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When did ‘wellness’ become so elitist?

When did ‘wellness’ become so elitist?

Wellness is a trend and term I try not to attach myself too. It’s too vague, too rinsed in the media, too much of a buzzword, too catchy, too expensive, too…. well, vapid.

We really could marry anything to wellness and attach a few extra zeros. An ancient Chinese herbal tea? Very ‘wellness’ and also very pricey, and subsequently only drunk by the bourgeoise Westbourne Grove set. Yoga? Mid-term wellness, but Bikram? Full-throttle wellness and therefore a class will set you back £30, instead of the more socially accepted £10.

Rosemary sprigs in your water? High-level wellness. Lemon and rosemary in your water? Peak wellness. Water on its own? Just, wellness.

This is my problem; we’ve created a social construct and distinction behind the term wellness. We should all be practicing ‘wellness’ and ingratiating it into our daily lives and routines. Yet, we’ve elevated this term to such a level of distinction, both fiscally and socially, that for many it’s an impenetrable and laughable construct.

Practicing ‘wellness’ shouldn’t be expensive nor keep you out of pocket. Here, I practice meditation in my garden

We need to rid the bourgeoise clad from the term and activity of wellness. I participate in free yoga classes (incredulous I know, especially as I live in London, but I am not telling you how I achieve this, call it wellness snobbery), I grow fresh rosemary in my garden, mint in a pot, occasionally I run by the water, I sit on my own couch and practice  ‘breathe work’ every day, I write in a journal (always have since I was about 5), spray lavender on my pillow, occasionally I pick up a rock by the beach and display in on my mantel piece (the ones that look interesting), I don’t buy too many new clothes (I have never believed in fast fashion) and occasionally I splurge at TK Maxx on discounted natural oils. My water bottle is from Wilco.

I don’t visit the local Goop store or any ‘wellness’-oriented store and pay a lot for items that boast a healthy impact on the consumer and the planet. I don’t sign up for expensive classes, nor do I need to go on the latest retreat to get in touch with my inner self. I don’t carry crystals or buy expensive juices or cleanses. I have never visited the store Arket.

Yoga has reached peak ‘wellness’ status. I have been practicing it for a number of years and often in the comfort of my own home!

My point; it’s great to be able to afford the latest gadgets in the wellness world, but it’s completely ok if you can’t. Wellness shouldn’t have a price tag, nor should it be so snobby. Truthfully, we should all be practicing and participating in wellness, in both our micro and macro spheres, but we’ve become so out-of-touch with this term and its origins that it’s ignored and laughed off by a huge percentage of the population.

Wellness could be as simple as mediating for 3 minutes in the morning, mindfully making a morning coffee, or taking a bath at the end of a long day. It sounds good, no? Well, let’s free the term wellness of its elitist shackles and make it accessible to all.

And on that communal, let’s-all-hold-hand note: the free yoga classes? Courtesy of Sweaty Betty.

Catherine McMaster
Editor | Producer | Writer | Project Manager Editor - Sunseeker Magazine Editor - Gaggenau Magazine Contributing Editor - THE SUN | NEWS UK

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