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Many avid shooters spend time practicing their marksmanship. They can spend hundreds of dollars on ammunition and range fees to just shoot, shoot and shoot some more, until they are comfortable with their ability to hit the target.

We’re taught to hold our breath, exhale slowly, don’t close one eye and slowly pull the trigger instead of jerking it. All much easier said than done.

One veteran police officer trained regularly, but always dreaded the twice-a-year mandatory firearm qualifications. She would get nervous about qualifying and on occasion, she failed and had to kept practicing until she passed.

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Then she learned how to not get nervous, better control her breathing and heart rate and it all was due to yoga.

(In Public Safety) – Even after 20 years as an officer, I continue to dread mandatory firearms qualification time. Officers in my department are required to qualify twice a year with their duty handgun and shotgun.

For new and veteran officers alike, firearms qualifications can be a source of great stress. Firearms are arguably the most important tool of our trade and officers must be proficient at using them, but it can still be nerve-wracking to go to the range.

Personally, I have always struggled with the shotgun; it’s always been my nemesis starting back during my early years of police training. Each time the mandatory firearms qualification rolls around, I get that sinking feeling in my gut. Whether I pass or not (and I actually pass more than I fail), I still put myself through hell. I hear the words of the range staff telling me that if I get nervous here in the controlled environment of the range, just imagine what it would feel like to be in an actual gunfight. And they are absolutely right. I do not take any of it lightly…

Yoga can help in many aspects of one’s life, just as long as the person doesn’t get wrapped up in some of the religious mysticism that sometimes is made a part of yoga. The key is learning to relax, learning to control breathing, learning to control heart rate and not get nervous.




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