“President Trump’s election and the political cacophony that followed are driving waves of people to yoga and meditation, seeking a respite from the roller-coaster ride but also trying to recharge and build energy for a political pushback…
Yoga and mediation coaches say they are seeing increased enrollment and fewer dropouts from the annual “New Year’s resolution” wave of signups. Part of this is stress relief — the American Psychological Association reports that stress nationwide is on the rise for the first time in 10 years.
Yoga is at its core an inward-looking practice of self-control, aiming to block out distraction and focus on your breathing. But many practitioners are now looking to yoga as part of their political activism.
At a yoga festival in D.C. last weekend, Dema Al-Kakhan said yoga is both a way to detach from the “chaos around you” and a path to activism. “When you work on yourself and you are empowering yourself, you are able to fill your cup so you are able to go out into the external world and make change. You can’t serve your community from an empty cup and low battery.”
Yoga and meditation “were already on the rise but this election really kicked it in to gear,” said Mali Jane, co-founder of the AM Yoga studio in Grand Rapids, Mich. The studio offered free yoga and meditation classes for three days after the election and “every class was packed,” said her partner Ashley Yost. “We called it an election decompression.” …”
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