I Survived My First Wellness Festival


And then, I had the strangest sensation—a slight quickening in my core, kind of like those gentle twitches when you’re trying to fall asleep. The twitch kept building, and building, and building, as if it were sentient, and trying to get out of me. Eyes closed, I heard the instructor walk over to me, and then I felt her gently press her hand down over my belly.

Reader, I couldn’t make this part up if I tried: as the instructor touched my belly, my entire torso went pins and needles numb. As I lay there on my mat, prone, completely surrendering to whatever was happening, the twitches intensified. I didn’t feel vulnerable or embarrassed or shy or any of the things I thought I would have felt; instead, I felt the most beautiful and intense sensation of release. For the second time that weekend, I started to cry. Not just a gentle, scenic tear like when I was overlooking the sunset and feeling good about my life the night before. We’re talking big, fat tears. Snotty nose, Season 2 finale of Grey’s Anatomy when Denny dies kind of tears.

My consciousness turned inward. In quick succession, I saw a string of memories pass through my mind: I saw my grandmother, who passed away almost exactly one year prior to Alma, dressed in white and arms outstretched towards me; then I saw the moment my first serious boyfriend and I decided to break up, holding each other and crying in our New York City apartment; then I saw every personal and professional rejection, every stubbed toe, every time I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Well aren’t you less than?” The supercut played out, tears streaming down my face.

The instructor tapped a single finger on my forehead, and I could hear her whisper, “Yes, yes, yes.” Apparently, I kundalini’d well. After a moment, the sensation waned, the music slowed, then silenced, and I returned to my body.

Clearly, all it takes to turn someone on to a wellness festival is a good sunset workout and a freaky experience with kundalini. By the end of the weekend, I could’ve given Gwyneth Paltrow herself a run for her money. I was talking about adaptogenic herbs, which strains of mushrooms will promote longevity, and how sunning my genitals could work wonders for my hormones.

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