Yoga: Teacher training and a challenge for Fit2Thrive

4 mins read

So, about a month ago, I woke up with a sore back. I don’t know what I did – and it’s not like I was working out and made a squeak on a bad lift, knowing I messed something up. I went to my massage therapist, used heating pads and ate a bunch of Tylenol. When I went to see my osteopath, we shared what turned out to be more of a counseling session than a stretching session. Much like my meeting with Jessica, yoga for first responders is more than just stretching.

Mindulness in Motion is the brand in front of Jessica, my local osteo practitioner and mindfulness coach. I went to an appointment with Jessica about a week after my back pain started to help try anything to get back to baseline. That, it turns out, was part of my first mistake. Jessica introduced me to the concept of the ‘5 F’s’ of injury. Her philosophy outlines these behaviors we fall into that accentuate neuroplastic pain; Fear, Frustration, Fighting, Fixing, Focusing. That’s a subject we’d do well to cover in depth in a separate post.

Enter: Yoga

One thing Jessica helped me realize was that since March of 2020 – you know, when the world fell apart? – I’ve been spending a LOT of time working. In most cases, only working.

I hadn’t come to terms with the idea that my own pendulum had stuck over toward hard work. I had almost completely stopped the softer practices I worked hard to develop after the COVID era birthed a phrase I’ve repeated over and over; work beats worry.

So, it’s time once again to peel back some of the tough exterior and rebuild those skills to fully actualize my experience. I’ve decided to start with yoga.

Teacher Training

I had a buddy not too long ago pay for the services of a nutritionist. Now, this particular guy is jjjacked and knows how to take care of himself. When I asked about his decision to hire a meal planner, he said it was an investment in himself to push his level of fitness even further. That, despite the cost, spending on a diet planner would help him follow the plan – a literal investment.

I’ve decided to give that a try.

Last week, I started a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher training program. I’ll use this not only to dive head-first back into the practice, but I’m aiming to bring it to the jiu-jitsu mats when I’m instructing and here, to the wider first responder culture.

The Challenge

This process of learning the culture, belief structures, asanas and dynamic nature of yoga as an exercise ties directly into my required Fit 2 Thrive Challenge.

I’m going to try to organize a few firefighters to embark on a 30-day challenge toward building (or rebuilding!) a personal practice toward the softer side of fitness. I’ll participate regardless, for the full 30-days. Then, I’ll report back here with my thoughts and observations – and write out my ‘Author’ challenge for the F2T Challenge.

Want to participate?

Get at me on IG – @sixfoxtrot

Bill Dungey is a volunteer firefighter in Ontario, Canada. He is focused on fitness, mindset development and finding training opportunities to help the fire service make things better.

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