Maui LifeFest takes center stage in Kapalua

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KAPALUA, Hawaii -- LifeFest, an event thats part festival, part seminar, part worship service, will take place Sept. 23 to 26 at the Kapalua Resort on Maui.

Last years inaugural LifeFest in Wailea drew more than 5,000 people, prompting the Kapalua Resort to buy the rights and move it to their west Maui location.

The keynote guru will be pop wellness expert and physician Andrew Weil, known for his Santa Claus beard as well as his big bag of ideas for feeling and looking good.

This years event will include other A-list wellness wizards, such as:

  • Oprah Winfreys personal trainer, Bob Greene.
  • Positive psychology author Paul Pearsall.
  • Macrobiotic diet expert Michio Kushi.
  • HGTV and ABCs Home Show TV host and color expert Kitty Bartholomew.
  • Dermatologist Howard Murad, who will talk about how diet can cause stress.
  • Hawaii physician and nutrition expert Terry Shintani, who has helped many obese patients slim down with the Hawaiian Diet.
  • Best-selling author Alan Cohen, who will give advice on wise life choices
  • Kushi and Bartholomew will give talks and conduct private group-counseling sessions. Other presenters will give lectures. There is a fee for each activity, or participants can buy the Power Pass (more on this later).
  • A sampling of other lecture topics includes The Healing Power of Aloha, Tools for Conscious Living, The Truth About Cellulite, Spa Trends and Beautys Connection to Food.

    Traditional healing will also be well represented, with workshops on native Hawaiian healing, acupuncture and other Chinese healing practices, along with martial arts.

    New Agers will have offerings to get them going, including workshops on Sound/Vibrational Healing and Energy Work.

    But, of course, it wont be all lectures in hotel meeting rooms. Each day will start with yoga sessions outdoors.

    Participants also can walk the walk at the Celebrity Power Walk. Theyll be accompanied by Hawaii personalities (to be announced) on this 3.1-mile seaside route. The walk is a benefit for the Hawaii branch of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

    The Jamba Juice Paddlers Ocean Challenge is not for landlubbers. Its a 12-mile open-ocean race in six-person outrigger canoes.

    The most exclusive LifeFest event will be a guided hike through a mountaintop rain forest that is off-limits to the public. This fragile ecosystem atop Puu Kukui is brimming with rare native plants.

    A fortunate few who pay $1,100 in time to save one of the few seats on the helicopter that will take hikers onto and off the mountain will have an unforgettable experience -- if the weather permits the helicopter to land. (If you have clients who are interested, jump on this immediately.)

    Theres also a less-exclusive but still awesome four-mile guided hike through the forest down the flank of Puu Kukui to a marine sanctuary.

    Or trekkers can simply hike through the Fit for Life Health Expo and shop for health-related gadgets and services, then stroll over to the Wellness Room to recover from monetary binging with Maui practitioners who will be offering various healing modalities.

    LifeFest has something for anyone interested in health, even physicians who would like to write off a long weekend at a luxurious resort to get some continuing medical education credits. Topics are to be announced.

    Wrapping up the event on Sept. 26 will be an al fresco reception ($75) featuring samplings from not only some of Mauis best restaurants but also from its farmers and purveyors of the islands fresh vegetables, fruits and cheeses. Presenters from the weekend are expected to attend, so guests should have a chance to ask a question or two.

    Participants can purchase the LifeFest Power Pass for $345 and be admitted to the opening-night address by Paul Pearsall; Celebrity Power Walk; all lectures on both days, including Weils closing talk; and the closing reception. 

    Tickets to individual activities and lectures may be purchased. See the Web site for prices. This promises to be a popular event again this year, so guests should sign up soon. To register, go to www.lifefestkapalua.com and fill out the online form or download the form for faxing. Or e-mail [email protected].

    To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].

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