Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

The Next Soccer Moms: Yoga Moms

In the last election, the term “Soccer Mom” described suburban, swing-voting women. The feeling was that Soccer Moms were important because no one was really sure how they’d vote, and that they carpooled in large numbers. In the end, this label was perhaps mostly a media phenomenon, something chewed over by pundits.

So now, here’s my question: Are Yoga Moms the next Soccer Moms? And are Yoga Moms a real force? Surely, we can see the Yoga Mom’s influence in the marketplace. Who do you think sustains the Whole Foods stores sweeping the country? Who do you think Walmart is trying to please as it presents its new line of organic produce?


Yoga Moms are very “green”–obviously interested in cultivating ways to protect and sustain our environment. They are also interested in bringing women of all faiths/spiritual inclinations back into the women’s movement (see my interview with Helen LaKelly Hunt on this). Yoga Moms come from a cross-pollinated spiritual backdrop: They can be Jewish, Christian, pagan, or on a journey and still seeking. Whatever their leanings or origins, they gravitate toward and value the contemplative traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism–whether they’re in the suburbs doing health club Pilates, or in urban yoga studios sweating to the kirtans of Krishna Das. Yoga Moms are earning a living and raising children, needing tools to help them relax.


Yoga Moms are pro-choice but you won’t ever hear them say that a zygote is not a life. On the war in Iraq: They are mixed. Younger yoginis with kids in strollers were always against and attended all the peace marches. Yoga moms with two kids or more might have been for the invasion, but now are opposed to deeper involvement.

Are Yoga Moms too elite or too marginal a group to have political sway? Tell me what you think. In the meantime, I’ll do more research. I know I read somewhere that the person driving up the nation’s interest in organic food is the mother seeking to find hormone-free milk for her toddler. I think this dignified, empowered lady holds much more than a bottle in her hand!

Photo by Christine

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posted August 19, 2006 at 11:15 pm

I am very green myself, I am against the Iraqi war myself…but, being a woman, I am prolife.>

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posted August 19, 2006 at 11:21 pm

This yoga mom of 2 older boys was not initially for war involvement but now that we’ve messed around in there, we’ve got a responsibility to clean things up as well as possible under the ENORMOUS circumstances. Add thatto yoor stats.>

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posted August 20, 2006 at 4:17 am

I’m intrigued but skeptical, wondering if this isn’t just more media hype than substance. Vitamin-watered, yoga moms pushing Bugaboo strollers through Whole Foods after class sounds more like lifestyle extension than political action. As a group, they seem too diverse and divided on the issues to be a cohesive political force. In the current climate, other affiliations — evangelical, Jewish, eco, pro-life, anti-war — hold more sway. Costco maybe, but Capitol Hill?? I like Helen LaKelly Hunt, but when she said, “I think it s so important to understand that feminism is not about women. Feminism is about human beings.” I thought, well, yes. Now WAKE UP, Helen! In America, femininsm still bears the stigma of the bra-burning, divisive politics of the 60’s. What does a lack of dialog and 77 cents on the dollar tell us about how much closer we are to equal rights than we were 40 years ago? Perhaps her book (which sounds wonderful) will help open minds and mouths again.>

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posted August 20, 2006 at 11:47 pm

I’m childless by choice, so I don’t belong in anyone’s demographic but I do have to ask what happened to the blog on holistic home inspection? I wanted to look at that book; this blog has been acting wonky lately with posts disappearing, etc.>

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posted August 21, 2006 at 4:33 am

Sorry, Kathy…I published five items on Friday by mistake then took two down. The daily goal is usually three, so the missing post you mentioned will be up and available Monday evening. Yours, CM>

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Ann Marie

posted August 21, 2006 at 4:12 pm

Thank God! Or Buddha! Is it possible that young American women {it is not important if they are Moms or not} can actually start thinking about something else besides whether their tan is good enough on their torso so their belly shirt and low-rider pants can show that off without making them feel self concious? If it makes them stop worshipping their time with Wal-Mart and the image of Jessica Simpson, yes, bring it on. Our world is in enough trouble, we can educate women, but we better know what outlet to use, they are so self-consumed. Our food is mass marketed, and the Costa Rica coffee farmer has to take his children out of school because Starbucks only pays him $.60 a pound, but at $3.00 a cup they are making $60.00 a pound. The only family member who spoke of politics was their “die-hard” Republican granfather, so they think “better keep up that family tradition”. What are they teaching their daughters? I work in a Rehab, and I am constantly shocked at how shallow our young women in America are today. Bring on the Yoga Moms, if they are socially conscious we may not need to delete as much.>

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posted August 21, 2006 at 11:14 pm

Interesting post. But keep in mind that that parent “seeking to find hormone-free milk for her toddler” is not always, or only, the mother. Signed, A dad.>

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Nancey Stillwell

posted August 22, 2006 at 7:55 pm

I think soccer MOMs or yoga MOMs are justly a viable group in 2006. Most are doing their best to be the best human being possible and therefore raising thier children to be the best that they can be. I think of friendly, non-judgemental, active and passionate, good natured people in a crazy world doing their part to be concious about many important things that affect all of us, soccer moms or not. They mostly do believe in saving the earth in whatever manner possible and support their local farmers, etc. This is my personal opinion that I have formed by all the people I know and have met that fall into this category. Sincerely, Nancey>

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