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In the week of the first UK summit on mindful politics, we find the best ways to take a breather

Having a ball: Meditation can help relaxation and boost confidence

Lunch break meditation

When mindful eating café Yeotown opened on London’s exclusive Chiltern Street in September, people weren’t only queuing for their healthy cakes. A big part of the café’s USP is its ‘meditation stations’, two custom-made meditation pods, each offering five guided meditation breaks that last five or six minutes. Themes range from relaxation to increasing confidence and the pods are free to use for café customers.

Retreat: Mindful eating café Yeotown

Take a breath workshop

If the thought of Christmas has you running for the hills, sign up for the Secret Yoga Club’s Winter Warmer Retreat. It focuses on yoga and mindfulness, and looks at how the power of breath and voice alters our physical and mental health. Loved by Vogue, the SYC folks have hit gold with this event, from November 9-12, in a 12th-century former priory near Aldeburgh, Suffolk. £495pp,

Have a meditation massage

Organic Pharmacy’s 60-minute treatment centres on gentle diaphragmatic breathing to relax the nervous system before a deep body massage using rose and jasmine oil — both known for their sedative and calming properties. There’s also an optional stress test available. Organic co-founder Margo Marrone says: ‘Coupled with acupressure and restorative massage, this treatment allows the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system to relax and rest, promoting a deep meditative state.’ London branches, £100,

Go for a sound bath

From London’s Sound Awakening ( and Otto Sound Therapy ( to Nada Sound Therapy’s events in Hampshire and the south coast ( and Birmingham’s The Musery (, sound baths are popping up everywhere. Chill out to vibrations of the gong, drums and hypnotic instruments, and be physically and emotionally energised. Don’t worry, you’ll remain dressed — the ‘bath’ is the idea of letting the sounds wash over you.

Drop-in chillouts

Big in New York and LA (you’ll find Amanda Seyfried and Anna Kendrick in LA studio The Den), drop-in meditation centres are now in London. Re:Mind, near Victoria, aims to bridge the gap between meditating on your own using an app and going on a full-on retreat. Drop-in classes are available for 30, 45 or 90 minutes. ‘We offer many types of meditation, plus one restorative yoga class each evening,’ says co-founder Carla Von Anhalt. Prices vary,

Commons sense

A political gathering

Summit: US politician Tim Ryan and (below) UK sports minister Tracey Crouch

Bath-loving MP Tim Loughton may have hogged the headlines when it came to the Westminster summit on mindfulness but it seems lots of other politicians are also switched on to its benefits (which promote focus, awareness and compassion).

One hundred and 45 MPs have undertaken eight-week mindfulness courses since they were first offered to UK parliamentarians in 2013, including sports minister Tracey Crouch, who has said that mindfulness is ‘very important in terms of policy development’.

And it’s not just UK politicians getting with the programme: US presidential hopeful Tim Ryan (a Democrat) joined her remotely at the summit and has said that ‘meditation guides his response to Donald Trump’.