Namaste: The Most Important Tool in a Firefighter’s Toolbox?

Namaste: pronounced nah-ma-stey. Inside yoga studios, Namaste is a word you often hear at the start and end of yoga classes, typically paired with hands together at the heart. Namaste means to greet another person with honor and respect, unconditionally. As a yoga teacher for firefighters, I generally leave many studio rituals at the studio, bringing into fire stations only …

Why Bartenders and Firefighters Are Practicing Yoga at Work

A handful of programs aim to bring mind-body awareness to grueling urban jobs. Shannon McQuaide launched FireFlex Yoga at the fire department in San Jose, California around two and a half years ago. Since then, it’s expanded to six different fire stations and reached over 100 firefighters and policemen. “Most fire departments and police departments are tuned into the physical demands of …

Separating Fact From Fiction, Continued

This month, I continue the theme of last month’s article: separating fact from fiction in firefighter culture. The following comments were derived partly from my conversations with Travis, a firefighter/paramedic with the San Jose (CA) Fire Department. Travis and his crew have been practicing yoga with me for more than 18 months. Lesson #1: Playing Telephone I recently heard this from …

Introducing Shannon

In a recent article on fireengineering.com, Shannon shares a bit about herself: “It’s not surprising that I found my vocation in translating the practices of yoga into a sensible approach to fitness for firefighters. I have been passionately pursuing yoga and meditation since college. My father spent 34 years of his life as a firefighter–and I spent 20 years after college …

Mindfulness matters in life, yoga

We human beings spend a great deal of time seeking happiness and avoiding distress; we do this as a constructive means of handling the inherent ambiguities of human life. Contemplative practices like meditation and Mindful Yoga can be a tremendous aid in this endeavor, because they help us rise above life’s inevitable ups and downs. As a veteran yoga student …