Yoga teacher Crystal Fenton works with first responders, offering them yoga for their unique needs. Studies show that first responders are at an increased risk for behavioral health conditions such as depression, stress, post traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and suicide.
For first responders, hip and heart opening poses are useful to help unravel blockages and create openness in these tender spaces that tend to tighten during stress. Spinal twists and stretches target the back, respiratory tract, and shoulders to release clenching and make breathing easier. Breath awareness helps them regulate their nervous systems both on the mat, in daily life, and when responding to an emergency call. This sequence has helped Fenton and her first responder students heal and find solace in these trying times.