“It’s time to take a collective breath,” said Tracy McClellan, owner of Anahara Spa and organizer of the first Yoga and Wellness Fest, taking place Friday, April 27 through Sunday April 29 in Key West. The yoga industry, along with many other businesses devoted to health and well-being, create a large holistic community in Key West and it seems like the perfect time to shift away from stress and create a new combined experience.

In just over a month, McClellan, along with partner Jennifer Russo, pulled together the festival with three full days of events. It starts with a kickoff party Friday night at Anahara Spa and The Green Pineapple Wellness Center, with music, wine and spa treatments. An all day festival will take place Saturday at the Amphitheater, with an amazing schedule of yoga classes, live music, inspirational speakers discussing nutrition, holistic healing and many more topics; more than 25 local vendors; organic food; a spa village offering treatments; and even yoga for kids. Sunday will have “Dawn B” Feinburg at 24 North Hotel for a yoga session, and afternoon at The Southernmost Hotel, with more spa treatments and yoga, and lastly, a Full Moon Party Sunday night.

“We have incredibly talented people here as well as the resources to bring everyone together in the beautiful and natural setting,” said McClellan. She sees this type of festival as a balance to so many other popular Key West events, and timely after the hurricane. It’s for yoga novices to the professionals, kids of all ages, or just people interested in a more balanced life. “Maybe someone just wants to learn for the first time about yoga or nutrition or holistic arts, or maybe they have always done it, I just want everyone to walk away with something.”

“It’s a growing industry, yoga, and brings people together but also it’s an opportunity for visitors to have another fun reason to come to Key West,” said Russo, who looks forward to making this an annual event.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Children’s Yoga and Wellness Initiative, a new organization that will be working toward providing yoga programs in schools and studios. “Yoga is known now to be beneficial for kids dealing with stress and emotions, and we want to help bring more of that to Key West,” said Russo.

The first Yoga and Wellness Fest takes place Friday, April 27 thru Sunday April 29 in Key West. MIKE FREAS/Contributed 



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