Police officers and firefighters across America are learning to cope with the stress they have to experience during their jobs.
Police officers and firefighters across America are practicing yoga with a nonprofit group Yoga For First Responders.
Watch the police officers and firefighters practicing yoga
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Yoga For First Responders was founded in 2013 by 36-year-old instructor Olivia Kvitne Mead, from Denver, Colorado.
Olivia wanted to help the emergency workers to perform their duties more efficiently.
She thought by practicing yoga they could learn to cope with the stress and do their job without being stressed.
Olivia said: “There are lots of yoga programs for veterans but they are all focused on after their tours of duty. That doesn’t happen for first responders.”
“They are in their jobs for 30 years until they retire. They go to work and see trauma, death, destruction, loss and the worst part of humanity, then they have to go home and be a mother or a father, a husband or a wife.”
In 2013, she contacted the Los Angeles Fire Department and shared her idea with them.
She said the then-head psychologist of the department had already practiced yoga and knew its benefits.
She started volunteering twice a week at the fire department and soon the Los Angeles Police Department joined them too.
Currently, Yoga For First Responders works with 35 police and fire departments across the United States.
Olivia says that yoga helps to cope with depression, anxiety, and loss and it is really important to practice to do your job efficiently.
Olivia said: “They need to be taught the ability to handle stress and trauma and process it. Otherwise, you are just going to get squished by all the trauma you witness.”
“Yoga strengthens the body and makes it more mobile which is very important for first responders, as their body is their tool—but the true essence of yoga is neurological training”, she added.
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