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Do Your Yoga and Politics Mix? Off the Mat Wants to Know (Take the Survey)

in YD News

So, yoga and politics walk into a bar. Who’s buying the shots?

Are you one to mix your activism cocktails with a dash of yoga? Do you think politics could use more yoga? Off the Mat wants to know. The organization known for bringing yoga outside the safety of a studio onto the streets and into the world (sometimes third) is getting ready to kick off their Yoga Votes campaign 2012. But first they want to know if any of you give a flying farkle.

All are welcome to share your thoughts and opinions either for or against the yoga and politics mixer by participating in this survey.

Here are the first three questions to ponder…over a beer? Or, you know, whatever.

1. To me, yoga is:

check all that apply

  • Exercise or self care
  • A set of values I live by
  • Activism
  • Something I do once in a while
  • Something I use to create community
  • A tool for personal development
  • None of these

2. The values I associate with my yoga practice are:

check all that apply

  • Mind-body connection
  • Self-awareness
  • Empowerment
  • Inclusivity
  • Unity
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability
  • Compassionate action
  • I don’t think about yoga in terms of values

3. Do you feel connected to the political process? *This question is required

  • Yes, I know that my voice matters
  • No, I’ve lost interest
  • No, it doesn’t seem to matter whether I engage or not
  • Yes, the outcome of elections directly impacts my life
  • Sometimes

We’re curious what you think too, so feel free to share your thoughts in open discourse via the comments. No filibustering we promise.

Stay tuned for an interview with Off the Mat founders Seane Corn and Suzanne Sterling on yoga’s place in politics and being involved with Occupy Wall Street. We could get it up faster if we have any volunteer transcribers. This is our lame way of requesting your assistance.

update: OK we just added a poll to see if you’re paying attention and/or care.

We invite you dependers to share.


7 comments… add one
  • Madelain Mad Yogini

    If you want to see the right kind of change in the world, you have to get involved. Part of being a concsious being is sharing… Not just with you yoga peeps, but live by example outwardly for all to see.

    Those who don’t care about the state of affairs in the world they live in are living an a denial saftey bubble. You can’t call urself a conscious yogi if you choose to ignore the world you live in and are a part of.

    My two cents.
    Madelain Burgoyne

  • Pavanatanaya

    Georg Feurstien has a great and balanced view on this:

  • Christy

    I saw that survey, and was really excited about the creative possibilities of such a project. Then I started it, and was so turned off that I quit part way through.
    As a long-time human rights, environmental, and economic justice activist, I see the overlap between the personal, political, and yogic every day in my life. And it delights me. I love the way those worlds continue to come together, and the way in which the endless combinations of them teach me something new all the time. My study of the Yoga Sutras has influenced my activist work, and my commitment to standing in solidarity with affected communities has had a profound impact on the direction of my yoga and teaching practices.
    I think that in the current political climate, many people are hopping off their mat and engaging their yogic ideals in a more political context. And I think that’s a beautiful and appropriate thing.
    My issue with the survey is that it defines “politics” as something purely electoral. It discards the politics of everyday life, and narrowly categorizes it as something that happens within political parties and in the voting booth. If Occupy has taught us anything, it’s that that’s not the place where real change occurs, and that people need to take back their own power, rather than voting it away.
    I feel strongly that people need to express their yoga not just on the mat or with a ballot, but with all of their actions.

  • Kim

    I think that politics and yoga are a natural mix, but this survey only seems to deal with people who are influenced to become activists as a result of their yoga practice. I am sure that there are many people like me who were activists even before they started to practice yoga. I can’t really separate the two activities — my activism has deepened my yoga and yoga has deepened my activism.

  • all the time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with
    this article which I am reading at this time.

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