I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing of an experience I had at Barefoot and Free Yoga & Music Festival just a few weeks ago! While it got off to a rocky start as I was stranded at Chicago O’Hare airport for nearly 24 hours after a super fun media event (which you should check out since there is an AWESOME giveaway), once I finally made it, I had such an awe inspiring weekend. Words really can’t describe how much fun and freeing this festival was for me.

Barefoot and Free Yoga & Music Festival is a 3 day yoga and music festival that is held at beautiful Proud Lake Recreation Center in Commerce, Michigan. It’s a culmination of yoga classes and workshops, fantastic music, good eats (especially if you love vegan food), handmade goods, and lots of beautiful scenery. You can choose to camp out under the stars (which is what we did and what I’d recommend) or you can come and go as you please.

There were over 25 teachers from all over the nation that traveled to Southeast Michigan to share the love of their practices, skills, advice and heart with fellow yogis. It was such a great way to be able to discover and try different yoga styles, especially for those that tend to stick their home studio or that may not have access to many different studios to try. I was so excited when I saw the lineup because there were many teachers coming that I had looked up to for years as I followed their journeys on Instagram and I absolutely could not wait to practice with them in person (Patrick Beach and Irene Pappas were at the top of that list). Also, DJ’s were spinning for some of the classes which totally amped it up a level and gave such a fun vibe.

I finally had the chance to try up SUP (stand up paddle boarding) yoga and absolutely loved it. It’s so peaceful and serene as you slowly paddle through the water and poses are so much more difficult when on a paddle board. It definitely tested my balance and when you are flowing on a board, your mind is incapable of drifting elsewhere (unless you want to crash into the water, which I did…a lot).

Aside from the obvious yoga classes, there are a ton of workshops and talks ranging from Ayurveda, tea ceremonies, healing artists, gongs,  art therapy, meditation, acupuncture and more. I wasn’t able to catch many of the talks, but did attend the Ayurveda talk with Samantha Mee and it totally fueled my interests in Ayurvedic health.

If you have any desire to check out Barefoot and Free, you need to GO! I know that I’ll be back for years to come and am already looking forward to coming back next year. I left the festival feeling absolutely amazing and with a new fire set within to continue my practice. My heart is so full of gratitude for such an great experience.

Have you been on a wellness or fitness retreat? I’d love to do more!

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