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Yoga For First Responders launches training course at KCPD

Publish Date 06/17/2016

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Captain Darren Ivey

Yoga For First Responders will be hosting a training intensive at the Kansas City Missouri Police Academy from June 20 to 25 to train more people in the exclusive protocol.

“This is one of the many things that have evolved in accordance with Chief Darryl Forte’s vision of strengthening the emotional and mental wellness of Department employees,” said Captain Darren Ivey, who is overseeing the effort. “I have been talking about the benefits of trauma-sensitive yoga at all of the Surviving Secondary Trauma courses that have been taught to KCPD members in the past year, and this topic has really struck a chord with people. Yoga is being used all throughout the world, including in the first responder community, as a way to strengthen resiliency and deal with traumatic stress.”

Yoga For First Responders (YFFR) was created by Olivia Kvitne, a yoga instructor and published journalist who first offered trauma-sensitive yoga and resiliency training to the Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department after having worked with veterans and military members. YFFR roots itself in the foundation of Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and mindfulness while adding the element of physical challenges paired with mental training.

Captain Ivey said Yoga for First Responders was so popular in the last year that he ran out of qualified instructors. Next week’s course will serve as a train-the-trainer class. In addition to KCPD, members from Missouri Probation and Parole and the Wichita, Kan., Police Department will be in attendance.

Research studies now show that yoga and other mindfulness practices contribute to alleviating the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress and Secondary Traumatic Stress (Vicarious Traumatization).

YFFR protocol provides the tools to safely and effectively benefit the first responder population for increased levels of performance, ability to process stress, a fulfilling personal life as well as providing a pro-active approach for strengthening resiliency in body and mind.

The course will be in room 301 of the Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Rd. Media members interested in observing participants actively engaged in yoga should attend from 4:20 to 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 20, or at 8 a.m. Tuesday, June 21.


Yoga For First Responders is a non-profit promoting trauma-sensitive yoga protocols to enhance the lives of first responders. Yoga for First Responders is sensitive to the distinct stress and trauma first responders encounter on the job. YFFR targets areas in the body that hold tension and provides methods and techniques to alleviate the cumulative stress that accompanies this specific line of work. In addition, YFFR uses mental and physical training to improve resiliency and strength of the mind and body. This leads to peak performance on the job, a sustainable career and supports a thriving personal life off-duty. More information is available at For press inquiries please contact: