We wanted to get a political reporter to give us an inside perspective on what the congressman is trying to do: bring mindfulness into the mainstream. Christina Bellantoni, Politics Editor at PBS NewsHour seemed perfect. She knows the lay of the land in the capital, but has also written features full of personality, capturing more than just what’s on the surface.
When she filed her story, it was clear we’d made the right choice. She not only observed Ryan in action in the political realm, she attended yoga classes with him and hung out with his family at an Italian festival in his hometown of Niles, Ohio.
“To understand your government,” Christina told us, “it helps to know the motivation behind people—how they grew up and what they do in their spare time. Yet any congressman, let alone someone who’s really busy in an election year, you’re lucky to get half an hour with them. Tim Ryan opened up his life to us. His work life, home life, down time, yoga class. That’s unusual openness and authenticity from anyone, let alone a member of congress. It was really refreshing.”