As a yoga instructor who works in public safety, Katie Carlson frequently chats with public safety professionals who are curious enough about yoga that they bring it up in conversation, quickly followed by the reason they have yet to give yoga a try.
Yoga Roadblocks is a series of blog posts that dives into and dismantles some of the most common reasons that individuals might not try yoga or begin a yoga practice.
If you want to spend a lot of time on yoga, it’s not hard to do. By driving to a gym or studio (and make sure to arrive 15 minutes early!), take a 75 minute yoga class, and drive home, you might have invested 2 hours time to fit in a yoga practice. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Some of the most common reasons given why individuals who are interested in starting a yoga practice - but haven’t - include time constraints, child care, and working odd or extended hours.
You don’t need to invest hours a day to receive the benefits of a yoga practice like decreased stress and improved cognitive function.
Many benefits can be gained by practicing 10-20 minutes a day. Does that still sound like a lot of time? Then how about just 3 minutes? With YFFR Cyber Academy, the new YFFR online training tool and app, you can access classes that are as short as 3 minutes. Check out info on Cyber Academy at the bottom of this page.
Here are a few suggestions on how to begin or maintain a yoga practice when you don’t have much time:
BYOS (Bring Your Own Studio)
The YogaShield® Yoga for First Responders® Cyber Academy has several videos that you can watch from your phone or computer at home, the office, the firehouse, your parked vehicle, anywhere! You’ll carry a studio in your pocket. The classes are divided by length, so you can select the time that works for you, whether that’s 3-10 minutes, 11-20 minutes, 21-30 minutes, or 31+ minutes. You can also filter by video classes or audio-only recordings. Cyber Academy offers short, OnDemand classes for training in tactical breath work, physical drills, and resetting the neurological system. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more info and to download the Cyber Academy app.
Remember your purpose
The practice of yoga and breath work - and the many benefits it offers - is great for anyone, but as first responders, you have specific needs. By becoming familiar with the short yoga practices and breath work offered by YFFR, you will be able tap into them before (preparation), during (enhanced performance), and after high stress events (self-regulation), and also periods of downtime. Use the two practices below to begin your own regimen of yoga, and begin reaping its benefits for your body and mind today.
5 Min. Drill Before Duty (audio only):
5 Min. Self-Regulation After Shift (video):
Bring yoga to your shift
Public safety agencies throughout the country are bringing a greater focus to the mental health and wellness of their employees. If your department has a wellness section or committee, request for yoga to become available before or after your shift. Such a request would be made stronger if several members of the shift would be willing to participate. Funding for such programming may be possible through various grants. Contact Yoga for First Responders for more information about how you can integrate yoga directly into your department.
Ganga White, the Founder of the White Lotus Yoga Foundation said,
“In truth, yoga doesn’t take time – it gives time.”
By beginning a yoga practice, first responders will gain mental health and physical wellness benefits that help them stay present and focused amidst the challenges of their jobs.
Making time, whether it’s three minutes, or an hour a day, will give back to the first responder much more than the time it takes.
sign up for YogaShield® Yoga for First Responders® Cyber Academy to practice yoga through the YFFr protocol Today:
About Cyber Academy
Download app for Apple devices
Download app for Android devices
by Katie Carlson Guest Writer