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Just in time for election day 2016, singer-songwriter and sacred chant artist David Newman has released a new yoga-inspired single and music video called “Peace and Love” aimed at inspiring people to get out and vote. Newman, who was recently dubbed as “the political activist of the kirtan world” by the Yoga Chat internet radio host Joni Yung, offers an inspiring message of solidarity in a time of political divisiveness in his folksy, guitar-and-drums-driven song. Lyrics like “Hearts grow cold when fear prevails/Let’s see a world that we dream of/and fill our hearts with peace and love…” are his response to the divisive rhetoric that has dominated this election year.
Co-created with director and animator Eric Power, the video is a feast for the eyes: a kaleidoscope of hand-cut images that provide contrast between a world of hatred and isolation and a world of love and interconnection. Peaceful people and adversaries, sunshine and stormy clouds, verdant forests and a brick-walled desert—all combine to tell a story of what it feels like to live in love versus fear.
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Why It’s Important for Yogis to Vote on November 8th
“I think yogis are generally people who are doing inner work,” Newman says. “And as a result of that inner work, they feel moved to have a positive impact on society. Voting is a form of ‘active-ism’.”
The definition of yoga is “union,” Newman observes. Our practice can inspire us “to manifest that sense of union and unity, not just within ourselves, but also in our community and society. So it makes sense that our vision of unity will be expressed in our choice for a presidential candidate.”
We also have power in numbers. According to Yoga Journal’s 2016 Yoga in America study, there are more than 36 million yoga practitioners in the US. That’s a potentially powerful constituency of what the organization YogaVotes dubbed “mindful voters” in 2012.
“Our political candidates become an extension of our intention and our will,” Newman says. “So it’s important to choose candidates who are aligned with our ideals and our beliefs about where we want society to go.”
The adversarial nature of this year’s presidential race can bring about a sense of hopelessness, helplessness and fear about where the country is going, Newman observes. “Peace and Love” is a reminder that yogis have the power to work together and foster positive changes in the world. “We have to keep going deeper into our practice and become more active in bringing our ideals to life around us,” he says. “That how we create the good old ripple effect.
“Tomorrow, we make a decision that is going to shape the next four years of our country,” Newman says. “Let’s vote for the candidate that we believe in. However, let’s also vote for a world that’s filled with peace and love, and that vote doesn’t have to happen once every four years. It can happen every day.”
See also Why Yogis Need to Vote This Fall