Global Wellness Day comes to Jacksonville, Florida

 Saturday, June 11, 2016 will mark the fifth Global Wellness Day (GWD) being celebrated around the world, and the first Global Wellness Day in Jacksonville, Florida. GWD’s 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 and 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 around the world on the second Saturday in June, from sunrise in New Zealand until sunset in Hawaii.  

FullSizeRender-300x225@2xIn Jacksonville, Florida, an emerging health and wellness destination, the inaugural event will be celebrated from sand to city. Global Wellness Day will kick off with a 2 mile “fun run” along the pristine Jacksonville Beach coastline, ending at Big Fish Yoga, where they will be greeted by a team of fired-up yogis ready to move, sweat and celebrate!  Participants will get into their flow with a free 1-hour “I SAY YES”-themed yoga and dance class led by local favorite, DJ Sonny. Traditional Vinyasa flow is amped up with music and movement, followed by a celebration of Big Fish founder Mary Lyn Jenkin’s release of her July Yoga Journal cover! 

MaryLynYogaJournal-768x1024Later that afternoon, GWD festivities will continue at Unity Plaza, where a lineup of Jacksonville-based wellness experts will share their secrets to the Art of Living Well.  The speaker series will kick off with a presentation about Jacksonville as an emerging Lifestyle Destination, followed by topics ranging from healthy relationships led by Celeste Blackman, co-founder of Green Zone Culture Group to the latest developments in the Good For You Initiative led by Baptist Health strategist, Kym Dunton. The afternoon session will wrap with a 30 minute discussion on the Neuroscience of Meditation led by Kristi Lee Schatz, Director of Wellness at Unity Plaza and a guided meditation led by intuitive coach, speaker and author, Heather Alice Shea. Participants are invited to stay for live music on the lawn and free drinks at HobNob, Jacksonville’s new restaurant dedicated to promoting lively social exchange. 

IMG_1067-e1466041675967-300x300Global Wellness Day In Jacksonville is led by Rachel Roberts, US Ambassador and CEO of Oyl + Water, a lifestyle marketing agency. “It’s an honor to bring Global Wellness Day to Jacksonville,” says Roberts. “This is a city that says YES! Our community loves to get involved, support meaningful causes and be a part of creating change. I am excited to kick this off in 2016, and inspired to see how it will grow in the years to come.”

These Jacksonville-based wellness visionaries are in great company.  Worldwide, other participating brands include: Accor Luxury Brands – Sofitel, Four Seasons, Jumeriah Hotels, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott Americas & Europe, 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.

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.   

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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.

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, Carribbean , Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji,Finland, France, French Polinesia, 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.

Global Wellness Day, Live on The Chat.

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