This is a collection of F.R.Y. Canada Wednesday Wellness Wisdom posts about Yoga and Mental Wellness for First Responders. You can also see them on our Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn) in case you missed them.
F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom
20211117 – F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom
How Yoga Helps Mental Wellness #1 – “Restraints”(Yamas) towards a compassionate life
Yoga is more than movement. People think “yoga” is bendy twisty poses. Poses are but one of EIGHT “limbs” of yoga that form the essence of how yoga increases mental wellness.
One limb is “Restraints”(Yamas) towards a compassionate life, meaning to hold to non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, and control of sexual energy.
Paying attention to these restraints can bring peace and calm within us.
Set a positive intention each morning for each of these restraints as a step on the road to mental wellness.
20211124 – F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom
How Yoga Helps Mental Wellness #2 – Habits or Observances for a Healthy and Happy Life (Niyama)
Remember, yoga is more than movement. Another of the 8 limbs of yoga is “Cultivating habits or observances for a healthy and happy life – Niyamas”: internal and external cleanliness, practicing contentment, self-control, feeding our mind with uplifting studies, and surrendering the ego.
Set goals and time for ourselves to nourish our minds. Pause and think of something everyday for which we are grateful. It can be as simple as that ideal parking spot, the warmth of the sun, or even that first sip of coffee.
20211201 – F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom
How Yoga Helps Mental Wellness #3 – Breathwork (Pranayama)
Breath is life. It affects our energy, and consequently our quality of life. A controlled breath calms an uprising of emotional energy that may occur in life. Are you a chest breather or a belly breather? As adults, we forget how to breathe. Watch a baby breathe. Their bellies rise and fall with each breath.
Deep abdominal breathing encourages a complete oxygen exchange: all of the outgoing carbon dioxide is traded for incoming oxygen. It slows the heart rate and manages blood pressure. Did you know that one of the reasons massages feel so good is because it causes old blood to flow out of the muscles, allowing fresh blood to flow in? When we belly breathe, the diaphragm naturally lowers into the abdominal organs. When inhaling, the diaphragm pushes on the spleen, pancreas, liver, and stomach, and these organs in turn push on all our other organs. When we exhale the pressure is then released, until the pattern repeats again. Whenever we practice deep abdominal breathing we give our organs a much needed massage, allowing them to be filled with the fresh blood supply to function their best, and increasing our overall wellness.
Practice abdominal breathing. Place a hand on your belly at your navel point. As you inhale, press the belly into your hand. As you exhale, pull the belly in towards your spine. Take care not to slouch as you exhale.
20211228 – F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom
How Yoga Helps Mental Wellness #4 – “Withdrawal from the senses (Pratyahara)”
We are often limited by our habits, tendencies, impulses and weaknesses. We let our senses over-influence ourselves, generating a reaction.
This yoga element suggests we acknowledge yet distance ourselves from the over-stimulation of the world around us.
Pause and give time to relax the body and mind.
Try taking a few minutes to “talk” your body into relaxation. Maintain rhythmic abdominal breathing and repeat the following in your mind:
– “I relax my toes. I relax my toes. My toes are relaxed.”
– Repeat for all body parts: feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, abdominal organs, low back, mid-back, upper back, chest, heart, shoulders, arms, elbows, hands, fingers, neck, mouth, eyes, and face
– Close with “I relax my mind. I relax my mind. My mind is relaxed.”
20220119 – F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom
How Yoga Helps Mental Wellness #5 – Concentration (Dharana)
Concentration (Dharana), another of the 8 limbs of yoga, or steady focus binds the mind to one place, idea or object. It calms the “busy-ness” of the mind and permits you to focus and be present. It overcomes the “monkey-mind”, where the mind swings from one thought to another as a monkey swings from tree to tree. As a First Responder you can see the benefit of a calm concentrating mind.
Practice calming the mind. Acknowledge each thought, image, memory that arises but take control by mentally placing it in a filing cabinet that will only open when you are done with focusing on the present situation.
20220209 – F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom for First Responders
Do you know what is one of the reasons F.R.Y. decided to help First Responders’ wellness out there and create this series of post on our socials called “F.R.Y. Wednesday Wellness Wisdom for First Responders”? The answer lies in the following excerpt of the statement from Stephen Conforti, executive director, financial planning division, city of Toronto:
“Workplace Safety and Insurance Board costs (WSIB cost), which were less than $16 million in 2010, are expected to hit $45 million in 2022, mostly due to provincial legislation around post-traumatic stress disorder claims for first responders, cancer claims for firefighters, and more recently, COVID-19 related claims, according to Stephen Conforti, executive director, financial planning division, city of Toronto.
The $45-million figure does not include claims at the city’s many boards, agencies and commissions, and does not include the cost of WSIB claims at Toronto Police Service, which are expected to hit $16 million in 2022. WSIB claims at police services were up 18 per cent in 2021 alone, after a one-year decline of seven per cent in 2020.
WSIB costs have also risen dramatically at Paramedic Services in Toronto, from $700,000 in 2010, to $2.3 million in 2016. WSIB costs are projected to hit $13.3 million in 2022.”
F.R.Y. co-founders’ vision to help First Responders’ Wellness
We, the F.R.Y. co-founders, had a vision about how to help First Responders’ wellness. We decided to share our experiences and knowledge for First Responders’ wellness. Those of you reading that are First Responders, you deserve to be at your best even when off duty.
F.R.Y. offers tools to First Responders for their body-mind wellness and resilience. Within F.R.Y. The Method First Responders can build up resilience, maintain the body strong and flexible. In addition with F.R.Y. The Method you educate the mind not to react and to be detached from all the stressors that come with that line of duty. Muscle strength exercise alone and all the training First Responders receive about using “the tools” they carry, is not enough anymore. That way of thinking about First Responders’ training must change; it is out of date.
Why F.R.Y. The Method delivered through The APP is of value
The ancient tools F.R.Y. offers for the mind-body wellness and resilience, are supported by many medical studies. Now more than ever First Responders need these mind-body tools and learning:
- how to manage stress disorders;
- how to shift from fight and flight mode to a more relaxed rest and digest mode;
- how to breathe to get all the benefits from the natural breathing pattern;
- how to strengthen the body but also develop flexibility to maintain pliability in our tissues and muscles;
- how to relax, and
- how to develop awareness and mindfulness.
All those tools make up F.R.Y. The Method.
How F.R.Y. can help First Responders’ wellbeing
F.R.Y. is a toolbox for First Responder mind-body wellness and resilience, designed by First Responders for First Responders, available through in-person/virtual sessions and employer/school-sponsored workshops.
- relaxation techniques
- mindfulness & positive affirmation techniques (neuroplasticity)
- trauma-informed functional movement (both energetic and passive)
F.R.Y. The APP the first tool for First Responders’ wellbeing
With F.R.Y. The APP the tools for injury-prevention, stress management, and physical/mental health are available to First Responders anytime, anywhere, immediately when needed at the push of a button, 24/7.
Download F.R.Y. The APP on Google Play and Apple Store
F.R.Y. The APP is the digital representation of our book, “F.R.Y. First Responders Yoga. The BOOK” on Amazon. Click here to read more about it an buy it
Join our First Responders MeetUp Group here
We are doing our best to share our experience for the benefits of The One who Serve. Do your part now! Take the first step to take care of your mind-body system.
F.R.Y.’s got your six!