“One day can change your whole life.” This is the slogan of Global Wellness Day (GWD,) celebrated every second Saturday of June. The event was first established in Turkey in 2012 as a day dedicated to living well and is exponentially being accepted worldwide with more and more countries joining in each year.
Global Wellness Day draws inspiration from a common question everyone asks, “How can I live a healthier and better life?,” and turns it into a feasible reality by bringing awareness to activities that can offer peace, balance, and freedom from the stress of everyday life and unhealthy habits.
The day invites us to “Say Yes” to wellness by making mindful choices about the way we care for our body and mind. A healthy work-life balance is key to a happy and fulfilling life and possibility is available for everyone.
Ascott Makati is one of the first institutions in the Philippines to participate in the global event this year. Last June 8, they organized a special 3-hour event to bring their members and select guests together for a day of health and wellness activities at the aerobics room at the Ascott Makati Fitness Center. I was fortunate enough to be invited to their intimate celebration and I was very grateful for the experience.
The event began with an hour-long yoga class that stimulated the body and mind through breathwork and poses. Throughout the class, we were guided by the teacher, Princess Chuyeco, to breathe through our pain, soften our resistance, and surrender to what the pose was teaching us. There were stretches that were very yummy and liberating but there were also lunges and long-holding poses that built up heat from within and challenged our determination. The class reminded us that life, like yoga, is a series of opposites balancing each other out. As we inhale, so should we exhale. As we take in, we must also let go. After work, we must rest. Life is a constant and dynamic exchange of energy and when one thing is out of sync, the rest are affected. Wellness is holistic. It is not just about working out the body, it is also about creating space in the mind to find peace and stillness in an ever-changing world.
After working out a sweat, we paused for a short break to change and freshen up. I was able to tour the Fitness Center that caters to the diverse needs of their members. It is fully-equipped with half rack and weight stack machines, upright and recumbent bikes, Jacob’s ladder, Synergy 360, box master, life fitness water rower, water grinder, spinning bike, fitballs, stair climber, treadmills, and a punching bag. The center also offers relaxation areas, lockers, shower facilities, sauna, indoor steam room and outdoor Jacuzzi located in the changing rooms. For the athletes, there is a 25-meter swimming pool and tennis courts outdoors.
The event proceeded with a casual brunch provided by Earth Origins, a cafe and marketplace that offers organic produce and meat free from chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives. For Global Wellness Day, they offered us salads thoughtfully packaged in jars, an all vegan burger and pasta meal with cauliflower nuggets, and delicious juices made for cleansing and invigorating the system.
R’man Lorenzo, founder and managing director of Earth Origins, talked about his journey of healing through juicing and shared tips on how to have a healthier and balanced diet. He passionately discussed his advocacy of providing clean and organic food sourced from the most ideal locations and environment in the country.
Princess Chuyeco, our yoga and piloxing teacher, then came to the front to share her wellness journey. She opened up about the problems and unnecessary stress that she experienced in her past that led her to gain a lot of weight for such a small frame. Getting tired of being overweight, she became obsessed with losing it to gain control over her body and find happiness. When she became underweight, people noticed and complimented her but deep inside, she was very sick and unhappy. She told us that the sudden weight loss caused an imbalance in her hormones, alopecia (hair loss,) and amenorrhea (absence of period.) Her doctor told her that she needed to adjust her lifestyle and take back her health. She eventually found her way to a yoga class and rediscovered her self. From then on, she became an advocate of wellness, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
After digesting our food and the stories shared to us by the speakers, it was time for Piloxing, a form of exercise that blends pilates and boxing together through fun and energetic sequences. Not only will you work out a sweat from this class, but because it’s so fun, you can’t help but smile and feel uplifted.
The day ended with radiant smiles and personal insights on how to live more mindfully and make choices for the greater good.
Through the Global Wellness Day, Ascott Makati successfully engaged its fitness members and guests in an experience that is both enjoyable, fulfilling, and insightful. Though this is the first year we’ve had it in the Philippines, it seems that the event will continue to be celebrated annually throughout the years to come.