GWD founder Belgin Aksoy’s dream of celebrating a day dedicated to wellness has inspired an international network of more than 87 GWD ambassadors, 25 key supporters and 4 advisors—all lifestyle-oriented entrepreneurs and wellness professionals—who organize complimentary wellness events around the globe.
She explains that her idea from the beginning was that wellness is not a luxury but the inherit right of every individual. “We go to school from the age of two, hoping that the education system is going to help prepare us for our future,” says Aksoy. “But nobody is teaching us how to live, how to breathe, how to be mindful and how to love ourselves as these are things that are essential to be a happy adult in the future.
“In an era where global consumer culture is mostly damaging the concept of childhood and kids are ending up unhappy and unsatisfied,” she continues, “we want to encourage children to integrate wellness practices into their lives on a daily basis and to carry on those practices throughout their lives.”
Look for the hashtag #globalwellnessday to follow what happens from one end of the world to the other on June 8.
Celebrations will range from entire cities joining together with family-friendly events to hotels and community centers offering complementary activities like hiking and dance ceremonies. Here is how some countries are planning to take part:
Kenya – GWD Kenya has partnered with The Wellness Project Africa to run free wellness checks throughout the event for all participants. Two panel discussions on physical and inner health will be held, in addition to yoga and Zumba classes that will illustrate how working out can be enjoyable and relaxing for everyone.
Brazil – Brazil’s team aims to draw attention to the GWD 7-Step Manifest with activities like mindful walking, water marathon, recycling awareness, experimental cooking with a nutritionist, digital detox and a sleep technique workshop, to name a few.
United Kingdom – GWD will host community-wide outdoor yoga in Norfolk, Devon and Cornwall. Celebrity-Guided Meditation recordings with U.K. celebrities including Danny John-Jule, Rachel Stevens, Tamsin Greig and Gideon Coe, will be made available on June 8 with free access. Students at the University of Derby will celebrate with walking, Tai Chi and yoga activities on campus.
Hungary – GWD activities will take place in 12 cities and 30 locations, focusing on lifestyle, healthy dining and healing water. The main event will be in Budapest City Park: an attempt to set the Guinness World Record with activities such as senior citizen fitness training, aerobics and yoga classes supported by the International Wellness Institute (IWI), as well as seminars on wellness movement, benefits of thermal baths, fitness trends, aromatherapy, active ingredients and kids’ nutrition. Other companies celebrating in Hungary include Four Seasons Hotel Budapest, Aria Hotel Budapest, InterContinental Hotel Budapest, Kempinski Spa Budapest, Gellert Bath Budapest, Mandala day Spa Budapest and Mandala Spiritual Bath Budapest.
Mexico – Four large GWD celebrations in San Miguel de Allende, San Luis Potosi, Tecate and Patzcuaro will feature a 5K public race, healthy cooking workshops, Zumba, yoga, children’s games, dances, Fit Camp, mindfulness seminar, meditation, and arts and crafts showcasing the Mexican culture.
Cayman Islands – The event will start with a beach clean drive and continue with Pilates, balance and breathing exercises, and a mental wellness awareness seminar. Hotels including the Kempton SeaFire Resort & Spa, Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort and The Westin Grand Cayman Beach Resort & Spa will be supporting and celebrating to help spread the message throughout the island.
Serbia – Sijarina Spa in Medvedja will have activities for all ages including fitness sessions, nutrition advice, visit to elderly people’s homes and digital detox workshops. Indoor and outdoor activities will also be held, featuring basketball, ethno dance, gymnastics, hiking tours and ritual of drinking Sijerina spa water from the spring.
Netherlands – A series of events for kids and the community in general is being planned: visits to elderly care facilities, 5K walking, outdoor massages, wellness activities in spas, and seminars on workplace wellness.
Costa Rica – Seminars on nutrition, mental health, clean environment, Ayurveda lifestyle and wellness in the city of San Ramon will be organized. Activities such as forest therapy, yoga, breathing exercises, aromatherapy, walks along the beach, beach cleaning, bike rides, planting trees and mindfulness will take place throughout Costa Rica to raise awareness and bring communities together.
China – Various activities centered around Chinese culture will take place, including Tea Ceremony Kids Club, where children will learn to unwind and relax themselves; seminars on healthy diets and Chinese herbal medicine; traditional Chinese brush handwriting workshop to help calm the mind; Chinese square dancing; and yoga classes.
Turkey – A celebration on the Aegean coast at Love Beach will feature yoga, Pilates, Zumba, CrossFit, kids’ fitness and kite making workshops. Local elementary schools will put on a Kids’ Wellness Art Exhibition, and smaller GWD celebrations will be organized in other cities with the support of Park Hyatt, Radisson Blu Tuzla, Hilton Istanbul, Swissotel The Bosphorus, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Ciragan Palace Kempinski, Richmond Hotels and St. Regis.
Canada – JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and Éminence will host a rooftop workout session with Nike master trainer and fitness influencer Betina Gozo. Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and other partners such as Lululemon, New Balance, SoulCycle and Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary will host a week of wellness activities; Noel Asmar Group will organize breathing classes for employees; Cocoon Spa will also host breathing classes. Four Seasons Hotel Toronto will offer guests and the community an on-site Farmer’s Market and a series of other activities such as yoga, fitness sessions and healthy lunches.
Dominican Republic – This year GWD will take place at Los Establos with complimentary activities such as a 5K community race starting from Eden Roc, painting corner for kids, “Adopt a Tree” event for families, meditation, yoga, stretching and mindfulness classes, fitness trainings, dancing, nutrition and beauty workshops as well as a community wide football tournament.
