• Tue, Apr 26 2011

White House Easter: Yoga, Not Chocolate

Recently, I’ve been a little down on American Easter traditions and the food choices in Washington, D.C. And while I’m all for Michelle Obama’s White House gardens, I’m dubious that her efforts at farming have convinced much of the U.S. to follow her lead. (If Jamie Oliver’s efforts in California are any indication, we’re woefully behind in our movement towards fresh, less-processed foods.) But a post about the White House Easter Egg Roll over at Mind Body Green is a good reminder that, while there’s still plenty of work to do, not all small steps deserve such harsh skepticism; they’re doing yoga on the White House lawn, and that, to me, is good reason to believe we’re making progress at least somewhere.

When I was growing up (a sentence clause that officially makes me feel old), yoga was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t part of my P.E., I never saw it on TV, and I certainly never saw kids doing downward dog on the President’s lawn. That wasn’t so long ago (really, I swear), and although I did start doing yoga about a decade ago, I still find it hard to believe that I can walk through Manhattan and spot a yoga studio every five blocks, let alone see it happening at a White House event. But Sunday marked the third year that yogi Leah Cullis taught yoga at the country’s most famous Easter Egg Roll.

As part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, the holiday events were focused around encouraging young kids to move and exercise, and yoga was a part of the whole shebang. Over 30,000 people visited the lawn on Sunday, and witnessed Cullis’ “yoga garden” and kids’ yoga class. As she said on Mind Body Green:

Yoga at the White House is a big step for our country and our culture.

The Obamas haven’t won big points for their health care progress in the past two years, nor is every kid in America practicing yoga for Easter, but I still think that doing yoga on the White House lawn is what you would call good news.

Photo: Mind Body Green

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