Yoga and Politics

Recently Off the Mat and the Huff Po provided stress relief at the Republican and Democratic Conventions and next week Yoga for New York gears up to celebrate the work they’ve accomplished with Albany lawmakers. The Daily Beast reported that yoga teachers have a high incidence of donating money to the Obama campaign.
Our friend, the anarchist blogger Aghori Babarazzi wrote a piece recently where he comments that he gets the heebee jeebies thinking about “trikonasana as a form of resistance.” A lot of students agree.

But we think politics and yoga is an OK mix.

The Baghavad Gita teaches us to live in this world and fight for what is right. It also teaches us to not form attachments to the fruits of our efforts. That doesn’t mean we don’t act. We do!

When we see Occupiers needing meditation we supply it. When we need to raise money through benefit classes to stop sex trafficking or abate hunger, we do it. And, when we can use the power of our community to get people to vote we form “Yoga Votes“.

Sure, it’s great to practice yoga to just “feel good” but using your practice as a political force is important if you’ve made a conscious choice to live in this world and not run off to a cave to meditate and reach samadhi.

Yoga and politics is a powerful combination. If we want to live in a world free of violence, dishonesty and greed we must work towards something more true and sustainable. Using yoga to further a world of peace shouldn’t give you the “heebee jeebies.” It should be an integral part of your everyday practice.

–Brette Popper


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