Introduction to Yoga for First Responders
Date:Thursday April 8, 2021
Yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices are commonly suggested to public safety personnel as a tool to manage stress. Yet, many don’t know where or how to start, or may not fully understand the benefits.
Did you know that yoga can do a lot more for you than just manage your stress? The original intention of yoga is for mastering the mind and optimize functioning of the body and nervous system. This means that not only will yoga help you process stress, it will also teach you to build mental, physical and neurological resilience and enhance overall performance.
A yoga practice is a combination of breath work exercises, physical strength and mobility drills, and recovery and mindfulness techniques. This kind of training directly impacts hormone levels, brain waves, and heart rate variability. Studies show that an increase in heart rate variability can directly affect performance in high stress situations. Mental perception and hormone levels determine if stress will harm you or make you stronger, and the results from a yoga practice put your system in a place to grow from stress.
The benefits of yoga are clear, but translating these ancient practices to tactical application for first responders can be challenging.
The non-profit organization, Yoga For First Responders, developed a protocol which tailors traditional yoga to the needs of public safety. Now, you can practice yoga in a manner that is job specific and culturally informed.
Try these simple and effective videos and see how you feel. No yoga mat or yoga pants required.
Three Part Breath (7 minutes)
YFFR Foundations Yoga Class (20 minutes)
Mindfulness Practice (15 minutes)