Yoga on the White House
lawn? Yes! For the second year in a row, First Lady Michelle Obama turned the
once prim and proper White House Easter Egg Roll (now in its 132nd
year) into a fitness party for kids, with dancing, hula-hooping, tennis, basketball, football–and yoga.
Under the flowering
trees of the stately White House gardens–downplayed as Mrs. Obama into “our
back yard”–families from all over the country rocked their best Tree Poses on
Monday. I even talked the Cat in
the Hat into giving it a try with me!
In flouncy, floral print
Easter dresses and tights, stiff trousers and ties, as well as jeans and
shorts, eager Down Doggers lined up on their mats. And yes, all day, there were
gentle choruses of “Om” drifting up from the White House Lawn!
It was a pretty powerful
moment–some 30,000 families, from all 50 states, got a chance to learn about
yoga, with a presidential seal of approval. It seems evident that yoga is a
perfect match for the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Initiative, which aims to curtail our childhood
obesity epidemic by inspiring Americans to live healthy, active lives.
Hats off to the
organizers and the small crew of yoga teachers who came in from distant states
(Ohio, Texas, California, New York, to name a few) to lead 10-minute
mini-classes and even conduct “privates” for kids who wanted a taste of yoga as
they passed by the White House “Yoga Garden.” I heard more than one parent try
to lure their child off to other activities–Easter Egg Roll anyone?!–only to
learn that Camel Pose was the priority of the moment.
entertainment options– President Obama reading Green Eggs and Ham; teen pop
star Justin Beber, the cast of Glee, and Yo Gabba Gabba performing; famous
chefs helping kids learn to cook–it’s a wonder anyone had time for yoga. But
yoga they did!