Sheila has been working with first responders for the last several years, Police and Fire, and becoming Certified through the Yoga for First Responders (YFFR) program. The mission-focused mindset requires yoga training, mental training, and breathwork. This type of yoga training is beneficial to all yoga clients also.
Sheila took her first yoga class in 1985 in Bellingham, Washington, while attending Western Washington University and has been practicing and teaching since. An early adopter. Along the way, she acquired degrees in psychology and counseling, working as a professional counselor for 15 years in schools, hospitals, private practice, and community clinics. In 2000, realizing she was doing ‘therapy’ while teaching and ‘yoga’ while with her counseling clients, the true meaning of practice began to emerge - is it an Inside Job. The yoga and the counseling were starting to intersect in the areas of relaxation, breathing techniques, mediation practice, guided imagery, and the yoga poses that alleviate their symptoms of depression, anxiety, and grief.
In 2005, she transitioned into teaching yoga and yoga therapy full-time. Sheila has taught all over the country at various studios and locations and conducted retreats and workshops for both students and new yoga teachers. She has opened and managed yoga studios both in Portland, and Hood River, OR. Sheila opened, ran, and sold Yoga NW studio in NW Portland from 2010 through 2017.
Presently, Sheila teaches privates at home, in small groups, and online when requested. She serves as a mentor to new and emerging yoga teachers, as well as support in studio ownership. She is a Master Teacher. She teaches a highly curated, professional, safe, accessible yoga class with beginning meditation. Her students feel welcome, in good hands, and get their yoga needs met.
In 2011 Sheila became a Mother, and then in 2012, a Solo parent family. Being a parent has made her a more effective teacher and mentor. Being a parent is an 18-year meditation/yoga practice, and thus, approach parenting as a spiritual practice, the most rewarding and challenging one yet. Being a Mother and parenting is truly a primary purpose, with teaching/counseling close behind.
Sheila has been working with first responders for the last several years, Police and Fire, and becoming Certified through the Yoga for First Responders (YFFR) program. The mission-focused mindset requires yoga training, mental training, and breathwork. This type of yoga training is beneficial to all yoga clients also.
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Hi everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of Enduring the Badge Podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean Lund, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode, so please hit that subscribe button. And while your phone's out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes or our Apple Podcast. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people.
So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review and just maybe by doing that, it'll push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message. Hi. Before we jump into this next episode, I want to talk to you about your relationships. Are they working for you? Are they not working for you?
And they were because now it's the holidays and now it brings in a lot of stress, a lot of stress about sharing time with families, stress of money. Stress of being at parties that maybe you do or don't want to go to, and expectations that are met are unmet. Yeah. The end of the year is wrapping up and it's, and it's not too late to have the best relationship you can have, and I can help you avoid some stumbling blocks before the end of the year by just a 15 minute discovery call with me.
You can also reach out to me for some additional advice at Jerry Fire and Fuel, or Enduring the Badge podcast. Or at our website and during the badge podcast.com, where you can leave me a voicemail there. Please feel free to reach out to me because I want you to have the best relationship possible, not only this year as it ends, but moving into the next year.
My very special guest today is Sheila Schmid, and she is from Tactical Yoga Training, and if you own a gun, you're gonna want to hear this because she's gonna give you some tips on how to best function behind your gun. She goes out and trains military and law enforcement officers on how to do this. She also teaches them tactical yoga, how to stay fit, how to say mobile.
Relieve yourself from injuries throughout your career to pile up and combine to mental health factors. So let's jump right into this episode with my, my very passionate guest who's blazing a trail to help first responders Sheila Smith. Sheila, how are you doing this morning? I will. Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Yeah. Thank you for being on. I really appreciate it. Sheila, you've been doing yoga for some time now, and you also do some other stuff with mental health as as well, because I kind of tie yoga into, like with first responder world, it's a lot of kind, I don't know, like mental health too, flexibility to mobility and all that good stuff.
So tell the audience a little bit about. Uh, well, um, that's a broad subject, , but in particular for the, um, yoga, the mental health and first responders. I started practicing and training Yoga and Zen in 1985. and have since, um, I, um, I've been a professional licensed professional counselor since 93. Um, and then I'm also a parent of an 11 year old boy, and that's important to know.
Yes. Because, um, that comes first. So yes, I've been, you know, um, training and working in those two fields, mental health and yoga, and meditation for quite some time. I pivoted to first responders in 2015 and, um, that, uh, area of my expertise has just grown exponentially. Right, right. You're ave you're a very busy person trying to, trying to catch you for a podcast.
