Ok, really – as a person as obsessed with yoga and civic engagement, can someone please tell me why it took me until election day to find this amazing campaign?
I love it, especially this excerpt:
Over the last five years at Off the Mat, Into the World, I have witnessed what is possible when we take our yoga practice into our lives. It is informing the ways that we spend our money. It shows up in our choices about what we eat. Around the world, yogis are finding their voice and stepping into leadership in their communities. Yoga is influencing the way that we relate to one another and raise our children. Yoga is everywhere, and politics is no exception.
Today is the day we take action. In this election, EVERY vote counts. Whether you are in a swing state, or a red state, or a blue state – we are all in this as a collective nation and our voice will speak volumes about what we stand for. But more than that, voting is a way of claiming your place in society. It fiercely states “I deserve to be heard and will stand up for what i believe in”. It reflects your commitment to being a part of something bigger than yourself. That is yoga.
I wish that Hot Yoga Plus had gotten in on their offers to host a workshop or display a poster, but to be honest, I’m not surprised that they didn’t. I’ve been in my work with state tax advocacy that many businesses shy away from what they see as “politics” – either they don’t know enough to be sure they’re doing the right thing and are afraid they’ll hurt their business, or they serve clients who are sure to be offended no matter the situation.
I like this campaign, though, because to become a studio partner, (those studios send an email to their students about yoga votes, host a free class on Election Day, and display a poster and mindful voter guides) the studio must commit to being nonpartisan.
My group, Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, is also nonpartisan, willing to work with any party for the advancement of a morally sound tax structure (for those of you who are unfamiliar, that basically means taking the tax off food, making internet retailers collect the same taxes as mom-and-pop shops, and requiring more transparency in state-corporate deals).
This is what it means to be civically engaged – not putting a bumper sticker on your car or voting for a straight ticket, but listening to your inner voice, educating your conscious, hearing the cries of the poor and vulnerable, and pushing hard for the moral right.
This is what yoga does for me; it opens my heart and encourages me to take lessons learned on my mat into my life, outside of myself. It’s an incredible gift, and one I’m proud to be able to exercise today.