Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Mindfulness – U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan

Ryan says mindfulness practice gives him a feeling of calm that allows him to manage his day, especially necessary in an increasingly bitter Washington.

Rep. Tim Ryan
Rep. Tim Ryan

It’s 95 degrees, I have sweat in my eyes, and I’m squinting at four women in brightly colored Spandex tops and cropped pants. That’s when I spot the guy who suggested I try this yoga class. The congressman has flipped his dog.

He’s turned his downward dog almost inside out—back bent, belly up. The moment offers one answer to the central question of this story: How does Representative Tim Ryan truly live his mindfulness practice? As I stick with downward dog, he looks like he could hang out upside down all day, and the more I get to know him, it’s clear his steadiness is not limited to the yoga mat.

Ryan, 39, is not one of those bomb-throwing members of Congress, the type who generates sensational headlines on Hardball. No, he’s not that Ryan, the one who was on the Republican presidential ticket. He’s the Democrat.

The one who has quietly continued winning races in his Ohio district.

The one with “that mindfulness thing,†as one of his fellow members put it. Ryan’s book, A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit, reads a bit like what presidential candidates publish two years before they start to show up at the Iowa State Fair, full of broad statements like this one from the close: “It’s helping us all recapture the spirit of what it means to be an American. Join us.â€

By Christina Bellantoni;  Photographs by Mark Mahaney

Continue reading “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of MIndfulness” here… (PDF)