I Survived D.C.’s First ‘Sweat Crawl’

It hurts to laugh, but then, there’s not much to laugh about. It even hurts to writhe in pain, and of that, there is plenty.

In a cruel twist to the lyrics of the Beyoncé song, , explaining Ehrenreich’s argument:

Like workout culture, wellness is a form of conspicuous consumption. It is only the wealthy who have the resources to maintain the illusion of an integral and bounded self, capable of responsible self-care and thus worthy of social status. The same logic says that those who smoke (read: poor), or don’t eat right (poor again), or don’t exercise enough (also poor) have personally failed and somehow deserve their health problems and low life expectancy.

Being mindful of that, I settled into a series of stretches and restorative poses—guided by a slender man with the sensual, somber air of a ballerina. That day, he wore cream-colored nail paint, and a bunch of japa malas around his wrist. I’d taken his class before, and had quite enjoyed it—I’d appreciated his focus on administering a challenging sequence instead of doling out Hindu philosophy. The latter can be a tad awkward if you’re the only Indian person in class. At the end of our 30-minute session, he bid us “namaste,” as is customary in American yoga classes. (In India, “namaste” is something one says to a nosy neighborhood auntie or an elderly visiting relative.)

I responded by silently folding my hands in gratitude.

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