yoga for voting

Yoga can make you more flexible but what does it have to do with politics? Sarah and Meg, our yogi/bloggers-on-the-ground at this year's Republican and Democratic conventions are here to tell us how yoga played a role in each of these gatherings.

yoga at the rnc

Sarah from our Hyde Park Village store in Tampa, attended this year's Republican National Convention.

planting seeds

Excitement, stress, even a little fear buzzed around Tampa, Florida as the RNC began to take form. The atmosphere was tense, the traffic was horrendous and it was obvious that the last thing on everyone's minds was a little something we like to call "work-life balance." Enter: the HuffPost Oasis.

From the moment I read about her in an old Yoga Journal article, Seane Corn has been my girl. She's got a big ol' head of hair (I could stare at that hair for days) and a big ol' brain full of wisdom. The day before the convention started, I took her "Three Realms of Consciousness" workshop. Here I was able to hear first hand how her vision for bringing yoga to a political convention came to life. She stated that our future leaders of the country are certainly ones who need peace, mindfulness, clarity- well, basically all that yoga embodies. Republicans were about to be shown what was up.

How did Off the Mat and Into the World (Seane Corn's organization), along with the Huffington Post, bring all of this goodness to a group of unsuspecting politicians? Healthy meals that were easy to prepare. Back and hand massages. Organic make-up touch-ups. Yoga classes all day long. Meditation and breathing exercise. And juices - did I mention how much juice was at this thing? Smoothies, coconut waters and a rainbow of juices as far as the eye could see. The space was large, air conditioned and lined with candles. It smelled like peach bellinis and looked like a 5-star spa in Switzerland. Guests could sit in squishy, delicious chairs and -- oh yeah, nap in a sleep machine. It was like a place out of a dream. I almost ran for office just so that I could live at Oasis.

No matter what political view we stand behind, I think we can agree that the yogic lifestyle is our guide into what is rational, peaceful and healing. Someone is going to run our country and I am thankful that the Oasis was at the convention to plant the seeds of mindfulness.

yoga at the dnc

Meg from our Southpark store in Charlotte, NC, attended this year's Democratic Nation Convention.

feel the expansion

Yoga at the DNC
I can’t remember the posture I relaxed myself into when I heard Southpark Store Ambassador, Adam Whiting say it. “Now,” he said, “feel the expansion.” It was a complimentary yoga practice at Midtown Park in Charlotte, North Carolina with an almost reachable view of Charlotte’s skyline. This calm served as the quiet before the politics, passion, press and entertainment invaded our town. This was the first day of the Democratic National Convention in a city relatively new to intense, international attention. Now, feel the expansion.

This DNC brought nothing short of a challenging pace and fresh experiences for me. I watched famous journalists do what they do best. I needed “credentials”. The Secret Service told me where to park. I reconnected with a friend from college with challenging, academic theory of religion and politics – over simple, classic glass bottles of local soda. I stood in front of a sand sculpture of President Barack Obama. I practiced with yogis from all over the country. I listened to Chef Marcus Samuelsson talk about food choices. I volunteered with Off the Mat and Into the World at the Huffington Post Oasis. I ran after a Washington Post reporter leaving our store to tell him I liked his post yesterday. I heard things I agreed with. I heard things I disagreed with. I picked up swag. I got to see a panel of famous, female entrepreneurs speak about collaboration, innovation and the importance of female talent. And I’m not exactly sure where else The Foo Fighters , Flo Rida, John Legend and James Taylor would all perform within the same radius within days of each other.

Myself and another Southpark store educator, Mary Catherine, met Ariana Huffington. She graciously signed her book “Fearless” and inscribed nothing short of a game changer - “To Meg, Fear nothing… Ariana”. Fear nothing…now, feel the expansion.

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Check out YogaVotes, a national, nonpartisan campaign to get yogis out to vote in 2012.

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why don’t you just do yoga and stay out of politics? what does yoga have to do with politics? we need some space that just doesn’t get political. no presenting sides “equally”, just keep out of it. I thought exercise was a place where I don’t have to be a democrat or republican – just a person doing yoga, and being healthy.

Comment by cathleen — September 14, 2012 @ 4:21 pm

I completely disagree with Cathleen. Politics or any other profession needs yoga. I was delightfully surprised and happy to hear about the involvement at both conventions. Way to go! Way to spread health, vitality and “expansion” to all forms of professions — especially politics.

I worked in politics for over 15 years in Canada and I can definitely say yoga is a needed element for anyone working in such a stressful occupation regardless of political stripe. Sarah & Meg are not pushing politics on anyone — they are pushing health! Way to go ladies!

Comment by Laurie — September 14, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

Agree with the above – PLEASE keep out of politics.

Comment by jill — September 14, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

Yoga may exercise your body, but the philosophy behind it can change your mind. It makes space for us to allow acceptance, teaches us compassion, and reaffirms integrity. We are better versions of ourselves when we practice these things, and form a deeper sense of self awareness. Yoga is not about politics, nor were either of the articles written above. Yoga was brought to these conventions, it seems, to offer a calm amid chaos, to reconnect with ourselves and our community, and to offer a few moments of probably much needed release. There are no biases discussed, no opinions projected, and no reason to be offended by the simple acknowledgement that despite our views, both democrats and republicans appreciate an opportunity to find a little peace of mind. I am grateful that this was available at both conventions.

Comment by anna — September 18, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

In the spirit of Yoga itself lets not be critical lets
just embrace all that is positive about this:)

Comment by carol — September 21, 2012 @ 10:29 am

With Paul Ryan bringing Ayn Rand’s philosophies to this election season, all the folks who work at Lululemon must be so proud. Or don’t you know about Lululemon’s association with Ayn Rand? What a joke. Lululemon made themselves political when they gave out the offensive “John Galt” bags. I highly doubt most of your silly ambassadors even know about this controversy. If they do, I wonder if they too believe in this Wilson/Rand “rise above mediocrity” foolishness. Please stay out of politics.

Comment by TLee — September 21, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

Funny to see the photo with Ariana Huffington up there. Wonder what she really thinks about Lululemon…

Comment by TLee — September 21, 2012 @ 4:44 pm

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