And our schedules is, was a little bit challenging cuz you're out there doing, doing the work. So I'm asking you, doing the work, why did you pivot to first respond? Well, Jerry, I'll tell you exactly why. Um, my son and I were living in northwest Portland. Um, I'm now in Camma Washington. So Northwest Portland is across the river about 20 minutes.
And, um, in two 15 things in port in, in Portland, Oregon, we're starting to shift a little bit and, um, My son and I were in a Starbucks once, the same Starbucks that we would go to almost every day, the same Starbucks that I would see the same police officers at getting their coffee, saying hello to people.
And, um, there was another mom behind me and sh the, um, one of her kids asked her, you know, mom, why are, why did those guys have their guns in Starbucks? Or something like that. and I instantly thought to myself, well, they have their guns in Starbucks because they're gonna protect us if they need to. I, in my head, I thought that, and then I kind of turned to the cops and I just realized that the way the culture in Portland had been slowly changing, that was two 15.
So that was a while ago. I, um, I thought, you know, these guys were really. Getting it from all sides and not in a positive way. Sure. So I actually made a decision right there and then to call the Portland Police Bureau the next day, which I did, and offer them, um, yoga, meditation training. And they laughed at me because, Well, because it was funny to them.
Um, sure. But lo and behold, um, Portland Police Department at that bureau was actually my very first client. So I eventually got into them, but I really, it was just born Jerry of, you know, me having some expertise and kind of pivoting that to another community, um, that I had never really thought of before police officers in particular.
So that's a cool story that's very in inspirational to, I bet you. , you must have really felt something, you know, then to, to take that action. Like there must have been something inner just deep in within you. Well, I mean, I'm perceptive and, you know, as a first responder is actually mm-hmm. , I'm, I'm, mm-hmm
I'm pretty aware my environment, I have really good situational awareness. Yes. And then, you know, I've been a mental health clinician for a long time, and then also, you know, I'm a run towards the danger helper too. So , I thought, gosh, these men and women may benefit, um, from these tools. Yeah, I mean, I, I could see back then why they would laugh, right?
Because it's like just things were so new. To like talk about mental health and, you know, then throw like some zen yoga in there. And that's, that's pretty far out there back then. It, it, it may be still a little bit far out there. Still. It still is, yeah. Yeah. like for some, for some. But why, why did people turn to yoga so, so much.
Like, I, I've. Uh, you know, several guests on the, that teach and talk about yoga, and I think everybody comes from a, like a little bit different way and how they approach it with the first responder world.
What's your question? How does it, what ? Yeah, so I mean, just like kind of where, how do you perceive it? Like how do you perceive that that fits into the first responder world? That's a good question. I, um, well, you know, Jerry, I need to say I, I've learned a ton. I mean, I, I, I would, and to all of your listeners are watchers.
You know, I am not in law enforcement and I would never assume, and this is how I actually approach it, um, when I'm working with military and snipers and law enforcement and dispatch, I am coming at it as. You know, I don't know exactly how it is for you, but I do have these tools and I'm an expert and I am very happy to bridge the gap with you together.
And I've made mistakes, um, particularly working with the Army, I've been told directly, um, About language and different ways of approach that I've, um, changed. You know, I, let's see, at two 15, it's almost 2 23. You know, I've adapted and, um, up level of my own teaching quite a bit, to be honest. Um, to help bridge the gap in a thoughtful, um, and effective way, um, with these communities, which are very different than, you know, the soccer moms and Sure.
You know, men and women. I taught at the yoga studio I owned. And I think in particular, Jerry, what is so beneficial is the, um, the meditation and the mindfulness piece, the breathing, and yes, the yoga poses. Um, the yoga that we train on is not slow yoga, it's not vinyasa, it's not fast. There's no music, there's no bells and whistles.
Um, there's no chanting or candles or anything like that. It's very, um, physical. Um, Slowly done, thoughtfully done very specific with the breathing and the mindfulness component. So it's actually a prevention for P T s and depression and anxiety and all of the myriad of things that we see happening at the end of a career, which I actually didn't even know about.
until I started working with these communities. Yeah. So sh sheila, what makes it a little bit different than, you know, the, when people think of, of yoga, like the yoga studio and then the way you different, you're saying it's, you know, it's thoughtful kind of movement in intentional movement and intentional breathing, right?
W why, why would you change that up for the first responder world? Because we're trying to train the first responders to be in reality instead of escape. And much of yoga the way it's taught and presented, which I love, I love a good, you know, fast class to music and feel good for an hour and then go back into reality.
So we're not doing that. It's actually the very opposite. Um, Zen meditation in particular is designed to, um, be in reality comfort. And to help the central nervous system be centered in reality not escaping. So that's actually a huge difference between, uh, modern day yoga and the kind of training that we're trying to do.
Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's definitely different. I mean, I, I, yeah, , I attend some yoga, yoga classes and stuff like that, and they're all very different than, you know, there's the first responder yoga and, you know, there's different benefits for each type of, uh, yoga that you do. Um, you know, one part that I really love is the mobility part, right?
Like, if, if I'm in constant pain because I'm not, I don't have good mobility, then I take that to work. And I take that to home too, right? Yes. Living in constant pain is not something that any of us want to do. That's a great point. Jerry and I, one thing, um, you know, I've learned a lot as I, as I have said is that, um, I don't mean this respectfully, but when I go into a department, you know, the sheriff department or police department, you know, I can really see that the men and women are doing a lot of sitting, you know, and maybe not a lot of movement.
And, um, they're pretty hitched up, you know, shoulders and hips and lower back. And gosh, you know, this training in particular, um, the first kind of half an hour of the training. For all of those areas, but it's not a quick fix. And that's what I tell, you know, try to tell the folks that I'm working with, you know, this is a, um, a long term.
I I ask them to take the long view. Yeah. And so one yoga class isn't gonna fix you. . Yeah. It's gonna get you started down that road to opening up your eyes with the weight, you know, things that you can implement in, in your life. I know just over the last few weeks, um, I've done a lot more type of yoga and like mobility training instead of weights and trying to like do those things.
Free up my shoulders, free up my hips. Mm-hmm. and. . It does, it does work. Like the, I'm in a lot less pain than I normally, normally am. Like this job takes a toll on your body. Yeah. For whether you're sitting or out being active doing other types of activities. Mm-hmm. , so you work with s um, you're talking about you work with the military and you work with snipers and stuff, and then I've seen some of your Instagram stuff about breathing and shooting and things like that.
I mean, explain some of the importance of that. Oh my gosh. Well, you know, I have to say, I'm a, I'm kind of a late comer to the gun, the gun world. I was, uh, a, a flaming anti-gun person waving the guns or bad flag for most of my adult life up until very recently. So, sorry about that. I'm a, I say that with little chagrin.
Um, It was based out of lack of knowledge. I'd never even, I didn't know anything about guns. So, um, what happened for me is I, uh, I was living alone actually. My son was a newborn. A newborn, and things were really starting to go downhill in Portland. And I actually thought to myself, well, you know, this might be a good time to learn how to use a firearm and have one on hand.
and my son's dad also hunts, and so I knew that my son would eventually have a gun in his hand. So it's also kind of like a co-parent, a good co-parent move. Yeah. . So, um, and that was before I started working with the snipers and the police. And so when I did start working with those communities, I, I definitely, um, Knew that I needed to do as much personal research as I could if I'm gonna be talking to police officers about mindfulness and breathing, and I don't even know what it's like to walk around with a gun or a vest on.
Mm-hmm. . So, um, and since then I've, um, I've done quite a lot of shooting and I love it. I don't know. I, uh, I, um, I really do enjoy it. It's very, the first time I was behind a long gun, Jerry, I, honest to gosh, it was just like meditating. Like I know it's sounds silly, but I, no, I, on the ground, I was, I was like on the ground.
It was muddy, it was raining. And, um, Adrian, my trainer, I was trying to like spot something a million miles away. and I just was breathing and so focused. I never saw the target. Um, the fog rolled in. We never got, I never even pulled the trigger. I had that physiological experience, like meditation, and I was like, oh my gosh, I, I can't wait to do this again.
And then my next thought was, well, I wonder if the snipers and the long gun community are meditating because this would be a good addition. So, mm-hmm. , um, I think I just started networking with some snipers. Hey, you guys, if you're on here, . Yeah. Um, just outta, you know, curiosity and wanting to learn more.
And I have found that community to be so accepting and really, really interested in mindfulness and meditation of the breathing. Like they really get, um, the benefit. Yeah, because sitting behind a long gun for an extended period of time in all the different elements, as as a sniper and, you know, there's, you don't leave.
There's a lot of fatigue. Even if, no matter what position I feel like you're in, there's still gonna be a lot of fatigue, especially if, if you're a sniper. And so I could see why Sheila, why the breathing would come in and trying to be kind of in that meditative and focused state behind Alan. I also learned something interesting this last, um, kind of rifle training that I did where our instructor was, um, talking about in, in then it's called Minding the Gap and there's a, a little space between the inhalation and the exhalation.
