SOUL has published its captivating festival programme of insightful talks, guided wellness sessions and hands-on treatments, featuring a global line-up of visionaries, thought leaders and wellness pioneers to the Maldives from September 29 to October 8, 2023. A partnership with the pioneering hospitality brand Soneva and international wellness enterprise ORGANIC INDIA, the intimate festival will be an immersive exploration of health and wellness in all its forms, from personal to planetary, at the award-winning Soneva Fushi, located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
The list of international speakers includes: award-winning screenwriter, activist and documentary maker of That Sugar Film and 2024, Damon Gameau; Goi Peace Award recipient Bruce Lipton; New York Times bestselling author Jo Marchant; Ayurvedic aromatherapy pioneer Farida Irani; bestselling author and founder of Bio Blends Dr Libby Weaver; lifestyle ambassador and champion for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Fit India Movement’ Luke Coutinho; award-winning cinematographer, director and producer Louie Schwartzberg; psychologist, scientist and social entrepreneur Shamini Jain; gastroenterologist and author of The Mind Gut Connection Dr Emeran Mayer; clinical psychologist and mindfulness expert Shauna Shapiro; renowned spiritual leaders Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati; actress and biohacking expert Davinia Taylor; the first Western Ayurvedic practitioner in India Dr Robert Svoboda; award-winning science journalist Gaia Vince; naturopathic doctor and doctor of Oriental medicine Dr Lilly-Marie Blecher; anxiety and mindfulness coach Amanda Huggins; Medical Director & Senior Vice President of Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre Dr Paul Salins; orthotropics, orthodontics and Homeoblock specialised dentist Dr Timothy Doolin; author, inventor and founder of Conscious Breathing Anders Olsson; oncology specialist and author Dr Nasha Winters and family medicine specialist and co-medical director at Taos Whole Health Integrative Care Dr Joanna Hooper.
SOUL Festival will span ten days and two weekends, offering guests the opportunity to explore the ancient healing traditions and modern science and medicine that serve individuals, communities and the planet. Sunset cocktails on the sandbank and a plant-based gala dinner on the beach will mark the official opening of the inaugural edition, followed by a live music performance and stargazing at Soneva Fushi’s island Observatory.
Each morning guests can rise with the Maldivian sun during group yoga and meditation on the sandbank, reach new fitness goals with boot camps at the island jungle gym, explore the Indian Ocean’s hidden gems during guided paddleboarding, be introduced to the art of hot glassblowing, or gain insight into gut health during expert-led nutrition masterclasses. Throughout the day, guests can reconnect and feel renewed with daily healing rituals, expand their horizons during stimulating panel discussions, enjoy complimentary, one-on-one conversations with speakers or uncover the meaning of true health with a specially curated menu of treatments to try during SOUL.
Standout sessions not to be missed include The Neuroscience of Wellness with Bruce Lipton, Emeran Mayor, Shamini Jain, Paul Salins and Farida Irani; The Eye of the Storm – Finding Balance in Times of Chaos with Shauna Shapiro, Dr Lilly-Marie Blecher, Luke Coutinho and Robert Svoboda; Building a Regenerative Future with Damon Gameau, Sonu Shivdasani, William Bissel, Gaia Vince, Louie Swartzberg and Bruce Lipton; and Health Crisis to Health Awakening with Amanda Huggins, Louie Swartzberg and Jo Marchant. Alongside the live, in-person and interactive sessions for Soneva Fushi guests, SOUL’s sessions will also be streamed online.
Adding the perfect soundtrack to the event will be live musical performances by renowned Indian classical composer Ustad Kamal Sabri, sound healing practitioner and acclaimed singer and songwriter Kristin Hoffman and contemporary Indian poet and storyteller Bawari Basanti.
Guests can enjoy Soneva’s exclusive SOUL Festival offers, with specially curated three, five or ten-night packages. Starting from USD 6,900 for a three-night stay for two at Soneva Fushi, the offer includes full access to the festival programme, luxurious private villa accommodation, daily full board dining and round–trip domestic transfers. Bookings made before August 31, 2023, will also receive an additional 10 per cent reduction on the package rate.
A life-enriching festival with a purpose, proceeds from the sale of SOUL Festival tickets will go to the Soneva Foundation and ORGANIC INDIA Foundation to support the development of projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.
“We are so proud to host the first edition of SOUL Festival at Soneva Fushi,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and co-founder of Soneva. “Wellness permeates all that we do at Soneva: our sustainable, barefoot philosophy that reconnects our guests to the earth, our stunning natural locations, our delicious yet health-focused cuisine and our life-changing guest experiences. The festival’s remarkable programme is an opportunity to explore every facet of health and wellbeing, and I cannot wait to welcome the line-up of outstanding wellness experts to our shores.”
“SOUL Festival is a rare opportunity to experience a deeply immersive journey with some of the world’s leaders in wellness, health and regeneration,” adds festival director Chris Deckker. “From keynote talks and interactive panels to immersive workshops, intimate dinners and remote Island adventures, this unprecedented festival retreat is unlike any other in the world, hosted on one of the most magical Islands in the Maldives.”
Soneva Fushi can be easily reached via Velana International Airport in the capital Malé, or Maafaru International Airport in the Noonu Atoll. Every stay at Soneva Fushi also invites guests to indulge in Soneva’s signature experiences and award-winning services – from Barefoot Guardians on hand 24/7 to anticipate every request, and transformative wellness treatments at Soneva Soul, to rare, one-of-a-kind island experiences, and exciting programme of activities at The Den, one of the largest children’s zones in the region.