Yoga classes for first responders - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Yoga classes for first responders

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(CNN) -

Police officers, medics, and firefighters have some of the most important jobs in society.

Those jobs are also some of the most stressful and officials in Kansas City, Missouri is using yoga to help first responders to cope with that stress.

KCPD Officer Mikki Cassidy says,"It makes us better police officers, better family members, and it just makes us better inside. You can't pour from an empty cup."

Quiet and calm are the last words you would use to describe the life of a first-responder.

KCPD Sgt. Michelle Hon says,"I was starting to become extremely familiar with how much secondary trauma affects these officers from call to call."

But every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., it's peaceful in a room at Kansas City, Missouri police headquarters a yoga session open to all first responders across the metro.

Kansas City Firefighter, Essie Titus says,"Since I have started meditating, breathing techniques and yoga, I just kind of do a little bit throughout the day."

Titus has also become a certified yoga therapist, helping to teach these classes with fellow first-responder, Officer Mikki Cassidy.

They teach each class techniques first-responders can use when they need a moment to pull themselves together on the job.

Titus says,"We do these things all the time to people that we care for in the community, so it's really important to make sure that we're reminding each other to do that for ourselves."

KCPD Officer Mikki Cassidy: "People come into the class, and they're tense, or a lot, it's like shoulder, or just frazzled. I just love it at the end of the class when no one really moves, when they have this look. They're just light, sweet, calm."

The idea is to help first-responders deal with trauma, stress and the highs and lows of the job.

They need to take care of themselves first to better take care of others.

Titus says,"There are just some people that aren't aware that there are stress management tools that are readily available to them. The more that I practiced them, the more that I noticed how effective it was."
 

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