Canada RCMP officer teaches yoga to heal from Moncton shooting

14:41  15 april  2018
14:41  15 april  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Candles lined the streets of Moncton Friday evening as hundreds of residents gathered for a sombre vigil in honour of three RCMP officers killed in a shooting rampage.

The RCMP must pay a penalty of 0,000 after a judge ruled the national police force failed its officers during the June 2014 shooting in Moncton , N.B., that left three of them dead and two wounded.

Tammy Ward, owner of Truth Lies Within yoga studio, is an RCMP officer on weekdays and a yoga instructor on the weekends. She teaches a yoga class specifically tailored for women who have experienced trauma in their lives.© Hadeel Ibrahim/CBC Tammy Ward, owner of Truth Lies Within yoga studio, is an RCMP officer on weekdays and a yoga instructor on the weekends. She teaches a yoga class specifically tailored for women who have experienced trauma in their lives.

Tammy Ward was one of the many RCMP officers who responded to the June 2014 shooting that killed three Mounties and wounded two.

Working in Moncton for four months after the shooting took a toll on her mental health.

To heal from the death of her colleagues, Ward, 50, turned to yoga to supplement regular therapy.

The yoga helped her heal and now she's teaching it in Fredericton to women who have also been through a traumatic experience.

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The 2014 Moncton shootings were a string of shootings that took place on June 4, 2014, in Moncton , in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Justin Bourque, a 24-year-old from Moncton , shot five officers from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police ( RCMP )

Ross was named among three RCMP officers killed in the Moncton shooting . Two other officers were wounded. RCMP say both of the injured Mounties, constables Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen, have since been released from hospital.

"It's just helping other women [who] have gone through trauma, whether it's work related for first responders like myself, or women who have lost a spouse, or perhaps have been assaulted or gone through a horrible divorce," she said.

RCMP officer Tammy Ward runs her yoga studio in Fredericton.© Hadeel Ibrahim/CBC RCMP officer Tammy Ward runs her yoga studio in Fredericton.

She calls the class "trauma-sensitive yoga for women." The movements in this class are slow and controlled, and most of them are done sitting or lying down.

On Saturday, three women followed her instructions in a large sun-drenched room, home to Truth Lies Within yoga studio. She guided them through slow movements, holding stretches for a minute before switching sides.

To the sound of soft flute, she also asked the women to breath deeply, feel the stretch, then "let go of everything we're holding onto."

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No disclosure

Ward said her class is not a traditional support group nor an alternative to therapy, so she doesn't ask the women to share what they've been through. If they wanted to talk about it, she said she'd listen, but only one-on-one.

"Sometimes talking about it can trigger somebody else in the room," she said. "I don't ever want anyone to compare trauma or think their trauma isn't important enough."

She said what they do instead is focus on themselves, on taking care of their body, and if all else fails, just focus on their breathing.

"We do a lot of breath work because with anxiety, especially with anyone dealing with PTSD, you can have panic attacks and get very anxious," Ward said. "When I can control my breath, I'm controlling my body which helps me control my mind."

'Profound shift'

Mel McCarthy has attended six sessions so far and she said the simple movements and calming atmosphere is helping her regain control of her body after losing half a lung to cancer.

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A gunman who is still at large shot and killed three RCMP officers and injured two others in Moncton , N.B., Wednesday evening, police said.

Three RCMP officers killed in the line of duty were remembered Tuesday as family men who were proud to be Mounties. Royal Canadian Navy Master Seaman Daniel Larche eulogized his younger brother Doug

"It's a large, physical trauma to the body, but also when that happened, I was 37 years old and [had] no risk factor … That was just a huge shock," she said.

a girl standing in a room: Mel McCarthy said attending Ward's yoga class helps her regain control of her body after losing half a lung to cancer.© Hadeel Ibrahim/CBC Mel McCarthy said attending Ward's yoga class helps her regain control of her body after losing half a lung to cancer.

She said her doctor recommended yoga after her surgery, but regular yoga classes were too intense. Because they required a lot of balance, they made her feel dizzy.

"I really appreciate the gentleness of [Ward's] practice and the environment that she creates is soothing. And her dog is upstairs and she's a greeter, she's just a huge chunk of love."

McCarthy said it was difficult to get to class Saturday morning because her trauma weighs on her like a "big, heavy, wet quilt."

"So when I came here, I was feeling sort of tired and heavy but also motivated because I know that when I do get here, that I am taking care of myself physically and emotionally and spiritually and mentally," she said.

"In a little over an hour there's this really profound shift that makes things feel a lot easier."

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The family of fallen RCMP officer Dave Ross said he was a family man who "died a hero," as charges are pending for the suspect in the Moncton shooting . Ross’ sister, Cynthia, remembered hunting with her brother, who she said taught her “so many things.”

The RCMP say the Moncton man was unarmed at the time of his arrest. A witness said he surrendered to police , uttering the words: "I'm done." Assistant Commissioner Roger Brown, the Mounties' commanding officer in the province, said it will take time for the department to heal as he released

A balance

Ward said being a police officer and a yoga instructor take her to opposite worlds.

"[Police officers] deal with situations that are less than pleasant and the nice people that you do meet are having the worst day of their life so it takes a toll," she said, but yoga is "always positive."

"I've got my ying and my yang ... It's kind of funny for a lot of people but it's what's helped me keep my balance."

But Ward said she still has a lot of growing and healing to do still.

"I haven't gone to Moncton to see the statues," she said, tearing up. "Wearing my uniform causes a panic attack." She said she now works in plainclothes.

Teaching this class is helping her work on herself as well, she said.

"By always trying to be prepared for my classes and doing research, I find tidbits for myself as well as [students]"

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-70749-rcmp-officer-teaches-yoga-to-heal-from-moncton-shooting/

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