Do Yogis Love Obama or Romney?

Yoga's made its way into the headlines this election year.

I do not envy the job of the poor Daily Beast reporter (intern?), who had to go through pages of campaign contributions to determine how support for President Obama and Mitt Romney breaks down by profession. But alas, someone did exactly that, which leaves us with the job of simply talking about results, rather than calculating them ourselves. So, thanks.

According to the results, yoga instructors are overwhelmingly in support of President Obama, with 473 Obama donors describing themselves as yoga teachers. In all, yogis have coughed up $58,324.50 in support of the incumbent, while only four have donated to Romney, totaling $5,515 from the yoga community. One zealous yogi, a Romney fan, gave $5,000 to the former governor’s campaign, bringing his per-donor average to $1,379. The Obama camp’s yogi-donor average sits at just $123.

Obama’s other supporters include rabbis, lawyers, CEOs and teachers. Romney takes homemakers, entrepreneurs, and farmers and ranchers.

Of course, not all yogis are taking a partisan approach to election season. A get-out-the-vote initiative aimed at the yoga community—aptly named YogaVotes and the brainchild of the yoga-meets-activism group Off the Mat, Into the World—has sprung up this campaign season, aiming to get 20 million yogis to the polls this year. Its latest initiative, reports Yoga Journal, involved teaming up with the Huffington Post at both the Republican and Democratic conventions to offer delegates a candle-lit space for yoga, massages, facials, sleep consultations, and healthy food; they’re calling it the Oasis.

The idea, seemingly, is to teach politicos and their supporters how to unwind and relax, in hopes that a less stressed-out electorate (and Washington) might alleviate some of the country’s partisan tension: “Whatever your politics, we are going to be able to find common ground and work together more effectively if we can learn to deal with our stress and learn to unplug and recharge,” said Arianna Huffington in a video about the project.

Errr … riiiight. I mean, I guess it can’t hurt to get more politically minded people onto yoga mats, but I think it might be overly optimistic to think that a few down-dogs and warrior poses will help us come to an agreement on social security. And while the sentiment is nice, I’m not really sure I see the connection between offering a free yoga class and affecting political change. But who knows? Maybe my six years living in Washington just left me irreparably jaded when it comes to politics. (Though, it seems, a lot of people agree with me.)

What do you think? Could yoga help bridge the political divide?