88. Celebrating Global Wellness Day in Portugal and Beyond

This week’s episode is a special celebration of Global Wellness Day (GWD) – a day dedicated to educating the world about the benefits of healthy living, through complimentary educational and experiential events, open to the public.  Back in Episode 55, we interviewed the founder of GWD, Belgin Aksoy, who founded the movement in 2012 and has seen it grow to be celebrated in nearly 10,000 locations in 170 countries on six continents. Each year has a different theme such as Children or Seniors or Dance.

This week we join three volunteer GWD Ambassadors to celebrate the 2024 theme of Nature in the stunning country of Portugal, one of the top European destinations for international travelers. Home to gorgeous beaches, amazing seafood, and picturesque cities like Lisbon, Porto, and something we’ll hear more about in the episode, oak cork forests. Climate change fighting champions, cork forests in Portugal not only remove 14 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year, but they are one of the planet’s 36 biodiversity hot spots — which by definition support a large share of the world’s plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. While covering just 2.4% of the planet’s surface, they are irreplaceable regions that are both biologically rich — and deeply threatened.

It is fitting then, that to celebrate GWD’s nature theme, we join two wellness events organized on June 8 by a Portuguese-based company called Corc Yoga — which produces wellness tools made of pure, 100% sustainable, non-toxic, biodegradable cork and which was founded by a GWD Ambassador.

The celebrations take place in two different areas of Portugal. The first is the city of Cascais, right outside Lisbon. Known as Portugal’s French Riviera, Cascais is also making a name for itself as a wellness destination. We join a morning oceanfront yoga class done on cork mats at the city’s popular Farol Design Hotel, followed by a sound healing class. Both were complementary and open to the public, which is a tenant of GWD.

Then we travel 90 minutes to the country’s interior to the Alentejo region — the farming heartland, the new wine tourism center, and the home to the country’s cork industry. We meet at the Herdade da Barrosinha Hotel to do a yoga and sound bathing class right in front of a cork forest!

We’ll also be talking to an array of wellness leaders in Portugal. One is Ana Beatriz, the CEO of a Lisbon-based hotel consultancy that helps hospitality professionals weave wellness into their programs. Ana is also a Global Wellness Institute Ambassador, as well as a member of the Global Wellness Institute’s Sound Healing Initiative. In a serendipitous moment, we also found out that Ana’s family owned one of the earliest cork factories in the country, so her heritage is rooted in nature too.

In a first for this podcast we’ll be hearing from a tourism official in her native Portuguese and have it translated by the general manager of the art village hotel we visited that sits in front of one of the region’s cork forests.

We’ll also speak to another Global Wellness Day Ambassador, Adília Ferreira, a spa consultant and sound healing expert from Porto who not only uses instruments like drums and crystals during classes but also her beautiful voice to help heal and restore. Find out how this powerful experience of “music as medicine” resonated deeply with all participants, including children who eagerly joined in.

Join our special celebration as we get to know wellness leaders in one special country in our wide world to discover that we are united in the same purpose: spreading the word of wellness!

To learn more, visit Global Wellness Day’s site at GlobalWellnessDay.org.

Resources:

Global Wellness Day: globalwellnessday.org
Corc Yoga: corcyoga.com
Farol Design Hotel in Cascais: faroldesignhotel.com
ABC Hospitality: abchospitality.pt
Herdade da Barrosinha Hotel in Alentejo – https://www.herdadedabarrosinha.pt
Hear Adília Ferreira’s music at https://adiliaferreira.me/

Hosted by Kim Marshall

Produced by NOVA Media

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