A new crop of festivals has emerged and there isn’t a plastic cup of beer in sight. These ones are packed with yoga classes, green juices and motivational talks. Wellfest runs over a weekend in Dublin and combines health, fitness and wellness. You can choose from a varied schedule of classes and workshops and make your day as exhausting, or relaxing, as you want. In Malaysia, Murfest has played a big part in the country’s new wellness initiative. The urban retreat festival was launched in 2014 and it’s three days of music, dance therapy, yoga and alternative healing workshops. One of the biggest wellness festivals in the U.S. is Idaho’s Sun Valley Wellness Festival. Now in its 19th year, the three-day festival features speeches by keynote speakers, ‘movement’ classes and performances by MC Yogi. Yes, he’s real.
Wellness Campaigns in Asia
AirAsia launched their ‘Travel to Wellness‘ campaign, after partnering with health and lifestyle brands. Throughout April, passengers travelling to any of AirAsia’s international or domestic destinations could claim discounts on yoga sessions, massages, spa treatments and other treats. The airline is also promoting Korea’s healthy side and encouraging travellers to visit its traditional wellness centres. Joy Cañeba, CEO of Philippines AirAsia said, “Health-oriented relaxation, rejuvenation, hot springs and spas have become increasingly popular, not only among Koreans, but also among international tourists.”
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s sports ministry has introduced the ‘Fit Malaysia’ campaign. Malaysia is already known for medical tourism, but the campaign is focusing on the more holistic side of health. First launched in 2014, ‘Fit Malaysia’ is all about combining sports with other elements that enhance the mind-body connection. Yoga retreats, spiritual retreats and fitness weeks are all part of the country’s new take on health.
Hotels are getting healthier, but offering a couple of yoga classes here and there isn’t enough these days. New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont recently became the first WellHotel® certified hotel in America. WellHotel certification was introduced to ensure that hotels have the right facilities to offer high quality wellness programmes. Founded in 1978, New Life became known for its hiking holidays, weight loss programmes and all-round approach to health retreats.
Image: Brooke Cagle
A bottle of kombucha in the afternoon, a bowl of miso with dinner and sauerkraut as a side–fermented foods are everywhere at the moment. Wellness experts have been praising the likes of pickles and tempeh for years and research continues to emerge on their healthy properties. Fermented foods are said to act as natural probiotics, that improve digestive health and boost good bacteria in the gut. If you can’t get the hang of it all, The Cultured Club runs courses and fermentation masterclasses in Belfast.
For people who hardly have an hour to do their grocery shopping, let alone visit a spa, it’s time to relax. Massage-on-demand has become a thing. Zeel is an app that delivers a massage therapist straight to your door. It started in Miami, LA and San Francisco, but has since been rolled out to more states across the U.S.
Souping is the new juicing, apparently. Claiming that soup is more satisfying and more nutrient-dense than raw juice, companies like Soupelina and the Splendid Spoon are winning over customers. Some are choosing to replace one daily meal with soup, while hardcore soupers are doing cleanses.