Arizona Restival Feature

Arizona’s expansive landscape has the power to make you feel like a tiny speck in a huge universe. Its beauty and grandeur is so great that even the most cynical among us would find it difficult not to feel revived and reconnected to the earth after visiting.

It is for that reason that Restival, a new concept that combines the retreat and festival experience, has chosen Arizona for its next location. Imagine waking up in a luxury Navajo handmade tipi and watching the sun rise in the east above the changing colours of the Painted Desert and set behind the Sacred Mountain in the west. Consider having the opportunity to learn from the Navajo tribe, who have been living off and with this sacred land for centuries.

Restival is a five-day trip designed to help you unplug and reconnect. They do this through a host of specially curated workshops and wellness experiences such as yoga, meditation, song and dance, but also by immersing you in nature. “Take one step beyond the end of the road to restore your physical and mental equilibrium in a truly incredible setting,” says the team behind Restival.

Restival in Arizona sits within the four Sacred Directions that define Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland. The Navajo Native Americans are the largest recognised tribe in the US, with the majority residing in Arizona. This year, the team has formed a mutual bond with the Navajo tribe and will work with them to present their ancient traditions and culture in a respectful manner. This will include Navajo sweat lodges, storytelling, ceremonies, Navajo astronomy, a harvest festival, full moon ceremony and Navajo closing ceremony.

Founder Caroline Jones says: “We pride ourselves on offering extraordinary experiences in exceptional locations, shaped by the culture and traditions of indigenous tribes, far from the glare of modern technology and the stress of modern living. We bring people together to create their own family – it’s an extraordinary experience, rarely open to the outside world.”

Find out what to expect at Restival Arizona. Book your tickets here.

What are the dates?

Restival is held over five nights and six days. It runs twice from Thursday 8 September to Tuesday 13 September and Friday 16 September to Wednesday 21 September 2016.

How do you get there?

The nearest airports are Flagstaff, Phoenix and Las Vegas. It is located 20 minutes outside of Flagstaff in the desert. There are prearranged airport transfers or you can carpool with others in a rented car. There are no planes, cars or pylons to be seen. Just magnificent mountain ranges and extinct volcanoes.

How many people attend Restival?

In order to keep Restival intimate, they only release a maximum of 100 places for guests so that everyone gets the chance to connect with one another. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for solo travellers to attend as everyone is so friendly. You’ll easily create your own tribe by the end of the five days.

Where do you stay and how much is it?

The accommodation is located on an ancient Hopi settlement in the middle of the desert. There are a selection of individually made Navajo tipis or bell tents sleeping couples, singles or twins. Prices start from £1,200 per person for five nights accommodation in super comfortable twin or double beds with quality cotton linen linen, comforters and excellent facilities. Prices also include all organic meals, elixirs, water, tea and bullet coffee, shared experiences and airport pickups. It is not a standard festival, so no queueing for an ATM machine! There is a pop-up shop however, filled with rare Navajo jewellery, blankets and crafts so do bring some cash  just in case.

What do you eat?

Here you’ll find an organic menu designed with the best nutritional benefits in mind and locally sourced where possible. At Restival Arizona, guests eat together around large tables seated on the floor as a tribe would.

What does a regular day look like?

7:00AM Yoga / Meditation / Gong Sound Bath 8:30AM Breakfast 9:30AM Workshops 12:30PM Lunch 2:00PM Workshops / Meditation / Wellness activities 5:00PM Sunset yoga/ Gong sound bath 7:15PM Dinner 8:45PM Campfire stories / Astronomy 10:00PM Navajo music, singing and dancing

What not to miss?

Songbird Grandmother is a world renowned medicine woman who leads life workshops using the four Sacred Directions as her guide. She will lead you through a healing ceremony with a Medicine Wheel to open your perspective on the world around you.

Traditional Navajo Sweat Lodges – experience purification with this ancient tradition led by the tribal elders in small groups to purify your body, soul and spirit in sweat lodges, designed to cleanse you of your old beliefs and open you up to new opportunities.

Opening and closing ceremonies held by Navajo Elders who call upon the sun, moon, animals and the earth to hold the space for the duration of the event, so that you come full circle at the end, with a new perspective on life.

Navajo Astronomy – eminent astronomer Dr David Begay (friends with Stephen Hawking) and his telescope will explain the Navajo world view of the cosmos and the universal order of things. The simplicity of their wisdom is something that the Navajo call “Hozho” which means beauty.

Sit in a circle inside a Hogan, a traditional Navajo dwelling, listening to the Navajo elders explain their lineage, belief system and peacemaking process. It’s utterly captivating and will revolutionise your approach to your fellow human beings.

How do I book

Right here

This article was written in collaboration with Restival

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