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Youth Yoga Hosts Congressman Tim Ryan at the Boat House

Nancy Alkire Nancy Alkire Youth Yoga Hosts Congressman Tim Ryan at the Boat HouseYouth participating in the Youth Yoga Project. Photo by Autumn Theodore.
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“A mindful nation takes care of everyone because you come to realize that we are all intertwined,” U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan for the 13th District (Youngstown area) says. Congressman Ryan will be the special guest at a fundraiser tonight, Saturday, May 5th at the Boat House for the Youth Yoga Project from 6 to 9 pm. “It is about the 100% of us all moving together.”

“We are super excited,” said Julia Handelman, co-founder with Lauren Greenspan of the Youth Yoga Project, “Congressman Ryan is an advocate for yoga and mindfulness in schools … yoga has helped him synchronize his mind and build resiliency.”

The Youth Yoga Project is a non-profit that teaches students and educators here in Columbus how to focus their attention and manage their emotions with yoga and mindfulness techniques. In his book, A Mindful Nation, Congressman Ryan explains how the simple acts of mindfulness can help kids learn concentration and empathy to build better communities.

“Mindfulness teaches these kids how to pay attention.” Ryan also urges that those connected with service in the military may find even one-minute a day of positive self-reflection can help to reduce their stress. “Mindfulness can be a great opportunity […] to improve performance no matter what you are trying to do,” says Mr. Ryan.

Congressman Ryan personally experienced benefits of a mediation practice after a 5-day silent retreat when he had to check his 2 Blackberry cell phones at the door. He also read a book that Cambridge Zen Center founder John Kabat-Zinn provided to all members of Congress. His meditation practice helped him develop focus and handle stress. He wanted to share with as many people as possible, so he published the book A Mindful Nation in 2012.

Local yoga entrepreneur Jimmy Merrelli recalls Congressman Ryan dropping in to a yoga class in his E. Main Street studio room 6 years ago. Merrelli likes the ideas behind the Youth Yoga Project, “Putting yoga in schools would definitely be useful.”

Congressman Tim Ryan will be at the May 5th event for the Youth Yoga Project sponsored by the Crane Group and Balanced Yoga’s Give Yoga. Attendees will enjoy hors d’oeuvre as they browse silent auction items donated by local yoga and wellness businesses. The event runs from 6PM- 9PM at The Boat House, 679 W. Spring Street Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Tickets are $35 and are available here.

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