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Stressed out Americans seek mindful peace

"Make yourself comfortable, eyes closed, take a few full breaths," a woman's voice says softly. "If you find that your mind has wandered, this is good news." Twelve professionals have gathered in a conference room much like any other in downtown Washington. But this is no ordinary meeting. This is "mindfulness," a form of meditation that is growing fast in the Western world, including in the United States, and has been hailed for its benefits in reducing anxiety and depression.

California tweening: the making of a 12-year-old yogi

By Mike Blake and Mary Milliken ENCINITAS, California (Reuters) - Jaysea Devoe is a yoga instructor who has the challenging job of teaching fidgety preschoolers the ancient practice, but once her charges get going, she says, "they really start to focus and listen."

Australian model Miranda Kerr teaches a yoga class in Tokyo

Tokyo, Apr 2 (EFE).- Australian model Miranda Kerr loosened up and taught a yoga class in Tokyo on Wednesday as part of a marketing campaign. The sultry Kerr led a group of about 20 Japanese yoga practitioners through a series of movements as the public and a pack of reporters and photographers watched. Kerr showed the same elegance and sense of balance that she displays on the runway in teaching the yoga class with the assistance of Japanese model Shiho.

Olympian mind games the everyday exerciser can play

By Dorene Internicola NEW YORK (Reuters) - For everyday athletes hoping to glean more than vague inspiration from watching the elite compete at the Olympic Games in Sochi fitness experts say let the mind games begin. With imaging techniques, meditation and biofeedback, sports psychologists, athletes and coaches say Olympians and top performers train as intensely mentally as they do physically.

Olympics: Yoga helps Anderson to gold, Downton Abbey inspires Brit

Jamie Anderson gave the United States an Olympics slopestyle snowboarding double on Sunday and credited her success to yoga, meditation and candles. Following compatriot Sage Kotsenburg's victory in the men's competition a day earlier, four-time X-Games winner Anderson overcame a mistake on the first run to produce the goods on her second with a near-perfect 95.25 score. And the American revealed she had turned to yoga the night before her event in order to keep calm ahead of her big day.

Olympics: American lugers stretch to limits with Keshavan yoga tips

America's Olympic Games luge team has been getting tips from Indian rival Shiva Keshavan -- on yoga. US coach Mark Grimmette said that in exchange for tips on boosting his luge skills, Keshavan, who is taking part in his fifth Olympics passes on his knowledge of yoga. "He fits well within the team. Yoga is something we have had with the team for a few years now but Shiva and his wife know yoga well so they have been facilitating those sessions," said Grimmette.

Yoga may reduce fatigue after breast cancer

By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Participating in yoga classes after treatment for breast cancer was linked to reduced fatigue and inflammation and increased vitality among women in a new study. Researchers found that breast cancer survivors who took 12 weeks of yoga classes ended up with reduced inflammation and felt less tired after six months, compared to a similar group of women who didn't take yoga classes.

Meditation offers slight relief from anxiety

Meditation may help ease anxiety and depression in certain patients, and in some cases the practice may be as effective as taking anti-depressant medications, said a study Monday. However, a review of scientific literature on mindfulness meditation published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the effects of meditation are limited. For instance, little or no evidence could be found of meditation's impact on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep and weight.

Lululemon says its yoga pants not meant for thick thighs

By Victoria Cavaliere and Solarina Ho (Reuters) - When the founder of athletic apparel business Lululemon said his products were wrong for certain body shapes, some customers were quick to take offense, creating a potential public relations headache for the highly successful company. "Quite frankly, some women's bodies just actually don't work for it (his clothing)," Chip Wilson said in an interview with Bloomberg TV this week. "They don't work for some women's bodies."

Meditation alone doesn't lower blood pressure: study

By Kathleen Raven NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Stress reduction exercises have been linked to many health benefits, but lower blood pressure may not be one of them. A new study found eight weeks of mindfulness meditation had no effect on people with slightly elevated blood pressure who were not yet taking medication. "This doesn't mean that meditation is bad. It just simply doesn't lower blood pressure," senior author Dr. Sheldon Tobe of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, said.
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