From the Heart

From the Heart: Mindful Total Wellness Intervention in the African American Community

Co-Principal Investigators


  • Program in Health Disparities Research Pilot Grant


The overarching goal of this research program is to develop and implement culturally relevant mind-body interventions based on a holistic approach to promote stress management, coping, and healthy living concepts that lead to improved health and well-being in African Americans.

African Americans experience disproportionate rates of obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and frequent mental distress – all of which contribute to higher cardiovascular disease risk. Mind-body interventions, such as mindfulness, meditation, Tai Chi, acupuncture, and yoga have notable health benefits, including reducing stress and depression. But the effectiveness of these types of interventions in reducing cardiovascular disease-related health disparities in the African American community is unknown.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program, called Mindfulness in Motion, in a community sample of 44 African American women. The study aimed to:

  1. Examine the acceptance of an 8-week Mindfulness in Motion program, taught by a certified mindfulness teacher/practitioner, within a female African American sample
  2. Evaluate the impact of the Mindfulness in Motion program on levels of stress, positive and negative emotions, coping self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and
  3. Evaluate the impact of the Mindfulness in Motion program on adherence to a lifestyle program focused on standard dietary and physical activity guidelines.

Publications and Presentations


  • University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing
  • Robbins Urban Wellness Retreat
  • The ANIKA Foundation