More People Are Doing Yoga To Survive In Trump’s America—Let Us Not Retreat

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While our national health care is in the balance, some people take well-being in their own hands – many of them out of sheer necessity, and for some, maybe even a little bit of desperation? (Serenity NOW.) But that's not wrong.

We are living in a new era, of which we have never witnessed before, which, with the almost inevitable policy, splashed all our screens like a reality show, invaded our streams and encroached on our precious and vulnerable head space. You could say that it's a necessary self-torture – we have to stay awake! But how can we cope and keep all this copacetic? Engage or disengage? Speak or bury our heads under our mats?

USA Today reports that the political divide actually stimulates yoga and meditation, especially among liberals.

Yoga and mediation coaches say that they are seeing an increase in enrollments and fewer dropouts from the annual "New Year" enrollment wave. Part of this is stress relief – the American Psychological Association reports that stress at the national level is on the rise for the first time in 10 years .

But part of this is also meditation as resistance: the liberals view yoga as a place for reflection and recharge for political fights on the outside.

"This last election was mostly so tumultuous and so divided – as though there was so much anguish and anger on either side," said Kristin McGee, professor of yoga and author of a beginners guide entitled Chair Yoga. "The whole idea of ​​yoga is to unite or come together and create a community. … people are trying to find a way to come together, to try to find out what makes them makes you feel connected and centered. "

[Traduction] Since the election, McGee said: "More and more people are coming to class, more and more people are sending me emails and asking me how they can start or ask me for sessions privates. "

Surprise! People need yoga more than ever. You may have even noticed a slight rise in your own classes. Twisted out of shape barely describes how people felt after the elections, and I mean on each side. Let's be honest, this has been anything but a peaceful transition, and now there is so much more work to do to put us in a stable and solid direction. It is therefore logical that yoga is an unavoidable sanctuary.

It can also be an escape.

Stress is on the rise It is also yoga. But, interestingly, the yoga community was generally silent when the citta hit the fan in recent months (or was the year so long?). Maybe it's just a bargain. After all, if the numbers are up, why rock navasana?

In order to attract and retain customers, staying in the middle of the road with the vague and pink principle of a single love seemed to be the path chosen by many yoga teachers. You all have studios that do not know what's going on outside their walls in Ganesha – apart from these subtle tips that yoga teachers might give up in reference to "all this madness of the world", as a kind of yoga code. Wanderlust chose this year's hunkydory #cometogether theme to be topical and trendy, but it's more of an opportunistic and superficial marketing strategy than a true call to unity. (At least, they're sort of tackling the problems?)

It seems good to shake hands and forget the woes of the world, but please, do not confuse kumbaya with complacency. Or festivals and feathers with constructive activism.

We are in a unique position as a yoga community to invite even more social responsibility and awareness.

"… Wellness communities, yoga communities have had the privilege to exist outside of these conversations," said Kerri Kelly, founder of a health advocacy group. Social Justice, CTZNWELL, at USA Today. But now, "this privilege does not exist anymore," says Kelly, adding, "Who we are as a country has appeared on the surface and we have no choice but to confront it. . "

Compete against him, or at least participate. (Note: you do not have to call yourself an activist to be a conscious citizen.) I'm not saying to start your Trump Yoga empire – but is not it surprising that someone did not capitalize on that already, a Namasdrake ? In other words, stand in tadasana but do not be a stick in the mud. Practice yoga nidra but do not sleepwalking … you know?

I also do not say that your carpet should become a soap box, a podium or a pulpit. Should yoga teachers or studios align with politics? I do not know. But to pretend that things are not in a constant state of kerfluffle seems to do more harm – physically, emotionally and cellular – than good. I realize that it's a delicate balance, but these are not delicate moments.

It is encouraging to see more people find a respite from yoga and meditation, but we are not doing favors by relying on the real issues we face beyond our mats. Yoga and meditation, indeed, help us to tune internally, but do not try to be culturally and socially deaf to your tone. Hopefully the increased practice will bring us more clarity individually to lead us to a clearer way forward collectively. Time will tell if it will result in conscious and compassionate action or inactive apathy.


hollypenny is a writer, yoga practitioner and curious young woman living in New York. (For the record, his practice is also to call his senators regularly. #resist)

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