Um, it's really nuanced and when you are sitting. using your breath as your anchor, you can really kind of hang in that spot. And that's where, you know, your parasympathetic nervous system is really doing its job. And this instructor spoke about that. He didn't use the zen word he used. Um, oh my gosh. The pause of the breath or something.
Mm-hmm. and for the shooters and, but it's the same concept. Um, so that was pretty fascinat. Yeah, so let's dive down into the, in, into the zen portion of that. Like I'm sure there's some listeners like what it asking like themselves. What is that really?
Thank you for that question. And I, I always, sometimes I use the word zen, sometimes I don't because sometimes it trips that people, I, I definitely have had pushback. I've had, you know, messages on my Instagram about, , um, is meditation, religion, are you trying to sell me God or all sorts of things? And I love those questions because it's like me in the gun, you know, in shooting, I am working with the military.
I just ask questions cuz I really don't know. Mm-hmm. . Um, so meditation is a science, scientific, practical application of focusing on your breathing to focus your mind and basically relax your central nervous. Done on, done on a relatively, you know, maybe daily basis for a few minutes. There's no magic number, although Andrew Huberman just did a study where it was like 13 minutes.
Ah, he's so great. 13 minutes. He's incredibly smart guy. Yeah. Of sydnee. Yeah. I got to see him in Portland. So shows, of course, lower stress levels, lower anxiety, um, more genuine response time, all sorts of things. I'm not gonna go into the science of that because you could just quickly Google it. When I'm working with communities, I really, really try to bridge the gap in a way that's effective for them.
So I don't, I don't use Sanskrit and yoga language when I'm teaching. I just use regular, like I'm talking to you. Um, I talk about meditation as a tool, you know, that we use, um, for a mine like mindset training and really try to take the woowoo out of all of it. And yoga and meditation has nothing to do with religion.
You know, it's, it's right. It couldn't be more separate. It's like saying like, having a gun is a Christian thing. I don't even know. So it's just, there's nothing there. But I'm happy to have those conversations and that's part of it. Jerry, you know, I, um, I am more than happy to sit down and talk things through and answer questions.
That's important. Yeah. I, so the, what I'm gathering, like the zen part is kind of just, . I don't, when I would, my personal perspective of it is just more of just the being at one with yourself and both that's in being one with myself includes what I'm thinking, how I'm feeling. Like take a note of my body and, and breath work.
Mm-hmm. . That's right. Yeah. There's no dogma in Zen. It's not, there's not a person we're meditating about or, uh, we're not, you know, visualizing a desert. Beautiful island. There's no, um, it's, it's the hardest one. It's the most effective, I think, because you can do it anywhere and it's really, you know, you don't need any fancy tools or anything.
Um, a teacher is good at first, but it's just your body, your consciousness, and your breathing, um, and a place to sit. You can also do it laying down. Um, it just a few minutes. . Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It, it really does. It's just taking that time to take those few minutes, right? Mm-hmm. On a, mm-hmm. , and you get more benefit of it.
Like, as you, you turned into a habit of doing, of doing that. So like when you're, Let's explain to the audience a little bit why breathing is so important. Why, like, if we're breathing too fast or breathing too slow, why? What does that do to our body?
Well, that is a big question. Thanks, . Yeah. Uh oh. You can, you could give the condensed version, . Okay. I'm not a scientist, I'm not a doctor, I'm just a mom. No. . Um, I am more than that. But you know, I just took a really big breath while I was sitting there because I realized that I was BRE while I was talking to you.
Cuz I'm excited and I'm a little nervous. Yeah. And that I was breathing all up into my chest and I was like, oh. So I consciously put my hand on my belly and took a big three part breath. And since I've been training on that so much right away, I mean, I could, you know, almost feel like my central nervous system kick in and kind of display my brain with calming down chemicals.
Yeah, yeah. You know, that's in a nutshell. You know, I'll, I'll say to my clients that are new, when you're doing a three part breath, not, not a, um, gasping for air, cardiovascular breath, and not a big inhale. and a big spy, but a three part breath through the nose from the belly, the big mushy belly part that sends that text message to your parasympathetic nervous system.
And people understand that probably cuz of everyone's on their phone, right? They get that though. So three part breathing text message to your parasympathetic nervous system, regardless of what you're doing externally, those chemicals sled your brain. It's just biology. It's that simple. The hard part, Jerry, for me, and most people I know, um, that are, um, on the firing line, parenting, fires, cops, any, it's remembering.
Hey everyone, I hope you're having an amazing holiday season and I hope your relationship is amazing as well. I hope you're feeling very committed to it and that it's very loving and healthy, and you're taking the steps each week to make it better and better because you know to have a perfect relationship, so to speak, it takes time and effort and continued work because relationships are not easy.
