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July 2016 - Yoga and The Presidential Campaign

Dear Yoga Friends,

After over a year of watching from the sidelines, it is time for me to take action. With this brief letter I hereby announce my candidacy for president of the United States of America. You no doubt have many questions for me, but I am sure that the first and foremost is "What does this have to do with yoga?" Sutra II.3 (translation from B.K.S. Iyengar's Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali) embodies the answer:

The five afflictions which disturb the equilibrium of consciousness are: ignorance or lack of wisdom, ego, pride of the ego or the sense of "I", attachment to pleasure, aversion to pain, fear of death and clinging to life.

My platform is simple. I will address these five afflictions, known as the klesas, first in myself, and then in the nation at large: (1) Although I am ignorant of nearly everything that must be mastered to do the presidential job effectively, at least I am aware of that. (2) Obviously I must have a healthy ego to declare my candidacy this late and believe so strongly in my ultimate victory. But my yoga practice will help me set my ego aside in determining what is best for our country. (3) Regarding attachment, simply note how attached other candidates are to the material wealth they have accumulated and surrounded themselves with, and to the prospect of wielding ever-increasing power. I possess and control so much less than they do, so much less to be attached to and distracted by! (4) Aversion? I have no need for border walls to shield me from perceived threats. (5) Which brings us to the ultimate issue of fear of death, or clinging. Just look at how hard other candidates cling to their positions, especially the questionable fear-based ones, even in the face of facts, as if the candidates' own lives hung in the balance. My yoga practice has taught me when and how to let go.

So I hope you will join the multitudes that are rapidly coalescing around me and my straightforward five-point platform. I am not taking donations.



Other candidates sit comfortably in their plush chairs and talk. Chad silently demonstrates the possibilities of a simple stool, bringing the dialogue to a new level.

Other candidates appear confused about their direction. Chad points the way with dynamic clarity.

Chad Balch