This year’s annual White House Easter Egg roll encompassed much more than the century old tradition has before. Of the many events that were available at the “Let’s Go Play” event hosted by Mrs. Obama, yoga was top among them.
The theme of the event was intended to promote nutritious food, physical exercise and healthy living through providing opportunities to experience all three. President Obama joined in a game of basketball, and Sacramento based yoga teachers, led ongoing yoga classes throughout the day on the White House lawn.
Six teachers from Zuda Yoga in California led overflowing groups of eager children in perpetual yoga classes beginning at 6:00 a.m. and continuing for twelve consecutive hours. Anna Marie Kramer, owner of the two California studios credited good karma for the opportunity to share yoga at the Nation’s Capitol. As Kramer described it, “from start to finish, it was filled with amazing energy and was ever so fulfilling.”
Could this be the beginning of mainstream acceptance of yoga as part of a healthy lifestyle? To have it promoted by our nation’s highest family is a pretty good endorsement for many. Side by side with music, food, and dance in continuation of a century old tradition, is quite a positive affirmation of the power of the practice. Did our current administration lay the first bricks in building a bridge between yoga and Christianity by including it in festivities celebrated in conjunction with one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar?
Maybe that wasn’t the message that was intented, but I greatly hope that it is the effect. That in making the step to include yoga, even secularly, in a national celebration will begin to tear down the walls of judgment and worry, and prove that the benefits of this ancient practice transcend any spiritual creed or doctrine. The spiritual lesson in yoga is simple, unity. When we are able to open our hands in acceptance to all varying beliefs and practices, we take an enormous step toward healing societal rifts and creating a peaceful, balanced community. And in accepting the practice of yoga specifically, we open the doors to powerful tools of healing and health.
Maybe this wasn’t the intent of the day, but for all of us who strive to live a yogic life regardless of our religious choices or our spiritual paths, the inclusion of yoga in the White House Easter celebration is a symbol of hope and the potential for unity.