If you didn’t watch the Republican debate last night, you missed a hilarious, if potentially scary, exchange between the candidates regarding their perception of yoga. After repeatedly being interrupted by Donald Trump, Ted Cruz tells him to stop interrupting him, to just breathe. “You can do it. I know it’s hard…”
Cruz was cut off before he could finish his sentence, but the interruption came from Marco Rubio who suggested that maybe when the two of them were done with yoga, Rubio might be allowed to answer a question. With the yoga image in his mind, Cruz said he really hoped there would be no yoga on stage. But since Donald Trump had been touting his political flexibility all evening, Rubio pointed out that with Trump’s flexibility, you never know – maybe a little yoga improv was in order.
Clever repartee, and a very shallow understanding of yoga, but at least some of the presidential candidates know that control of breath can bring focus and peace of mind. Hillary Clinton said that during the Benghazi hearings, her own yoga routine was one of the things that helped her get through the grilling. How many more candidates and politicians are out there who secretly or otherwise practice yoga regularly?
Just watching the presidential debates raises blood pressure around the country, no matter who you support. The level of antagonism has moved from respectful discourse to who can score the most points in the Outrageous category. On that, many Americans can agree, regardless of political affiliation. The principles of yoga are respectful, mindful, truth-telling, and supportive of well-being. What if we demanded that from our political leaders?
Not endorsing anyone here, but as you work on your own practice, you begin to change the world around you. You see things differently, you emulate the possibilities to others, and you begin to change things for the better. Here’s hoping yoga takes a prominent place in the lives of more and more world leaders.