President Trump election, and the political cacophony that followed, are driving waves of people to yoga and meditation, seeking a respite from the roller coaster ride but also trying to recharge and build energy for a political pushback.Yoga and mediation coaches told -“We are seeing increased enrollment and fewer dropouts from the annual “New Year’s resolution” wave of signups. Part of this is stress relief the American Psychological Association report that stres nationwide is on the rise for the first time in ten years .”
“This last election especially felt so tumultuou and so dividing like there was so much angst and anger on both sides,” told Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga instructor and author of a beginner’s guide called Chair Yoga. “The whole idea of yoga is to unite or to come together and to create a community people are trying to find a way to come together, to try to find what is it that make them feel connected and centered.”
Since the election, McGee said -more and more people are coming to classes, more people are emailing me and asking – about how they can get started or asking me for private sessions.”
It is hard to find meaning numbers on the post election growth of yoga and meditation, in part because both fields have seen a dramatic increase in U.S. participation over the past decade. A joint study between the Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance found the number of U.S. yoga practitioners increased from 20 million in 2012 to 36 million in 2016, with about 72% of the participants being women.
But practitioners say the rise of Trump has clearly set a new tone for many yoga practitioner.
David Romanelli Los Angeles-based author and meditation teacher, said that he began a program of daily meditations for a group of about 50 client right around the time of Trump’s inauguration. “Usually you see a lot of attrition that has not been the case this year. People have stuck to it.”
Julie Campistron a CEO of the meditation app Stop, Breathe & Think, saw the same phenomenon.Campistrons app ask users to begin their meditation by choosing words to describe their feelings, and the two days after the election “were the lowest emotional state we have had in the history of the app, over 30% lower than the years average.” Users chose words like “disappointed,” “powerless” and “pessimistic” nearly three times more often than they had a week before the election.
She says the emotions being reported now have returned mostly to their average level, but the users have shown an unusual persistence. “In our industry in general we see a big increase at the beginning of the year because it is kind of the ‘new year, new you,’ ” she said. “Usually we see a decrease in March and April, but this year has kept pretty steady. People are sticking with it.”
Romanelli says the political climate has a lot to do with this: “If you are not for Trump, it seems like it is the worst time in history. You need mindfulness more than ever if you think the world is not in your favor.”