The inspiration for FireFlex Yoga is a combination of my experience practicing and teaching yoga over the past twenty years as well as being the daughter, niece and sister of firefighters.
Ready to begin?
programs for all
Sign Up Now
Origins of FireFlex Yoga
My father who was a firefighter in the San Jose Fire Department for 34 years and loved his job. If firefighting had been easier on my dad’s body I am sure he would continued on for several more years. But he was forced to retire in 2001 because of a heart condition and several bulging disks in his cervical spine. Firefighting also took a toll on my dad psychologically, that had a lasting impact on our family.
I started experimenting with vegetarianism, meditation and yoga in college. My relationship to yoga practice grew through a year long stay in South East Asia and India. When I returned to the states I started practicing and teaching which I have continued to do on and off over the past 20 years.
In 2014 I was pursuing a Master’s Degree in Leadership. In order to complete my studies and earn a degree, I needed to design and lead a project that had a positive social impact on my community. When I looked around in my community, one of the few places that had not already been infiltrated by yoga were fire departments.
My sister Tracey who was a firefighter in San Jose at the time, secured the first pilot program. I took firefighters through the functional movement screen and a stress assessment. From this initial data I customized twelve classes which I delivered to firefighters on-duty and in the apparatus bay at Station 9. Coincidentally the same fire station my dad retired from a decade earlier.
The Initial Program
This initial program was a lot of fun. To my surprise and delight the firefighters loved it! Because the feedback was very positive and I really enjoyed the experience, I volunteered to do a second pilot program with a different group of firefighters. Following another two months of classes I collected data and listen to the firefighters share their feedback. Both the quantitative and qualitative data was inspiring.
Although I had no intention of starting and building a yoga program for firefighters it turned out that these initial pilot programs were the beginning of FireFlex Yoga. At the time it was called FLEX Wellness. I received my master’s degree in 2014, and after presenting the quantitative data to the San Jose Fire Department, they hired to me to deliver this program to the whole department.
I continue to reproduce the same quantitative and qualitative data in department after department. The program is making a significant difference in the lives of firefighters, and at the point I cannot imagine myself doing anything else. I get to teaching yoga which I love for firefighters who I adore. It’s been an incedible experience.
The mission of FireFlex Yoga is to help our first responders thrive in all areas of their life. We do that in a number of ways: we bring the mindfulness practices of yoga and meditation to support our first responder’s mind and body. We also support the not for profit charities that serve our first responders. Each fiscal year we select three charities to donate 20% of the gross revenue.