If you're struggling and you need some help with your relationships, please reach out to. You can reach out to me at enduring the badge under the coaching section or any of my social media pages at Jerry Fire and Fuel as well. Now let's jump right back into this episode with my very special guest, right to do that and that's where the training comes in.
So in, you know, for example, the police department I'm working with now, I train them twice a week. We do the same training. There's no extras. They're, they're really getting, they know what we're gonna do when I get there. We do the zen meditation. We train a little bit on three, that three part breath. We do some of the yoga poses, and so they're starting to get that training.
So in between the classes, they can maybe remember sitting in the patrol car like I just did. Oh, inhale. Exhale. It's, it's that nuanced. Yeah. Yeah. I know, I, I I think some of our, my new guys and this and, uh, as a parent, right, you tell, you tell your kids, you know, take some deep breaths, you know. Oh, like, yeah.
To, to calm, to calm down. And I think in society that's like, oh, well that's, you know, well, that's a bs right? That doesn't actually work. Mm-hmm. , but it really does work. Makes Oh, yeah. It's, it's phenomenal. And, you know, it's interesting, Jerry, because like you said, , you know, I only started doing this in two 15, so considering I kind of think in decades, I've got, you know, I've got hopefully three more decades to go.
and, um, learning as I go and making mistakes, what I've learned most from the mistakes I've made and having, um, People recognize my intention and then helping and co course correcting me, um, in language and kind of first responder culture. And, um, I've really appreciated that actually. So it is getting, you know, one thing that's interesting is happening, um, like on my, on LinkedIn and Facebook and, you know, uh, pages that I follow on Instagram.
you know, I call it the wellness wave. Mm-hmm. , like the wellness wave kind of waved itself through mental health in like the nineties and we were all like holding teddy bears and talking about our feelings, and journaling, and I did all of that as a clinician. We now know, uh, research wise, it doesn't really work.
It feels good in the moment, but for long-term behavioral change and psychological change, it's not effective. and then that wellness wave hit the yoga community, same kind of thing, like really heavy on feeling good and um, really internally focused and all of those sorts of things. And now I kind of see that in the law enforcement, that kind of the wellness wave.
Yeah. Yeah. Um, so there's a lot of language out there. That gives me pause. So I always ask folks to kind of vet the program or talk to the person who's offering it or maybe do a little bit of research or really look at the science behind, um, all of those things. Yeah, I, I think you're right. The wave is starting to hit the first responder world.
It's very small. Like, I think we're, I keep telling people we're in kind of the knowing phase, but we've really gotta move to the, the doing phase and then like embracing it as a cultural part of the first responder world. Like we can't live in this elevated state for. Our entire career cuz that's just is not going to serve us or serve our families or serve the people that, uh, you know, that we're out there trying to serve.
Right. That's why we got into this job is we got in to serve people, but when we live in the state of being so hyper-vigilant and so amped up and that happens right, with our breathing and, you know, things like that or what we're eating and doing. It's just r really r rough, I guess, in the nutshell to truly both serve and serve yourself, like we're mm-hmm.
we're, do a really good job at serving others, but are we really doing Sheila a good job serving ourselves? Is what, what you're seeing? Are we doing that as first responders? Well, I, gosh, again, And thank you to all the men and women are who are out there protecting me and my family. Um, I mean it. And, um, I couldn't do it.
And uh, you know, I would never, and that's what I'm saying, you know, Jerry, I really would never assume to know, um, What it's like to, you know, be a police officer or a police woman or a firefighter, or work on dispatch. You know, I've gone on a few ride alongs. I've done some sit alongs at dispatch. Um, I've talked to and asked questions, myriad of people in the field.
Um, Of course I read, I've read all the research, you know, as kind of a scientist mind and, but still, like I don't have like, felt experience. Yeah. Um, I have felt experience being on the frontline of being a solo parent and raising someone on my own, which is kind of like sometimes a mission for sure. Sure.
That's super stressful. Um, but I'm not taking people's lives and I don't have a lot of moral injuries and, you know, um, you know, I do know that. . Um, it's really important as yogis and people who ha have expertise in meditation and for mental health professionals, and I'll just say this in general, to be, um, to go slow and be thoughtful and to when we are approaching, um, military and two A and law enforcement communities to do it in a way that is respectful and, um, And I think with that in mind, that Bri, that I call it kind of bridging the gap can happen, um, slowly.
Um, yeah. You know, I, yeah. So . Yeah. Do you find that the younger generations that are in the first responder worlds are more receptive than Michael? Oh yeah. Older guys that have been in there for I'm a long time. Yeah, they're, it's great actually. They do, they. They, yes. And I'm of the older generation too.
