Active Wellness, LLC and FireFlex Yoga Brings Stress-Relief to First Responders

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Supporting the health and well-being of our first-responding heroes through yoga so they can continue to help our communities.

"Helping firefighters meet the physical and mental demands of the job safely, effectively, and routinely is a priority,” says Shannon McQuaide, Founder and Director of FireFlex. “We are honored to bring yoga to the Bay Area Fire Departments we serve and are proud of the results we’ve witnessed."

Active Wellness, LLC and FireFlex Yoga™ announce today its commitment to support more first responders in leading healthier, happier, high-performing lives by delivering yoga and mindfulness practices to local fire departments and agencies.

FireFlex Yoga is a functional-movement based yoga program designed for firefighters to relieve stress, decrease injuries and enhance performance. In partnership with Active Wellness, a leading management company specializing in fitness and wellness services, FireFlex Yoga is currently implemented at nine departments across the Bay Area and is being adapted for other first responding agencies nationwide, as well as for corporations as a result of the growing importance on mindfulness and employee wellness.

Every day, firefighters take on the responsibility of saving and protecting our communities in emergency situations. Due to both the physical and mental demands of this profession and the influx of recent mass tragedies that have taken a grave toll on our communities, it’s vital that they are supported through preventative measures to be able to continue to perform at the highest level of excellence each day.

“Helping firefighters meet the physical and mental demands of the job safely, effectively, and routinely is a priority,” says Shannon McQuaide, Founder and Director of FireFlex. “We are honored to bring yoga to the Bay Area Fire Departments we serve and are proud of the results we’ve witnessed. More than half of the firefighters have increased their functional movement scores which helps to avoid injury and reported a significant reduction in their perception of stress.“

Research has shored up the health benefits yoga instructors have suggested for years. Yoga breathing practices helps oxygen tanks last longer and regulate the nervous system, allowing a firefighter to have greater mind-body awareness to make clearer split-second decisions when they matter most. Yoga also helps relieve stress and heal physical and psychological stress and trauma, distinguishing FireFlex Yoga from other fitness programs available to first responders.

Following the devastating wildfires in the North Bay last Fall, FireFlex was called upon to support affected firefighters and their families, many who had lost their homes, and give them a reprieve through yoga.

“Firefighters and their families had been under a tremendous amount of stress” said Jason Golden, Co-Chair of Local 1775 Marin County Behavioral Health Committee. “We thought yoga would give them an opportunity to take a deep breath and gather their thoughts. Many firefighters entered the hall feeling pretty low and left being able to smile and even laugh a little.”

“FireFlex Yoga is changing both the image of who practices yoga and highlighting some of the less well-known benefits of yoga, such as yoga’s ability to help us make critical decisions during stressful times as well as heal trauma,” says McQuaide. “Breaking down the stereotypes about yoga, allows these practices to become more accessible for the very people who need it. At Active, we’re proud to be a resource to build healthier, happier communities. And that certainly includes supporting our heroes who save lives every day.”

About FireFlex Yoga
FireFlex Yoga is designed to improve overall physical and psychological health and fitness for firefighters. We deliver a unique yoga program focused on mind and body practices that support physical, mental and emotional well-being to increase performance in all areas of firefighters’ lives. By combining quantitative program data with qualitative feedback from participating firefighters, we demonstrate how an effective yoga practice can not only improve performance, relieve stress and lower workers’ compensation claims but how yoga practice is making a significant difference in firefighter’s lives. Visit fireflexyoga.com for information.

About Active Wellness
Active Wellness is a leading management company specializing in fitness and wellness services operating 45 corporate, residential, medical and community fitness centers across the country. With more than 1100 employees, Active’s mission is to build and inspire healthier, active lives through high touch interactions and technologies that support a better quality of life. We accomplish this by creating inspiring environments, delivering results-based programming and building meaningful relationships that support positive change in people’s lives. For more information, visit ActiveWellness.com.

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Kari Bedgood
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