From The Chronicle of Higher Education, here’s a balanced if somewhat apologetic look at one of the most dominant trends in Western society today. Yes folks, we’re talking about “wellness.” In its more commercial, aestheticized, upper-middle-class forms, the concept makes us want to roll our eyes so hard they pop out of their sockets. (We’re looking at you, juicers.) Yet the intellectual life that has traditionally spurned softer notions of self-care and body awareness stands to learn a thing or two about how to make thinking and feeling and living visceral again.
First came the anthropologist of Arctic poverty who found me on Instagram and confided that she was a Jazzercise fanatic. Then the intellectual historian who eloquently introduced herself as an expert on a similarly Serious Topic but rapidly and with sparkling eyes, before any of our fellow conferees entered the elevator, effused that it was really her Ashtanga yoga practice that sustained her. And the implacable administrator who waited for the meeting room to clear before explaining to me, her gaze softening, the admirable commitment of her Wednesday-night 'Zumba ladies,' who traveled from three boroughs to their class in the Bronx.