Yoga affects our experience of our bodies, the way we treat other people, and how we engage in relationships. What if we all helped bring the practices of compassion, collaboration and unity to our country’s hyper-partisan politics? What would happen if we extend the broadened awareness of life’s intrinsic wholeness to the decisions we make for our communities and our country?
This is the vision of YogaVotes, a new project undertaken by Yoga Off the Mat and Into the World, a non-profit organization seeking to empower activism through the yoga values of awareness, sustainability, and service. The new initiative was announced at the recent Wanderlust Festival in Vermont.
"YogaVotes is calling for the entire yoga community to rise up and find its voice, uniting the work we do on the mat with the decisions we make in the voting booth,” says Seane Corn, founder of Yoga Off the Mat. “We know that 20 million empowered and conscious voters cannot help but be heard. We hope that through this vital initiative we can mobilize a new wave of activists to lead effectively.”
The yogi campaign seeks to foster an inclusive community of powerful, informed and engaged yogi voters, and to encourage the millions of American practitioners to commit to hit the polls for this November's presidential election.
“YogaVotes is calling for the entire yoga community to rise up and find its voice, uniting the work we do on the mat with the decisions we make in the voting booth ” says Corn. “We know that 20 million empowered and conscious voters cannot help but be heard. We hope that through this vital initiative we can mobilize a new wave of activists to lead effectively.”
The campaign will partner world renown yoga teachers, studios and students nationwide. It hopes to establish a new constituency in specific key areas like Virginia, Texas, Pennsylvania, California, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, New York, and North Carolina.
Next step is to increase awareness of the powerful potential impact that a united network of 20 million yogis can have on elections. The self-awareness of this constituency can be empowering in their impact. The third component is the distribution of online and offline tools to encourage yogis to get informed, vote, and inspire others to use yoga values to do the same.
“YogaVotes is bringing the practices of inclusivity, compassionate action, and collaboration to the political arena,” says Off the Mat director, Kerri Kelly. “Rather than turn away from it, we are offering an opportunity to infuse politics with the values that matter to us.”
More events will take place in the upcoming months to bring awareness and a contagious yoga spirit at a local and national level. For more information on YogaVotes or to become a participating YogaVotes yoga studio or community leader, check out their website at www.yogavotes.org.
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