A front-page newspaper editorial by Fidel Castro reveals that the former Cuban politician loves (or, at least, has some nice words for) yoga.
Yoga does things with the human body that defy the imagination. Beyond that, the 86-year-old didn’t have much to say; the article, part of a “Reflection from Fidel” series, was only 35 words long (i.e., not much of a stretch).
While it’s unclear whether Fidel Castro has tried Bikram Hot Yoga classes or not, we couldn’t help but wonder: do other prominent politicians practise hot yoga? As it turns out, the 37th president of the United States is credited with bringing Bikram Yoga classes to North America.
In 1972, Richard Nixon – who was suffering from phlebitis (blood clots in the legs) – asked Bikram Choudhury to help cure his ailments through hot yoga. The treatment worked, and Richard Nixon invited Bikram Choudhury to come and live in the U.S.
Hillary and Bill Clinton became yogis after Hill talked Bill into trying yoga during law school, more than 25 years ago. The former U.S. president has been quoted as saying, “I was the only man in the class for a long time, and it was really fun.”
Why Politicians Should Do Yoga:
According to the Yoga Journal, politicians should do yoga for the following reasons:
1. Yoga for politicians would help them in making better decisions:
Yoga helps put you in touch with your authentic self, so you can learn to listen (and trust) your own truth.
2. Yoga could help politicians to help cultivate compassion:
Elected officials, responsible for making decisions that affect so many people, can benefit from the universal yogic lesson of putting yourself in others’ shoes.
3. Yoga could be a great tool to help politicians manage stress:
Public figures face a lot of pressure on a daily basis, and a regular practice can help keep stress at bay.
4. Politicians who do yoga would be models of a healthy lifestyle:
Health care is an issue in virtually every part of the world. If more politicians practised yoga, it could send a message about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
5. Yoga for politicians would help to instill a strong system of ethics:
The first of Patañjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, “yama,” refers to one’s moral principles and social behaviour (don’t lie, don’t be greedy, etc.). Yoga can give politicians the tools they need to be the kind of people that help shape a better world.