Yogic Politics

October 16th, 2008 — 4:24pm

I recently wrote a short piece that went out on Yoga Journal’s Conference Connection Newsletter on resuming my yoga practice after having surgery recently to relieve pain in my neck and back. I wrote about how the body speaks its needs plainly — if you learn to listen. But that was not the topic that I was originally asked to write on.

“Can you write about how yoga can help you speak about politics without getting heated? How yoga can help keep you centered and calm in the middle of fierce, polarizing emotions?” a conference staffer asked me.

I thought about it for 1.8 seconds and said, “That’s a great idea. But I can’t write it.”

I am dumbfounded and very angry at how this country has been run for the last eight years. The economy. The Iraq War. The erosion of civil liberties. The neglect of our environment. Of our infrastructure of roads and bridges. The state of our public education. When Bush stole the 2000 election, I said to my husband, “this is the turning point. We are witnessing the decline of the American empire.” I just had no idea it would decline so fast.

What happened to the country I used to live in? Because of some weird emotional torment of Shakespearian proportions  between Bush Jr. and Senior, we have lost over 4000 young men and women in a war we had no business starting. How did our economy tank so fast?  I have not watched the President on TV or listened to him on the radio for the last few years, because I loathe him, his incurious mind, his Machiavellian VP, and their failed policies.

So no, I have no equanimity about politics, and no, I didn’t write that piece.

But I do have hope. I watch the polls avidly and though things look great for Obama. But if somehow McCain won, I couldn’t bear the heartbreak. John McCain might have been a maverick and a hero at one time, but all I see now is an angry, cynical man who has no idea how to run a campaign and or a presidency. His choice of Palin was cynical, irresponsible and unforgivable.

Obama is the first politician I’ve ever been excited by. He’s a brilliant, elegant, calm, able man. He’s a leader. Imagine that, a President who actually rises up above partisanship to lead this country into this new century.

Make sure you vote. And if you have young kids, bring them to the voting booth with you. They need to know it’s a right that can never be taken for granted.

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