“Let’s address the emotions and feelings you’re having… and stop shoving it down.”
Michelle Garcia has not followed a common career path. Her profession has spanned from spending 20 years in law enforcement, as a patrol officer and detective, to becoming a yoga and meditation instructor.
Garcia is now passionate about “protecting the protectors.” She knows from personal experience how first responders can gradually get changed by the job—and not for the better. “After about ten years, they reach their max,” says Garcia of many police officers, military personnel, and firefighters.
For Garcia, the compounding effects of repeated exposure to violent crimes and dangerous situations resulted in feeling “ungrounded, unsafe… in a weird fog place.” She disclosed that she stopped thinking of citizens as humans and felt her kindness was slipping away.
“You’re not yourself,” she said of many who spend years as first responders. Insomnia, anxiety, anger issues, and relationships breaking down are common. Much of her work is about helping these atypical students re-learn how to feel.
Listen in for the full interview with TUF blog manager Ariel Kiley and Michelle Garcia to find out what Garcia has learned from teaching yoga, meditation, and self-massage on YTU therapy balls to the Army National Guard, victims of human trafficking, police officers and firefighters. You don’t want to miss this one!