First responders don’t exactly have the easiest of jobs. Every day they’re called out to tackle blazes, fight crime, and sometimes even witness the loss of life. It’s no surprise, then, that those who work in the emergency services are some of the most stressed out people on the planet. Luckily, one woman is on a mission to change that.
Yoga For First Responders
Meet Olivia Kvitne Mead, a 36-year-old yoga instructor with an interesting background. This yogi had been working on programs with military veterans after their tours of duty when an idea struck her. What about the first responders? These men and women who work in the emergency services would work decades in the same job, before retiring, and no one was helping them. In 2013, Mead set up her nonprofit – Yoga For First Responders.
Mead had worked with veterans in the past, teaching them yoga to help combat the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She had witnessed first-hand how this 5,000-year-old practice could help reduce stress, improve mental health, and teach others how to tackle trauma. Her idea was to bring these same benefits to the first responders, who also put their lives on the line every day.
An Impressive Response
The yoga teacher, who hails from Denver in Colorado, admits that not everyone was keen to get involved to begin with. However, even the burliest of men soon got on board with the Downward Dog. Nowadays, Yoga For First Responders works with a total of 35 fire and police departments across America, and has even become part of the Chicago Police Academy Syllabus!
Yoga is known for its healing powers and it seems as though it’s working a treat with these first responders. If we can help reduce the stress and trauma of the emergency services, hopefully they can live healthier and happier lives as they continue to protect us.