Me too. . Um, so yeah, here we're they. They get it. They really do. It's um, like I had said, and a lot of the snipers cuz they understand the mental part, but the younger law enforcement, um, yoga is just part of the deal a little bit for them actually, you know? Yeah. Yeah. That's good. It's good. It's good. It's good to see that.
I often wonder because I, I reflect to myself. I'm like, how do I unwind doing things? I, I guess I'll say wrong because I didn't know what I was doing basically to myself back then. And like, is it possible to feel like you can unwind yourself from years of like, doing things the wrong way? I guess that's just the simplest way I could put.
Of course, I always tell people it is never too late, never too sick, never too old to start from the scratch. Like today. Little bit of meditation, a little bit of good yoga. I mean, it depends. Not all yoga is created equal, you know? Um, yeah, I actually, I kind of, I'm a yoga broker. I mean, I'll help people find exceptional yoga all over the country actually, because, you know, going to find like a yoga class these.
There's, there's so much out there that's kind of yoga, but not really. And so you have to wade through a lot. So, um, I'm happy any of your listeners to help you, um, find a good teacher or class or studio, wherever you're located, um, to kind of cut through the fluff a little bit. and, um, . Yeah. I mean, you can start practicing anytime it Yeah.
It's good. , especially you, you can slow Yeah. and you can slowly unwind instead of in like the newer generations, I, they're, they're getting ahead. They're getting ahead so they don't have to unwind so much or unpack so, so much. Mm-hmm. , which I think is awesome. Well, one thing, one thing I real, I. You know, Jerry, I think it was like a couple years ago, um, when I did start reading on up on the mental health issues in law enforcement, and particularly at the end of the career, you know, all of the, again, I'm not an expert, um, but I'm definitely paying attention.
You know, like you, we mentioned before when we were talking the suicides, you know, alcoholism, addiction, all sorts of stuff. So p t s, much of that is prevent.
And so there, that's when, so that's when my kind of mental health background kind of got hooked a little bit. At first, it was like, well, we'll do some tactical yoga, do a little bit of zen meditation. Maybe I'll make a few bucks. Maybe I'll do some good. But then when I really kind of saw behind the curtain, you know, I have kind of pivoted even in my own niche business to try to get into the academy.
Yeah. And that has been so far. I see you out there, academy. I'm coming for you. . Um, the hardest and I'm pretty per, I'm pre, I'm persistent. I mean, no, doesn't really mean much to me, especially if it's something of depth and weight. I just have to get to the right person usually. Sure. So a long time to get to in front of Portland, like I think I probably bugged them for a couple years.
Um. , so the academy up here in Washington State. So I've been interfaith with them and um, they're kind of waiting to see . I think that was the last email, but, and here's the deal. So the folks that I have talked to that have graduated from it just recently from that academy mm-hmm. , I asked them, I'm like, are are you doing any kind of breathing training?
No. Are you doing any kind of yoga? , you know, like, um, specific, uh, you know, strong tactical yoga, any kind of like meditation mindset. No. So we're, we're create, we're, we are creating the same problems, right? Cause then the folks go back into their departments and we're not having these kind of trainings on a regular basis in the department and so on, so forth.
Does that make sense? Yeah. Completely . So that upstream model has never been super popular. . Um, it's really hard. Prevention is a hard sell. Um, as a culture, we really are focused on the downstream crisis mode. We're really good at that kind of, yeah. Yeah, the upstream model is a lot harder. So, um, I'm not giving up, um, particularly at the academy and.
and it's really not about me. Like any little, um, positive action step in bridging the gap, um, is good. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. So maybe it's not me, but in two years, another person approaches them and they're a little bit more open-minded. Right. Um, right. You know, as you know from being someone that works under a higher purpose, it's not, I mean, whether I do it or Sally does it Sure.
Who cares? I think it really is imperative because when I think about the younger generation of law enforcement, again, I'm not a, you know, I'm not an officer, but, uh, just going through academy and then getting the job and it's, nothing has changed. We're gonna get the same outcome. Yeah. Because of course, when you go through a career witnessing and taking all the actions that you do for 2030, , of course you're gonna be mentally ill.
That's kind of a no-brainer. Yeah. That doesn't, it's not like a, a surprise or gosh, you know, like the two ride alongs I went on, there was so much that happened. I couldn't even believe it. And I, I'm a trained mental health professional and I've seen a lot. I'm a middle-aged person. I'd seen a lot, but at the end of those ride alongs, I couldn't.