France – A series of events across France will take place such as the “Born to Ride” race starting from Bréhat to San Sebastian, yoga classes to the public will be offered by Le Tigre Yoga Club, a range of Wellness activities in all Thalassa properties, Accor Headquarters and all LUXE brands will also be offered. Meanwhile, Conquer Your Day will organize a boot camp in Paris and seminars on healthy habits, beauty treatments with the support of Biologique Recherche and many more will be organized on June 8th. This year once again the cities of Belfort and Enghien Les Bains will be supporting Global Wellness Day.
Israel – GWD will hold an event on a rooftop in Tel-Aviv overlooking the Mediterranean sunset and a refreshing and healthy ambiance featuring a massage corner, healthy treats and all natural popsicles. Special guest speaker Dan and Lonah Chemati Salpeter, who are the top Israeli track and field Olympic Athletes, will speak about fitness, health and overall wellness. Additionally 4 startup companies will be presenting their wellness technology.
Switzerland – GWD will be organizing activities in various locations with activities such as herbal hike through nature, nutrition lecture “bitter sweet”, complimentary blood sugar readings, family friendly activities along with family fitness drumming, Hatha Yoga and meditation. Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Hotel Bellevue, Kulm Hotel St. Moritz, Grand Hotel Kronenhof Pontresina, Four Seasons Geneva, Glion Institute of Higher Education, Les Roches Global Hospitality Education as well as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will be among the brands and associations supporting and promoting Global Wellness Day in 2019.
Zimbabwe – In their second year GWD Zimbabwe will be focusing on a holistic full day wellness retreat for the whole family. Activities such as zumba, yoga, and outdoor spa, massage treatments in nature, along with mental wellness and meditation seminars will take place. Healthy cooking classes and a healthy food market will also be available to educate both adults and kids. For children, specially prepared children’s yoga, drumming and dance sessions, “wellness” treasure hunt and breathing exercises will be available. Believing “wellness is for all” GWD Zimbabwe will be organizing an outreach session to elderly people’s homes to entertain them with music and dance, to pamper them with mobile spa treatments and to help them relax with breathing and meditation sessions.
Thailand – GWD is once again organizing a Medical Mission with Chiva-Som to the village between Thailand and Myanmar board to support the disadvantaged community with efforts to educate, develop and encourage local sustainability. GWD’s mission will be to provide medical aid, education, support and micro-business opportunities to people living in remote locations and to endeavor to create a positive impact on their lives, providing them with the necessary skills, knowledge and materials to become self-sustainable. A Pre GWD Event “1000K for Wellness” where hotel guests are invited to log all kilometers they run, cycle or row within the Anantara properties. The main GWD celebration will be taking place at Sattahip Beach, Chonburi with yoga, swimming, paddling activities, and health checks and kids art exhibition.
Japan – This year’s theme is “enjoy” with three areas of focus: Food Shokuiku, Workplace Wellness and Cultural & Historical Aspects. Hilton Tokyo Bay offered a Wellness Menu featuring healthier dishes at Employees’ cafeteria and also a Power Nap Space for quick rest and refreshing. GWD Japan team is planning to once again have Kids Karate event at Okinawa Karate Kaikan on the celebration day. This year GWD Japan team will be featuring Okinawa and Kyoto and conducting their celebrations in these cities as well. Marriot Hotel Osaka, Hilton Hotel Tokyo Bay, Spa Joule at Hyatt Regency, Biologique Recherche, Lululemon Athletica, Shangri-La Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, sportswear brand – Asics, along with associations such as Nihon Aesthetic Kyokai, Japan Nutrition Foundation, CIDESCO Nippon, and American Chamber of Commerce in Okinawa will be supporting GWD throughout Japan.
South Africa – Rated the unhealthiest and most stressed country in the world, South Africa GWD team is working towards changing these statistics. This year GWD will be focusing on community and with the help of sponsors, will be collecting clothes, food, toys and much more for those in need. The team will be attending schools to speak about wellness, mindfulness, nutrition and good deeds and also visiting elderly people’s homes to pamper them with special massages. Global Wellness Day will be celebrated across South Africa with the support of spa groups such as Camelot, Gingko, Amani, Guvon, Spa & Wellness Association South Africa, Isa Castens Academy, The Westin Cape Town, the Taj Hotel Cape Town, Fancourt Hotel and Spa in George along with many others. Most importantly, Maureen Grosvernor from APPSolve will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in August and taking the GWD logo to the summit!
Romania – For the 2019 Global Wellness Day Romania will be organizing several wellness activities in the spa & wellness centers. The spa & wellness centers will offer “Wellness Journey” on 8th of June, which will consist of: Introduction to meditation, breathing exercises, walks in nature, stretching, dance, zumba, mini-spa treatments, healthy nutrition and healthy sleep workshops.
U.S. – GWD celebrations are organized throughout the country, within the leadership of 18 GWD Ambassadors in Montana, California, Illinois, Florida and Ohio.
About Global Wellness Day: Founded in 2012 by Belgin Aksoy, Global Wellness Day is an entirely not-for-profit day which is an international social project dedicated to living well. The fundamental purpose of the day is to make us aware of the value of our lives. Even if it’s for one day of the year, to make us stop and think, to get away from the stress of city living and our bad habits, and thereby find peace within ourselves.
The first step taken in Turkey towards living well was turning GWD into an international movement together with 87 GWD Ambassadors, 25 Key Supporters and 4 Advisors who are lifestyle-oriented entrepreneurs and wellness professionals from all around the world. Global Wellness Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of every June in more than 5000 locations around the world with only free activities.