By July of 2000, I was done with my job as a clinician. Having worked for over six years as a speech-language pathologist at one of the country's largest HMOs, I felt burned out, turned off, and depleted. It wasn't that I didn't like the work—I did. In fact, I loved the opportunity to come into people's lives and help them with whatever life challenges brought them to my office. What I had difficulty with was the deficit model I felt was propagated by the conventional medical model I was a part of. It seemed to me that the overwhelming culture was one of hierarchy,"un"-wellness, blame, and pity, mixed quite often with a healthy dose of irritation with the client. Of course, I know that this wasn't everyone, or not all the time, but in general, my experience with the clinical setting was one of high pressure, low return, and an unhealthy obsession with"outcome-driven" therapy. 1

Yoga has evolved from something little known and rarely practiced to a mainstream activity found almost anywhere in the United States and the rest of the Western world. It is now time for yoga to enter the awareness of public health officials and for the yoga community to communicate how yoga can contribute to the health of the nation in ways that no other profession can. 2

In a recent discussion, the organizer of a conference on mindfulness stated that she felt yoga was "not secular enough" for the conference. This comment got me thinking about the relationship between mindfulness, meditation,and yoga. The perception that yoga is not secular enough,or is somehow separate from the practice of mindfulness,directly impacts our ability to pervasively disseminate these transformative practices where they are needed most: in our communities and schools, in the healthcare system, for violence prevention, for addiction recovery, and beyond. 3

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