JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A new festival promoted health and wellness for Jacksonians, offering ways to help reduce stress.

The inaugural Protect Your Peace Festival was held at Smith Park in downtown Jackson. Festival founder, Maya Morris, said after hosting a number of free park yoga sessions, she realized that things like yoga and other mental health resources are not accessible for many people in the community.

Partnering with Magnolia Sunset Markets, the groups created the festival in the heart of downtown that offered free yoga, mental health panels, sound meditation, local vendors and more.

“This is super important. I feel like people should really take advantage of it because it’s really hard sometimes to get out of your own way and say I want to focus on my mental health or to say I need to protect my peace. When we have events like this where it’s also entertaining, you bring people things they would have never thought about doing. I was coming just for the vendors, but I can go sit in on a yoga session and it really changed me. It really helped me out with what I have going on,” said Morris.

Event organizers said they plan to host more health and wellness events, bringing them directly to the community in various parts of central Mississippi.