OYM Day 80: Inner Dunce Workshop Pt. 2
Mina talked about the healing qualities of music, sound, and vibration. She told us that the music she was about to play would be quite loud and not to be alarmed by the sound of booming gongs, drums, or symbols.
What the literal fuck was I doing here? I wanted to ask how long this would go on for, but Mina seemed to sense the question coming and told us she’d turn the lights on with just enough time to have a quick sharing circle before the studio closes at 9:30.
An hour and a half of this nonsense? I wanted to run head first into the giant silver gong at the front of the room.
But instead, I laid back on my mat, draped my blanket over my body and face, and thought about how we all looked like sad participants in an end of days cult ritual. Spoiler alert, the world didn’t end. I almost wish it had, as it would have saved me from an hour and a half of inner dance.
The soundtrack of an “inner dance” journey is eerily reminiscent of a gas station in anywhere-Indiana. I was expecting bells and gongs and flutes, but all I got was accosted by Ozzy Osborne’s “Crazy Train” at full volume. Mina wasn’t messing around and went full truck stop on us, right of the bat. I wondered if she did this on purpose, to shock the senses. Or maybe this was a militarized move: break us down with bad rock music and build us back up again afterwards, but only better. Do you know the opening of “Crazy Train”? It’s the song they play in large arenas for sporting events, as players rush a field or court. Sometimes there’s a fog machine.
And it just got worse. So much worse. It was like being stuck in someone’s bad playlist for an eternity. No skip button. No stop, pause, or eject. Just a medley of classic hits to get you in a proper mental space. Songs like: the theme song of Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird”, and a personal favorite for when I want to just drive my car into a guardrail, U2’s “With Or Without You.”
To add a little spice to an already zesty playlist, Mina hopped around the room and in between bodies banging on a tambourine, then started screaming at the top of her lungs. I figured she had lost her mind. Just when I thought I should maybe call 911, I peeled back my blanket and opened my eyes to see where this little leprechaun was hiding now, and there she was, crouching in the corner of the room, preparing to blow all of the air her little lungs could hold into a giant animal horn. I braced myself.
For good measure, Mina repeated the U2 song and closed with it. When I heard Bono’s voice echoing in my ear drums for the second time I really thought I might lose it. My whole body was ringing when the lights crept down the walls of the room, signaling us to rise. I had made it. I blinked my eyes and put my head in my hands, massaging my temples. The other women in the room probably thought my inner-dance journey was tumultuous, but really I was just saying “oh, Cassie, you idiot” over and over in my brain.
Mina summoned us to the center of the room. She wanted to give us a chance to share our experience with the group, if we felt comfortable. And this…this would be what made it worth $35.
— Part 3, the finale, tomorrow