February 16, 2017

A Yoga Practice to Survive the Trump Presidency. {Funny}

*Editor’s Note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and cannot possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.


If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my years as a yoga teacher, it’s that yoga can solve all of the problems all of the time.

And if I’ve learned anything by reading the multitude of articles showing up on my Facebook feed, it’s that the world is going to hell in a hand-basket held tightly in the tiny hands of President Trump.

When you’ve scrolled upon yet another article starting with the words “Breaking News,” you know you’re going to need something really effective to help you calm down. So what can we do to survive this tsunami of feelings and frustrations, besides attending protests, writing letters to government, and donating money to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood?

Well, we can always do yoga.

Here are some ways in which yoga might just hold the key to surviving these dark days of hopelessness, lit only by the dim glow of real-news webpages and candles lit for the latest victims of senseless violence and oppression:

  1. Head in the Sand pose

Stand with your feet hip distance apart and hinge at the hips, folding forward. Take your arms and wrap them tightly around your head, allowing your neck and shoulders to release. Squeeze your arms against your ears, feel the blood pool in your head and let yourself believe that you really don’t have to deal with any of this.

It’s not real. None of this is real.

2. Dead Eagle pose

When you can almost smell the smoke of a smoldering empire, sometimes you just need to bend and stretch and work it out of your system. Lay on your back. Intertwine your legs, wrap your forearms together, bringing the palms to touch. Create as much tension as you possibly can, feel your body become rigid and unyielding, and then roll onto your side and deflate like a punctured balloon.

Breathe shallowly.

3. Horseman of the Apocalypse pose

The end is nigh, work those thighs! Stand sideways on your mat with your feet wider than your hips, toes turned out slightly. Begin moving your hips up and down, squatting repeatedly until your legs are in so much pain you want to cry. And since you probably need to cry, keep squatting until the tears flow with abandon.

Let your muscles scream until the shrill sound of a trumpet heralds that it’s time to stop.

4. Warrior P*ssy pose

Kneel on your mat and sit down on your heels. Hold your hands out and draw your fingers back into kitty-gonna-kill claw-like formations. Bare your teeth, ensuring that your lips are pulled back into a most convincing snarl. Check to see that no other practitioners around you smell like Tic Tacs, and if they do, be prepared at any moment to turn those claws into fists. This pose is about being on high alert, so keep your wits about you.

You can never be too careful.

5. “Alternative” Inversion pose

Inversions are great poses for elevating your mood and increasing vitality. Going upside-down can also help you to see the world from a new perspective. But if you just don’t feel like doing that, you can always try this one. “Alternative” Inversion pose allows you to stay standing upright instead. It’s not “right side up,” it’s “alternative upside down.”

Come on now.

6. The Trump Breath pose

Breath work is an essential part of any yoga practice. Breathing with mindfulness can help bring about shifts in mood and energy. For the Trump Breath, sit up tall on your mat. Tightly engage mula bandha (root/anal lock). Tighter. Tighter. Now close your eyes and envision four years of truth-telling, integrity, equality and democracy.

Just don’t hold your breath.

If you feel like the world is spinning out of control and you just can’t seem to cope, hit your mat and practice. And remember to be the change you want to see in the world. (Miss you, Gandhi!)


Author: Lisa Veronese

Image: @elephantjournal on Instagram

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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