Universal Yogacare.

Via Clare Polencheck
on Feb 5, 2011
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Vote Yogacare, 2011!

I recently saw an advertisement regarding soda tax and it got me thinking about the health care fight in the United States. In simple terms, (disclaimer: this short article is based on simplicity of concepts, not figures, studies, or even issue expertise) government run health care of course has to be paid for, and of course the “government’s money” is our money. One of the hard issues with “universal” government run health care isn’t that people are mean and don’t want to care for others, but when “others” keep putting shit in their shopping carts and smoke in their lungs… or when “others” snort crack and abuse alcohol… or maybe when “others” beat up their bodies with over-exercise

The point is, the issue isn’t always about monetarily caring for others’ poor health, it’s that some people don’t want to pay for others’ poor health habits, addictions, unhealthy lifestyle. And some people don’t want other people deciding what is healthy or unhealthy for them.  Alan Haffa said regarding, “We are talking about expanding the role of government because the private sector is not delivering and this is an essential service.”  This is true, but what about the issue of people servicing themselves

Here are four simple scenarios that could correspond to a person’s perspective, regarding universal health care. (The examples could really be linked to any entity we align with for health care, government or private. For purposes that relate to current issues, I’ll consider “government” as the driver behind public program.)

  • -Not content to pay for public health care, but wants to participate; not content to be regulated or taxed regarding personal health care/habits (i.e. cigarette, alcohol, soda taxes; being subject to releasing health and lifestyle information to the government; approval of taxes/monies toward government/USDA control, drug companies, related subsidies; allowing the government to judge what is healthy/not healthy).
  • -Content to pay for and participate in public health care; content to be regulated/controlled regarding personal health care/habits and taxed/fined if one “breaks the rules.”
  • -Not content to pay for or participate in public health care; not content being regulated or taxed regarding personal health care/habits.
  • -Content to pay for and participate in public health care; not content to be regulated/controlled regarding personal health care/habits and taxed/fined if one “breaks the rules.”

Obviously there is a lot more to the health care issue than these four scenarios, but in general, which picture is one of personal responsibility? Which is resigning? Which might be blaming? What would be “best” to foster in people, in our society? 

Is there too much scum around the issue to simplify it this much? Yes, of course there is. Is there too much crust to even consider cultivating a fully conscious and self-responsible consumer driven health care system? Yup, there is. And there are too many innocents. I mean, what about the children? The question becomes, “Will they see universal health care or even their own health as something to be respected and cared for as a personal and societal subject, or something that can be abused because “others” pay for it?” Time will tell.

I guess I feel resigned to the idea that personal responsibility is a pipe dream. At this point, who cares who’s to blame? All we can do is move forward and work with what we’ve got. Thank goodness for grassroots (non-government) efforts toward health education, aid, and support. Now, if I could just think of one that isn’t funded in some way by the feds…

Yoga? Yoga? Capitalists will appreciate that (in the U.S.) it is a consumer driven “market,” but of course it is a complimentary force inside each and every one of us. Yoga teaches that the strength of a society starts within each individual, not “others.”  It helps cultivate change, develops a sense of personal responsibility, healthy habits, compassion and love for self and those “others”… (Please don’t make me sad and post a comment highlighting Yoga subsidies or taxes.)

Next election, I’m voting for the guy who will force everyone to practice Yoga.


About Clare Polencheck

Clare L. Polencheck is a yoga instructor who strives to live and write from a Christian-Yogic spiritual perspective, and is humbled to share tidbits of her lessons as a teacher of asana, a student of her students, and a pupil of Universe. Learning to go with God’s flow is her dharma code.


11 Responses to “Universal Yogacare.”

  1. Betherann says:

    I really like this. Very intelligent piece! You mentioned "people servicing themselves" — YES. We need to learn personal responsibility, as well as how to support ourselves AND each other with love and without enabling. Uh, easy…right? 😛

  2. Amy says:

    Great article!!! 🙂

  3. Joe Sparks says:

    We are beginning to develop techniques for getting rid of powerlessness patterns and allowing ordinary people to regard themselves as fully competent to take charge of the society instead of having to be "managed". We are learning how to call people's attention to the reality of the crumbling society around them and the resulting extreme hardship for ordinary people. We are learning to ask people provacative questions about the reality of their lives and their desires and to listen to them well enough that they begin to think in the areas where they have not dared to think before.
    People can become interested in thinking about how wealth can be produced and distributed without harm to humans, how enough healthy food can be produced and distributed. People will support measures to preserve all present living species of life. If we explain the insights we have achieved well enough, people in massive numbers will enthusiastically join us in seeking complete re-emergence and relaxed enjoyment of our world and our lives.

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  5. yogiclarebear says:

    Carol, thanks for your comment. This is really one of the big hard things with this issue isn't it? The issue is so deep, so wide…all we can really do is start with ourselves and continue to consider the best way to help our neighbors, and sometimes that is helping them help themselves maybe?

    I so agree on the blindness. Just today I felt really weird getting out of my fancy car for a big studio grand opening…looking around me at the fancy cars and the $130 shirts and $100 yoga mats and the probably $7/lbs organic strawberries eaten by lips wearing $15 lipstick…you get the point. How can we bring yoga to the poor/working class? Free donation classes are great, but stepping into an intimidating yoga studio setting? Not likely. Yoga needs to meet people where they are…literally. For instance, I have a friend who teaches to women in jail.

    Now my wheels are turning Carol…thanks!

  6. SriDTMc says:

    "…what about the issue of people servicing themselves?"

    this mind is childish…

  7. SriDTMc says:

    mine, i mean. which, is to say, always already Ours. i think.
    "i am not this body; I am not this mind. I Am That Eternal Atman!"

  8. mary beth janssen says:

    look at streetyoga.org. trained with them here in chicago. go into institutional settings and work with homeless kids/families…very valuable organization…

  9. yogiclarebear says:

    Thanks for the resource mary beth! Bookmarked. 🙂

  10. […] to reduce these self-identification symbols and begin reorganizing your language to embody a more universal perspective by using words such as “we”, “us” and (my personal favorite) “everyone”. […]

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