Change your mind, change your body 

Fourth year for Whistler Wellness Week includes health trade fair, workshops, demos

By Vivian Moreau

Lose 10 pounds without missing a bite. How to give a psychic reading. A live dialogue with essence.

Sound like story titles in a cheesy magazine? No, just three of 50 workshops and seminars scheduled for this year’s Whistler Wellness Week, May 5-13.

Wellness covers many gradients of subjects and this year’s week will again include not only workshops and demonstrations but opportunities for locals and visitors to sample activities such as yoga, meditation, Pilates and physical workouts.

Organized last year by Whistler resident Glenn Iles and colleagues, this year Iles is again producing the four-year-old event (www.whistlerwellnessweek.com) that includes a wellness fair with over 70 health industry suppliers. However, this year Tourism Whistler is working with the producers, providing space for the fair in the Telus Conference Centre and handling marketing for the gathering. Iles said Tourism Whistler’s participation has freed him up to focus on organizing the week’s events.

“This time last year I was busy preparing ads and trying to get brochures out, but this year I’m able to spend more time focusing on the agenda: what the itinerary is going to look like and then just getting the word out generally,” he said.

In addition, Four Seasons Resort Whistler has stepped forward to promote and provide space for several on-site workshops. Calgary fitness expert Ron Jarrett will lead not only fitness training workshops but nutrition workshops that will explain proper ratios of food intake for varying exercise concentrations because “an individual’s nutrition needs to mirror their activity,” he said. Jarrett, who has a physical education degree from the University of Alberta, said he doesn’t believe in diets but in lifestyle choices.

“This (lifestyle change) can be an awful lot of fun — it doesn’t have to be torture like so many have been led to believe,” Jarrett said from his Calgary fitness studio.

In addition, local instructor Colleen Felgate will host morning and afternoon yoga workshops. Practical sessions with a Four Seasons’ chef about preparing healthy breakfasts, that will include the breakfast, are also in the works. Meadow Park Recreation Centre will also host several participatory sessions.

Iles said wellness is not only an industry but a philosophy whose time has come.

“Consciousness in the world has dramatically changed in the last five years and this is a trend of people being more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies and how they’re treating their bodies,” Iles said. “There is a real appetite in the market for people to learn and explore things that might work for them.”

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