In Just Two Years, A Grass Roots Movement Started At A Turkish Spa, Has Been Embraced by Businesses, Associations, Cities, States & Countries!
On Saturday, June 11, 2016 I celebrated my first Global Wellness Day that was being celebrated simultaneously around the world in 83 countries. My Global Wellness Day was held at the luxurious Montage Resort in Laguna Beach. The day started with Yoga and finished with a pampering Kerstin Florian, Caviar facial. The positive energy generated by all that attended was truly infectious. Everyone was on the same journey to wellness and honouring Californian beauty, Charlene Florian. Throughout her life, Charlene Florian, Chief Creative Officer, Kerstin Florian International, who recently passed away, was always an ambassador of wellness, leaving an indelible footprint on the industry and giving her full support to Global Wellness Day from the very beginning. To honor and commemorate her memory, Global Wellness Day 2016 was dedicated to Charlene Florian’s legacy.
The international network of over 70 Global Wellness Day Ambassadors report that they are on target to have over 3,000 properties & locations in 100 countries organize complimentary wellness activities like yoga/Pilates/dance workshops; breathing & mindfulness sessions and nutrition & beauty classes to help millions realize that “One day can change your whole life.” In fact, GWD events will be held yearly around the world on the second Saturday in June, from sunrise in New Zealand until sunset in Hawaii.
Hospitality & spa industry leaders that have committed to company-wide participation include: Accor Luxury Brands – Sofitel, Pullman & MGallery – Anantara, Constance, Four Seasons, Grace, GOCO, Jumeriah Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott Americas & Europe, Oberoi, Red Door Spas, Resense Spas, Rosewood, Six Senses and WTS International. Associations and groups that have said “Yes” to Wellness and invited their members to participate include: Exercise is Medicine, the Day Spa Association, SpaFinder Wellness 365, Treatwell, and the Global Wellness Institute, the Arizona Spa & Wellness Association and Florida Spa Association.
Taking away the barriers of exclusivity, this year’s rallying cry for GWD is “Wellness for Everyone!’’ with a range of cities, tourism boards, health clinics and even national dance companies offering workshops and classes to educate & inspire the public about the benefits of proactive wellness and mind-body fitness. Waterfront communities from Asbury Park New Jersey to Imperial Beach, California, and both Jacksonville and Boca Raton, Florida, organized family friendly wellness activities.
Setting aside the second Saturday of June to provide complimentary, educational and experiential wellness activities to the public to promote good physical and mental health was the brainchild of Belgin Aksoy, owner of Turkey’s only destination spa and herself a cancer survivor. An idea whose time had come, Global Wellness Day was quickly embraced by the wellness industry and, amazingly, only one year later GWD was celebrated in 74 different countries at over 600 spas, hotels & destinations!
Over the past two years, Global Wellness Day received the support of Hollywood stars such as Ving Rhames, Josh Charles, Ty Burrell, Jessie Taylor Ferguson, Mayim Bialik, Joe Morton, authors such as Deepak Chopra and Agapi Stassinopoulos, sports stars such as Venus Williams and Rainbeau Mars and leaders of the business world including Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, Co-creator of SKYPE, Jonas Kjellberg and Wendy Kopp, CEO / Co-Founder of Teach for All. Each can be seen with Aksoy’s ingenious but simple pink paddles saying “I Say YES!” to Wellness.
Aksoy is determined that this special day dedicated to good physical and mental health be an entirely not-for-profit social project to make people aware of the value of their lives. “Living well is the simple necessity for every human being on the planet,” explains Aksoy “To overcome the global problems such as depression and lead a healthier and happier life, we need an inspiring beginning. The name of that beginning is Global Wellness Day.”
The International Coordinator of GWD, Jean Guy de Gabriac, who runs a Belgium-based spa training & consultancy company, explains, “The discovery & practice of wellness activities invites everyone to enjoy a revitalized body, a clear mind & a peaceful heart. The world needs these three free and renewable sources of energy now more than ever. How long we have on this planet is not as important as what we actually do which each day that is granted to us. We are One… Wellness for Everyone!”
Global Wellness Day Ambassadors organizing activities for June 11 come from the following 83 countries:
Australia, Austria, Aruba, Argentina, Barbados, Bahamas, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Cambodia, Caribbean, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macau, Madeira Island, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan, Guam), North Ireland, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Panama, Palau, Romania, Russia, Saipan, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Island, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam.