Washington – Vice President Dick Cheney said today that practicing yoga has changed his life, given him, “a new perspective,” and calmed him down.
“It’s just chilled me out,” Cheney said, exiting the White House with his purple yoga mat under his arm, on the way to a daily yoga class. “I mean, when you breathe that way, and stretch everything out, you realize nothing is all that important.”
Cheney began doing yoga at the suggestion of his doctors, after they discovered the vice president had an irregular heartbeat. This latest discovery, on top of Cheney’s history of repeated heart problems, drove doctors to suggest yoga as a way to help Cheney lessen his stress, control his breathing and improve his overall health.
And it seems to have had the added benefit of changing Cheney’s vision of the world. “I was doing the Downward Dog,” Cheney recalled. “And when I came back up to sitting position, it was like a giant light bulb went off in my head: ‘Oh, my goodness. I’m destroying the world for no reason. This has to stop.’ So I went to the president and I said, ‘We must remove all troops from Iraq as quickly and peacefully as we can, and try to improve our standing in the rest of the world. After that, we need to restore the civil rights we’ve taken from our own citizens, and be much more compassionate towards other faiths, religions, and ways of seeing things. It’s the only way.'”
Asked how the president responded, Cheney said, “Well, he’s mulling it all over. It may take him a little while to process. I think he was a bit shocked, perhaps understandably. But I just said, ‘Namaste,’ and walked quietly out of the Oval Office to let him make the decisions he’ll make. After all, whatever will be, will be.”