I thought to myself, this was just like three hours and this person. It's gonna be witnessing and engaged in this for like 30 years. Yeah, yeah. Or 20, you know? Yeah. Um, and that's just, and that's just really factual information, you know? So I'm really all about prevent, you know, getting this, these tools into the men and women, like right off the bat, you know, that.
No, I, I think that is, is going to be the greatest place for change is in the beginning because, , taking that into your career is a lot easier than, you know, having those tools. Going into your career than it is like being some point in your career and trying to add these tools. When you're honest, people get stuck in their ways and you know, they , it's hard, hard for them to change or want to want to change.
Like, oh, I've been doing this for 20 years, why should I change and do this, do this now. I'm like, I'm gonna retire in five years, so why, why should I change? It's like it's, it's the past. I, of course know the reason why, I mean, if you want to retire healthy and. Like you spent your entire good portion of your, maybe your best part of your life working in public safety or in the, you know, military and then you're going to retire and be unhealthy.
Like, I, I don't think anybody really truly wants to do that. I mean, I, I recently heard a study is like, you sign up to be a first responder, you're giving up 10 years off the top of your life right there, just with all the stress and all the things that come with it. So getting in early, I loved in getting in early.
Not just the the fire academy, but the police academy or the, the paramedic, different academies and stuff like that. Yeah. I think the whole back is like, well, we're short-staffed, so we want to get this, you know, rushed through mm-hmm. . But are we doing any favors? Like we want to keep these great people that we hire for long periods of time and keep them healthy, but isn't it better to invest.
it is what I hear. Um, uh, the police chief that, um, I've worked with quite a bit down here in southwest Clark County, Washington State, said, she goes, I mean, I'm like you j I mean, I'm at the point of my life and career. I'm really am like, let's get the, let's go do the work. Yeah. I mean, I can like write and talk and present.
I mean, I did all of that and that's all great, but I did all that when I was a mental health professional. I put the suit on, did all the. We need that, but really we already know. Let's go and, and so what my biggest challenge has been and what I've gotten, some nice mentorship, I'll say that nicely about is like that I have to, they said the bigger the agency, the more red tape or something.
Mm-hmm. the more, um, bureaucracy. Yeah. It's hard to implement something in a massive. Like, you know, yeah. F f DM y or just getting in front of the right person. Yeah. Like, I'll send , you know, it's, it's a little laughable, but again, it's, it's really a pleasure. It's a, you know, it's a mission. It's not like, oh gosh, I have to send that email to that department.
So, for example, the academy, it took me, the police academy up here. It took me so long to finally get in front of the right person. I think I have, if you're on here, hello and, um, But I have learned to slow down and you, you know, practice what I preach and ask what kind of protocols I need to go through to at least have the conversation.
Yeah. And at least see if it's possible to start fitting in a little bit of this really concrete training right now. And, and like you said, the more like Vancouver police department, like bigger departments, they um, they really, um, want, yeah, they wanna do like more research and things like that, so, oh my gosh.
Here comes my son's cat. You're okay.
So, and that, and that has been good for me. Um, To work with professionals. You know that this, the decision makers mm-hmm. way high up there that, you know, do this, have been doing this for years. And they're like, okay, Sheila, here's the chain of command that you need to go through. Thank you so much. And then I'll go do that.
Does that make sense? So, oh yeah. I was a civilian. Completely. Okay. . So, and I mean, no harm. I mean, I, it I, and luckily particularly, In law enforcement, like the men and women I've met. I mean, salt of the earth. I mean, I can't even, um, you know, I have a lot of friends in the yoga community and the, you know, zen community who are like, you're doing what?
Yeah. You're shooting an assault rifle and working with a snipers. They, they're, they're br you know, I've lost, you know, people have unfollowed me, Sure. On Instagram. The messages that I've gotten so unfortunate. Um, Actually truly unfortunate cuz there's no tolerance there. Yeah. Um, but fortunately Jerry, that bridging the gap has gone both ways.
I've, um, have said, you know, listen, um, would you like to go shooting with me? Have you ever held a gun? , um, let's have a conversation about the first responders. Um, would you like to know why I'm working with them? You know, so, yeah. Um, and then giving some examples of the families that I've met and, and the first responder wives, like the law enforcement wives that I've in, that I've met on Instagram, um, have given me tremendous insight about what it's like to.
I mean, I never even thought about that part of it, like the whys and the kids at home, usually the wives and the kids when the gentleman is working and a whole nother level of, um, it just, a whole nother depth of what's going on. So, all right. To totally, totally agree with you. Like, it, it, it's, It's unfortunate that people would feel that, you know, way towards you, you know, to doing something different, but Right.
