It was all eyes open at Fridays , Newark’s Fire Department Training Facility. Every morning at 7:30 a.m., I can hear 35 cadets begin their physical training (running), but at 10:00 a new-featured training element was added, Yoga. Yes Yoga, is part of the training of fire cadet, oddly enough this news brought all the media to watch. But rather then being odd, it is appropriate and a timely inclusion, in a modern program that looks to strengthen the entire cadet.
Debbie Kaminsky, of Newark Yoga Movement, is a trainer of Yoga, and has been instrumental in the spreading of Yoga in Newark. Debbie has been bringing Yoga to Washington Park on Wednesdays, Riverfront Park on Monday’s, and has also been actively involved in bringing Yoga throughout Newark school system. So its is fitting that she bring Yoga to the firemen of Newark as well. In addition to developing agility, stretching, and strength balance techniques, Yoga incorporates breathing techniques and stress management skills. Stress reduction and effective stress management techniques are imperative for both better job performance and better life experience. This belief was echo by it Director, Fateen Ziyad. “Firefighters face unique challenges that are above and beyond ordinary workday stress. Their lifestyle of service brings them in routine contact with highly stressful situations that can have potentially permanent damaging effects on their mental and physical wellbeing. Professional athletes from around the world have been trained using these techniques to compete with calmer breath and slower heart rate, thus increasing endurance and performance, as well as maintaining focus while experiencing greater enjoyment of the process.”
“A common scenario: It is 3 a.m.; the firefighters have had their last run at 11 p.m. Just settling down to an unpredictable amount of sleep the alarm goes off “Attention all units, house fire at 123 Adams St. Caller reports children trapped “. From a semi-‐rested yet semi-‐awake quasi-‐sleep state, the firefighters are up in a flash. Immediately they put on their turn-‐out gear while composing thoughts and focusing on the job as a member of a firefighting team. Their heart racing, breath quickened, senses heightened and adrenaline pumping they climb onto the fire truck. The lights flash on, the doors open and the fire truck roars into a cold dark night with the faint smell of smoke in the early morning air. The firefighter’s physiological response to this common scenario is “The Fight or Flight Response”, an ancient survival response. The body automatically knows how to respond. It is the same physiology that prepared our ancestors to face the threat of a large bear, a hungry tiger, or the sudden discovery of a nearby snake about to strike.” Proper breathy is critical, and Yoga can help.”
Fateen Ziyad has held numerous positions within the department, including but not limited to: Chief of Staff to the Fire Director, Commandant of the Community Relations Division, Affirmative Action Officer, Commandant of the Planning & Research Division, Public Information Officer, Recruitment Officer, Hearing Officer and Executive Officer to the Fire Director. ACP, Communities in Schools, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America and the W.A.R.I.S. Islamic Center.
The cadets will be graduating at the end of August, and then will be assigned to various firehouses thru a series of rotation, and then finally placed in permanent assignments. This is Newark’s 42 class of cadets. Through powerful breathing techniques Yoga offers the firefighter the ability to enter into the rigorous stressful situations of their work and daily life while remaining calm, balanced and focused. Newark Firefighters have found out that Yoga is not about bending into a “pretzel-like” position. It is about a balanced workout and a balanced lifestyle.
Please stay tuned if you enjoy Yoga Global Mala is less than 2 months away!!