Mindful politics

Mindfulness in Westminster is growing in popularity with hundreds of MPs and Peers enjoying the practice

Reading time: 3 minutes

Whatever your thoughts on politicians (we certainly can’t print that here!) it seems that our leaders love a bit of mindfulness. To date, mindfulness courses or classes have been attended, voluntarily, by over 300 Members of the House of Commons (MPs) and House of Lords (Peers) from diverse political backgrounds, as well as approximately 800 staff members.

The findings are revealed in a new report, Mindfulness in Westminster: Reflections from UK Politicians, published by The Mindfulness Initiative.

It states: “In the UK, public trust in politicians is at a record low, while a majority of citizens report a dislike of ‘how politics works’ acting as a barrier to personal engagement. Add to this media portrayals of toxicity in Westminster, and the resulting picture is at odds with one in which politicians from across divides sit respectfully together, exploring the workings of the mind and heart to cultivate increased presence, awareness and care. But that is what a significant number of politicians have done over the past 10 years, by participating in mindfulness training.”

Whilst there’s no doubt mindfulness works on a personal level, whether it can turn around the dismal state of endlessly-combative UK politics is another challenge altogether. But there is optimism among some that it could bring fresh hope into the corridors of power.

Ruth Lister, Baroness Lister of Burtersett, believes it could be beneficial for UK politics overall. “We talk about mindfulness being helpful ‘out there’, but what about how mindfulness could help ‘in here’, in Parliament? What about mindful politics?”

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.