My reasons for pursuing running, meditation, and yoga (or “the big three” as I’ve come to call them) were initially pretty straightforward. Fitness, health, well-being, stress-reduction. You know the drill. But lately, the purpose has become more essential.

Election night, watching the tide turn as the evening wore on, I felt totally out of control over everything and began to question whether it was worth trying to do any good in the world. I realized that I could no longer take anything for granted, and that I had allowed myself to spend too much precious time mindlessly absorbing the Internet and seeking out nuggets of meaningless information to soothe my anxieties about the world.

That week, I made many changes in my life. I stopped obsessively checking the news and instead, subscribed to The New York Times (on actual newsprint). I set up monthly donations to some trusted organizations that were long overdue. I doubled down on my therapy lamp usage. But most importantly, I realized the necessity of the big three.

What I love about these three practices is that they only require my own body and mind to do them. I’ve thought through the worst case scenarios, where everything is truly out of my control, but in each of these situations, having a strong mind and body would help me to regain control. Throughout all of this, I was watching the show, The OA, and thinking about the devastation of being held prisoner in such a strange small cell. Perhaps it’s dramatic to be preparing myself for something so horrible, but knowing the Ashtanga series, detaching myself from the pain of the situation, and having a decent pair of legs to execute the escape plan seems like a decent way to survive.

All drama aside, even as a newbie to “the big three,” I can’t imagine how I would have made it past Inauguration Day, and we’re only into week 2…

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