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More Women Are Turning to Yoga Now That Trump Is President

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As of January 31, 52 percent of Americans surveyed did not approve of President Trump. If you're wondering whether that's normal or not—it's not. Since Gallup starting tracking this kind of thing, no other president has had disapproval numbers this high so quickly.

If you're frustrated and discouraged by everything happening in Washington, then you probably feel on edge—and likely have since Election Day. You can't log onto social media, turn on the TV, or even chat up a colleague in the elevator without coming face to face with the stressful political climate that's become the new normal. (Psst...Here's how to reset if you've had a bad year.)

Many women have turned to yoga to help them deal. "With so much doubt and uncertainty following the election, I found myself craving an outlet that allowed me to completely detach from it all," says Andrea Kravitz, who's a fan of the classes at Y7 Studio and considers herself a moderate Democrat. "In the last 26 days, I've been to 17 classes and did some more yoga at home on my own."

Y7, a yoga studio in New York and Los Angeles, saw an increase in attendance on November 9 (the day after the election) as well as January 20 (Inauguration Day) and 21. Sarah Larson Levey, co-founder of Y7, thinks it's because people just wanted to get away from everything.

"I live in Washington, DC, and work for MoveOn.org, so I can't escape Trump in either my home or work life," says Sara Kenigsberg. "But I can escape him in yoga."

Sky Ting Yoga in New York City reports class attendance increased 15 percent from October to November—and that number continues to rise. On the day after the election, the studio hosted a free yoga class, which sold out and had a wait list of people vying for a spot. "The feedback we got was that people wanted to be together in a safe space in a community," says Krissy Jones, Sky Ting Yoga's co-founder and yoga director. That sense of community is central to the yoga practice. "Yoga" literally translates to "union," says Chelsea Jasin, a senior instructor at CorePower Yoga in Denver.

Leslie Zerbe, an American who lives in New Zealand, turned to yoga when she needed an escape from all of the inauguration news. She felt so stressed—which she previously only felt as a result of work—that she attended a four-hour yin yoga session the day after the inauguration.

Even some non-yogis have a new-found appreciation for the practice. Erika Martinez Rotolo of Chicago says she's strayed from her normally intense fitness routine over the past couple of months and finds herself craving yoga more than anything else. "Soreness from running, weight training, or spinning seems like more than my body and mind can handle right now," she says.

Cassidy Fein of Washington, DC, also started signing up for yoga over boot camp–style classes a few weeks before the election. "Yoga is definitely easier to commit to than a more intense workout, especially when it's hard to get out of bed after reading the morning news," she says.

Stepping onto the mat gives you the chance to silence the chaos—if only for an hour—and feel more connected. "We've seen students depending more heavily on their yoga practice as a way to connect with their own inner peace and also for a deeper connection to those around them, despite political differences," CorePower's Jasin says. "Healing from within can inspire you to take outward action, and there's nothing our country needs more than that."

Unity, peace, and connection? Those are things we can all sign up for.

 

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