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Police Officers Need Yoga Too!

Thursday, June 9, 2010

I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago to take a Thai Yoga Massage Course (a blend of yoga and massage) and felt like a celebrity everywhere I went. 99% of the people that I met had some kind of connection to Haliburton or wished they did.   

One man that took the course with us immediately asked "how are the bugs this year",  and I knew he too was connected.  His name is John and he had quite an interesting story to tell.  He had been a police officer in London, Ontario for 17 years and finally left the force for a variety of reasons. Basically, he told us that he just didn't like how he felt doing his job anymore.  He found that he was constantly on alert, not trusting anyone, buying bigger toys to make himself feel better (and it wasn't working) and he was stressed.  He felt like he was a police officer all the time and the energy of that job had become who he was.  His sister recommended that he try some yoga and so he went to a yoga retreat at the Sivananda  Yoga Centre in Val Morin Quebec.    He now teaches at Fanshaw College, in a police program and he did his yoga teacher training last year.   He teaches yoga to firefighters and police officers in London.  He believes that the practice of yoga can help these people maintain their physical strength, flexibility and balance to do their job, but more importantly he talked about the benefits of the relaxation and the breathing aspects of yoga.  As a police officer and fire fighter, he talked about how they are  often dealing in highly stressful situations in a quick manner.   As a police officer you are meeting  people who are angry, stressed and unpredictable.  Having a regular practice of relaxing,  letting go and focusing on positive thoughts and imagery can help deal with the daily stress.   John was a really nice guy who was so positive and very kind.  I'm sure his students enjoy being in his classes.     I am always  interested in how people find their particular style of yoga and what inspires them to practice it, or teach it.    The possibilities are endless.

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