I feel like when you, when you are doing something different and you kind of get that feedback, I'm like, Hey, you're doing kind, I'm sure you're doing the right thing, because I know Yeah. Story of my life. Yeah. Like sometimes when you're doing the right thing, you get the most, you know, kind of negative feedback in the beginning, but unfortunate for them because fortunate for the first responders that you're, you're doing this.
Why wouldn't you want the people that are protecting you or serving you to be the best that they can be? Mm-hmm. like that, that just comes down to it. Like that's what you're, that's what you're doing. Trying to get them to be the best that they can be. And, and the impact, like you said, is not just the person serving the first, it's their families too.
They're not, they're, they're paying the heavy price as. Yes, we say, I say one in three, so I, I'll say one first responder training on, you know, yoga meditation affects three other people, one in three, you know, their spouse, their chain of command. Yeah. Their coworkers, maybe their kids. I mean, it really just, um, it's more than just the main, just one first responder, you know?
Yeah, that's a good point. Sheila, before I let you go, Do you have a couple quick tips to, you know, to give first responders to like maybe get started into. Either case. Follow my Instagram. There you go. I like that one. That's a good one. Cause I You learned a lot. Yeah. Get on there. You know, that's interesting.
I know people like, oh, social media, but, you know, I approach it, it's, it's all your approach to it, right? Yeah. So that practical yoga Instagram is so robust and, um, I have lots of conversations on there. Um, military, first responders, military, you know, wives, um, questions. I've got some videos on there about that three part breathing.
Um, yes, I'm on there doing yoga cuz I have to be, but it's not like that . Um, so, um, yeah, get on there, ask me questions and um, . And again, really I'm happy to help. If you're interested in, uh, starting yoga or starting to meditate, please, I'm happy to help you wherever your location is, to find, um, something of quality.
I'm a really big proponent of in-person. Um, it's really hard now that we're online, you and I, but yeah, yeah, I get it in-person. Yoga . Um, yeah, I'm a fan of in-person and also of, um, Training on that, then meditation, learning that technique and not using an app. Does that make sense? Like Yeah, putting earphones on and just kind of listening, which is good for some things.
But it's not training your brain and your central nervous system to be in the here and now. Does that make sense? So yeah. I'm happy to help. Yeah. Yeah. I, I experiment with lots of different meditations and, and breathing and, and, and yoga stuff to try to like, uh, to just experience them before I. Somebody has an opinion about it, then I'm like, well, I don't have really have an opinion cuz I've never done it.
But now I like to try to get out there and do those different things so I can have just, it's my own perspective, right? It's not necessarily the right answer or the right way. It's just getting out there and exposing yourself to something that you're gonna latch onto and like, I really like this and I want to continue this, this good habit.
Yeah. Sheila, what other places can people follow you and get ahold of you? Tactical Yoga on Instagram. Um, Instagram tactical yoga training. Um, I'm looking at my phone. . Yeah. And then I have, um, it's all on the phone. Yeah. . And then, um, there's an inside job, yoga and counseling Instagram, which is separate, but that, that is really geared towards, um, I have a small mental health practice still.
It's, it's kind of referral only. Um, And it's for clients who are really ready to change. I always say it's for clients who already did a bunch of talk therapy, which is good. No problem with talk therapy. Um, I call it head nodding therapy, but for clients who maybe have already kind of dealt with their childhood issues, they're not blaming anyone anymore, they're not victims, they're like, ready to go.
Okay, let's go. And so those are the kind of clients. With mental health, professional, uh, practice. Uh, and then I'm also on LinkedIn, um, of course Sheila Schmid and yeah, you can just text me . I mean, it's fine. Yeah. Awesome. Well, I appreciate, um, the great advice and the great tools that you've kind of laid out.
And, uh, please go follow Sheila on these different, you know, websites and learn a little, expose yourself to some different things, you know, because you're only gonna improve your wellness and the wellness, right? One in three. , you know, by, by doing this. I really appreciate it. Thank you. And also thank you for getting out and after and not quitting and just being, having that positive attitude of like, and it's really true if you're in the, if you're in the world of trying to help people, you're, uh, you're, you're plowing the way.
But yeah, somebody else might, you know, crack in somewhere here and there, but for the better health and wealth and everything of the world, you. I appreciate it. Great. My pleasure. Well, thanks again. Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcast. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get ahold of our host, Jerry Dean Lund.
Through the Instagram handles at Jerry Byron Fuel or at Enduring the Badge podcast. Also by visiting the show's website, enduring the badge podcast.com for additional methods of contact and up to date information regarding show. The views and opinions expressed during the show solely represent those of our host and the current episodes guest.