Yoga helps bodies and minds of local fire recruits

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ST. LOUIS – Of all the things you might expect to see being taught inside the St. Louis County Police and Fire Training Center, I bet this wasn’t on the list.

“Yes, this was my first time doing yoga,” said fire recruit Mike Brey.

Before you bark about why these fire recruits need to know downward dog, hear this.

“Today was my second time doing yoga,” fire recruit Tim Edwards said. “This class had probably been one of the more important classes throughout this academy.”

“When you get yourself stuck in a situation you’re not ready for, breathing is definitely key,” Brey said.

“We deal with things that we push aside a lot. We don’t even realize we’re doing it until later when it hits,” said PT Instructor Kelly D’Angelo.

You see, these poses teach poise. The stuff you need to stay cool under fire, or while fighting a fire.

“A lot of this is really intense, so it kind of helps you remain calm in stressful situations,” Edwards said.

Jeni Ure Bailey from Yoga Six led the class at no charge to the academy.

“They sent Jeni in to be able to work with our recruits and introduce yoga as an extra tool in their toolbox for staying in shape mentally, physically and being ready for the job,” D’Angelo said.

Flipping the script on how to deal with the rigors of a dangerous job.

“I might even try that hot yoga, get a little sweat on while I do it,” Brey said.

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