Artists make the best curators. And Heather Alexander, Reiki master and master organizer, is about to prove that wellness practitioners make the best holistic educators.
Alexander, a Brooklynite by way of northern England, wanted a venue where she could set up a table, share her passion for Reiki, and give demonstrations. She couldn’t find a health and wellness fair that she felt was a fit (“some are filled with crazy-eyed people, others are in decidedly unhealthy settings”), so she created Alive & Well in Brooklyn, an all-day event this Sunday at the Textile Arts Center in Park Slope. From 11:00 to 5:00, Alive & Well will feature seminars, workshops, food, and free mini-bodywork experiences. (Well+Good will be there, too.) Admission is free.
The New York wellness scene is flooded with therapies and practitioners, explains Alexander. “So actually finding a holistic practice or person that works for you can be overwhelming.” The idea behind Alive & Well is to give people face-time with a group of handpicked practitioners at the top of their game. Alexander scoured Brooklyn, and included some Manhattan talent as well, to come up with an all-star line-up of 30 holistic exhibitors. “We wanted something from every type of discipline,” says Alexander.
The final list of exhibitors definitely achieves that goal. There are workshops on how to make natural perfume from Off the Mat, a creator of yoga-inspired bath and body products to mini-lessons in the Alexander Technique, a therapy that focuses on movement to change postural habits, avoid strain, and recuperate from injuries. Many of the exhibitors will also be giving out free samples or offering discounts on products or services.
“Brooklynites have a tendency to be independent musicians, writers, performers—people who have flexibility in their day and are interested in their well-being,” says Belinda Mello, the Alexander Technique teacher who will be at the fair. “There’s a great attitude in Brooklyn about people living a balanced, healthy lifestyle and Alexander Technique is very much about bringing balance back into your life.”
Aimee Follette of Sun in Bloom, an organic café on Bergen Street that specializes in raw and gluten-free desserts and fresh-pressed juices, will be serving samples. She’ll also have holistic health counselors available to speak with people passing through. “I hope to help educate our community on all of the really fun and delicious options available that can help improve health and well-being,” she says.
At the end of the day, Alive & Well will be an incredible resource for the rapidly growing population of wellness-conscious New Yorkers, both in and around Brooklyn. (We know you Manhattanites don’t leave your borough on the weekend, but this might just be worth it.)
The wellness scene is here to stay, and now Brooklyn has a dedicated venue for exploring it. “We opened our practice in 2006 and I’ve seen a dramatic increase in the desire for holistic and wellness services,” says Erika Simonian, a practitioner from New York Homeopathy who will be giving a talk at the fair. “Five years ago people stared at me strangely when I said I practice homeopathy—they just weren’t familiar with the word. Now, the public at large wants this information, and it feels great to get the word out.”
Alive & Well is this Sunday, September 26 from 11:00-5:00. Admission is free.