The ULU Yoga Blog


Let’s face it: what can yoga teach us about the political climate, and if yoga is to be our guide, it is probably best to use it as a guide.

Politics? It’s enough to make your blood boil. There are not many subjects that are more divisive than this one, especially in this day and age. With both sides of the aisle talking and arguing all the time, it’s no wonder that all of us are stressed and at each other’s throats. One way to avoid this is to try and live a more quiet life, and this has never seemed more desirable than it does today. 

Here are some important lessons we can learn from yoga in a turbulent political environment. Yoga is a practice that promotes the development of both physical and spiritual harmony. Unlike other practices, it can be done in an hour or less and consists of physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. And, beyond the physical component, this ancient practice can offer many lessons to all those who are willing to listen.

Ahimsa is an ancient Sanskrit word meaning “non-violence”. It’s a term that describes the idea of non-violence, love and kindness that we should all follow. Yoga is a practice that comes from ancient Indian spiritual traditions. While many people today visit their local yoga studio for intense training, traditional yoga has much more to do with internal work than external practice.

This is how we learn to be kind to each other in terms of emotional, physical and mental events. It is easy to create violence by making judgments, by creating anger and irritation when we speak out against those who hold different political views from us. The practice of the yogi follows a moral compass embodied in ahimsa, an act of non-violence.

The Buddhist principle of compassion is a great way to combat irritating conversations, Facebook posts and tweets. It’s about having positive emotions and thoughts for others, which can be challenging in the digital age. Start practicing mindfulness now and watch your mood improve. We learn not to react violently and replace our moody feelings with loving kindness and acceptance. This is precisely why ahimsa and yoga are crucial practices that surely come in handy to resist and defend against  forms of ‘violence’, not only in politics, but also in everyday life.

In politics, yoga is a great way to release stress and get an individual’s perspective on the world.

The principle of Ahimsa is the key to living and speaking the truth. It is also known as “non-harming,” which means not only not doing something bad, but actively doing something good. The path we can take to alleviate our political grievances is the act of Truthfulness (Satya). If you make the decision to pursue this goal, not only you will be creating a better world for yourself, you’ll be also creating a better world for everyone around you.

One way to use Satya in our daily activities is when we think in facts – check. When we come from a place of truth, you’ll start to notice how conversations become more accessible for everyone involved.

These tips for a happier, healthier life help you maintain a balanced lifestyle through yoga, meditation, health, fitness, self-care and a healthy lifestyle.

I take part in a yoga class to physically challenge my body and sweat out stress, but yoga is more than just the physical aspects. I always tell my students that I go far beyond the balance positions on the mat, that I can also apply balance in my thoughts, actions and habits.

If you don’t want to spend 90 minutes a day in an intensive Ashtanga yoga class, but you are certainly attracted to the tense political chaos, then I hope you won’t want to spend your time and energy on it. I’m not sure I’ve lost my balance in my life, and I certainly don’t know. Me neither – But I can learn to look at politics and balance from the perspective of a yoga teacher, not only as a yoga exercise, but also as a way of life.

Look at your daily habits and you can learn to moderate your time – and spend. How often do you read, talk, hear or hear inflammatory messages scrolling through social media feeds, on your mobile phone, in your email inbox or on the Internet?

Do you hear from your yoga teacher during the yoga class that he is teaching you to breathe? You can look around outside, play with the children, read a book – a non-political one – and read. Create a balance between work, yoga and politics to create a happier lifestyle for yourself.

Choose this easy-to-translate concept when you feel the waves of stress, anxiety and frustration coming. Perhaps your anxiety grows as the midterm elections approach, and you read the recent storm of conservative tweets from your opponent.

When this inevitably happens, close your eyes and fill your body with fresh oxygen before it is completely overwhelmed. Yoga is a training work that should experience the present moment, and each asana offers a physical focus that helps you to ground yourself in the now.

Instead of following the rabbit hole of dark thoughts and feelings, try to stay present and bring everything into the one moment that really matters: the present moment. Use this skill to learn new skills such as meditation, yoga, meditation practice and mindfulness meditation.

The word yoga means “yoke” because it unites breath with the body, and it means to unite breath and body. Can we pave the way for a peaceful environment for all yogis and should we give our colleagues and neighbours the confidence that yoga can help us overcome turbulence, confusion and division?

Ulu Contributor

Ulu Contributor

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