This year, there there have been several reports of election cycle related anxiety and stress. My antidote? A little yoga to get you to the polls. (I am not a yogi and you probably shouldn’t read or drive or eat candy while doing yoga) Ready the mind and body:
Assume a comfortable position. Close your eyes and set your intention for the voting booth. Take three deep cleansing breaths. Take four if you want to do one for Jill Stein.
Remember, as Buddha says (or maybe he didn’t but my Yoga teacher says it and I’m too zen to really worry about it. Read about it here if you want. I’m just, like, observing it, man.) to “Be the witness of your thoughts. You are what observes, not what you observe.” This one is particularly helpful when watching the sunday political shows or reading your usually cat filled Facebook feed, where everyone’s sharing partisan reminders about daylight savings time. Is your left eye twitching? Mine is. Buddha said “Guard your mind.” Just. DO IT! (that last one’s Shia LaBoeuf.) Gently guide yourself away from youtube compilations of Shia LaBoeuf memes and toward your breathing.
The Candidates on the Ballot:
I got a sample in the mail yesterday. You can put the paper on the floor and flow right into a downward facing dog to read it. There are the major parties and then seven other options for president. Transition to a nice plank for the House of Representatives: only three candidates to read, so you won’t have to hold this plank too long. Chataranga down to the floor and read the names of our sheriff candidates. Upward facing dog is good for borough council. Close your eyes and you’ll see those lawn signs that are everywhere supporting either of the two teams (might be a close race if the my unscientific tally of lawn signs for each side is any indicator). Hang out in downward facing dog to contemplate the board of education portion of the ballot. Its in it’s own little box because the Board of Education election is not organized by political party, so the candidates don’t appear in the Rebublican or Democratic Column.
The questions on the ballot:
This year, we have two state constitutional ammendments. One is about allowing gambling in other areas of the state outside of Atlantic CIty, where is is only permitted currently. The other has to do with allocation of state funds from the motor fuel taxes. On an inhale, you may think about how the taxes on gas were part of a deal made between Governor Christie and state lawmakers months in the making that caused the complete stopage of the already royally annoying bridge project ion Morris Ave in summit. Exhale and let go of lingering anger about how long the detour made the trip to the Summit Visual Arts Center for camp pickups and dropoffs,
Breaking News: It’s back on! All we have to do is pay 23 cents more for gas. And I think the constitutional amendment is to make sure that money goes to the Transportation Trust Fund specifically (though some are saying it's more complicated than that, and you can read about that here. Wait, let me just relax my shoulders, which have crept up to my ears again. Cleansing breath.)
To clarify, this vote is not directly involved with that annoying bridge project or gas prices. You still have to pay more for gas. Read about it here and here. Just hang out in lotus position or my favorite, fire log pose. Maybe have a few of the kids halloween candies as you read.
When the time comes to vote:
It says right on the sample ballot where to vote. Or you can check here. One more deep cleansing breath and plan an alternate route in case Prospect Street is still being a pain. You can do a few poses while driving , or better yet, take a walk to your poling place if you have time.
Once at your polling place, remember to stay focused. Be kind to your poll workers. In fact, maybe they can do a car crow pose or these.
After voting, Do some standing neck rolls and a few cleansing breaths. Take your “I Voted” sticker and inhale, sweeping your hands toward the sky. Exhale, placing the sticker heart center. Namaste.