 for a day pass to $230 for a platinum pass that includes preferred seating to presentations by Dan Millman (The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, A Peaceful Warrior’s Way) and Alberto Villoldo (Courageous Dreaming). Wellness Specialty workshops range from A (Annemarie Holmes on “Earth Spirit Living: Bringing Heaven and Nature into your Home”) to Z (Jamie Zimron on “Golfing Power”) and cost from $20 to $250 (the latter for two golf days).
While yoga, Feldenkrais, Gyrokenesis and the like are featured physicalities at this Idaho festival, Nordic Walking probably should be included as well, because it is such a fitting component of the exercise part of mind-body-spirit. Therefore, of special interest to Nordic Walkers is the concurrent the fourth Annual Sun Valley/Ketchum US Half Marathon. The run/walk event on May 24, starting at the base of Dollar Mountain and following a picturesque 13.1-mile loop course from Sun Valley Village through Elkhorn and Ketchum using much of the Wood River Valley bike path, is open to Nordic Walkers.
Online race registration through May 23 is $25 for 5K, $40 for 12K, $55 for the half-marathon and $5 for the Kids MaraFUN for ages 4-9. Walkers are permitted to use poles, and if they select the half-marathon distance, they must complete it within three hours.The finish line festival will feature music, food and beverages and a race awards ceremony. Runners and walkers are invited to “enjoy a moment of Zen at the Wellness Festival with workshops and products of mind, body, and spirit.” Such a harmonious convergence of two approaches!
Down south in Colorado, the Snowmass Wellness Experience, August 15-17, will cover similar topics — but without the footrace component. It bills itself as “a summer weekend of whole living & wellness” that includes the diverse and holistic fields of nutrition, spirituality, wellness and science. The schedule, list of presenters and costs are not yet available.
The nearby Aspen Center for Integral Health will host a five-part Summer Health Series between June 18 and August 4. The “Mind and Matter: New Discoveries in Mind-Body Connection” will explore new research, innovations and discoveries in the mind, brain and body that illustrate the importance of the mind-body connection in the quest for optimal health that is vitally important to our health as individuals, families and communities. Individual lectures are $10; adding a Meet the Speakers” wine reception following the lecture increases the price tenfold to $100. Summer Series Pass good for all lecture and receptions is $450.