UNCSA alumna offers free yoga training for first responders working on front lines of COVID-19

UNCSA presents Artpreneur Award-winning alumna Olivia Mead offering a free yoga training webinar designed specifically for first responders who are working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Finding Balance: Restorative Yoga for Bodies That Push Their Limits” is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.

The webinar is also open to others who are interested; no experience is necessary, but registration is requested. 

Register Here

Firefighters from Station 19 in southeastern Forsyth County will join Mead as she leads the webinar from her studio in Denver, Colorado. Also appearing in the webinar will be a group of UNCSA dance students from the Lindgren-Tyven Founders Studio on campus. Other local first responders and officers with the UNCSA Police Department are expected to participate off camera.

Alumna Olivia Mead will offer a free yoga webinar for first responders on Feb. 27

Olivia Mead (high school Dance ’00) is the founder and CEO of the nationwide nonprofit YogaShield Yoga For First Responders (YFFR) which trains firefighters, police and other emergency personnel in the use of yoga to process stress, build resilience and enhance job performance. She is the recipient of a 2020 Alumni Artpreneur Award of $20,000 to sustain her company, which is providing free online training to first responders across the country during the pandemic.

“We are profoundly grateful for the people throughout our country who protect us each and every day – especially during the challenging times of the pandemic,” said Chancellor Brian Cole. “We’re proud that Olivia Mead has applied her passion and conservatory-trained discipline to develop yoga methods specific to the needs of first responders. She is a shining example of how artists are innovating to improve the quality of life in our communities and our world.”

UNCSA Police Chief Frank Brinkley, who has established a health maintenance program for his department, said, “There is a growing body of research and available data on how critical it is for first responders to develop healthy habits to help with stress management and the physical strain of the situations that our bodies go through. We look forward to this webinar and we’re grateful to Olivia Mead for offering her expertise free of charge. Our department  continues to look for opportunities to introduce healthy living topics such as diet, fitness and stress relief so our officers can handle the demands of their jobs and live their best lives.”

In 2019, YFFR-trained instructors taught more than 12,000 first responder participants in 150 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread across the country, Mead reached out to clients nationwide to determine how to best support them. “It quickly became clear that hospital employees and staff (and truly, any essential employees) were going to quickly become COVID-19 heroes,” said Mead, who decided to offer free limited-time access to the complete online suite of YFFR tools known as Cyber Academy.

Olivia Mead is the founder of Yoga for First Responders

YFFR has been featured in O the Oprah Magazine and on “CBS This Morning” and “National Geographic.” In addition to running YFFR, Mead continues to teach for her local police and fire departments in Denver, and travels across the country speaking and teaching for organizations such as the U.S. Air Force, FBI, New York Police Department, International Association of Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers, and national firefighter conventions.

UNCSA created the Alumni Artpreneur of the Year Award program in 2017 to support alumni who establish creative projects and creative enterprises of the highest merit, artistic excellence or innovative potential.

UNCSA defines artpreneur as an artist who is not defined by what is, but inspired by all that could be; who is business savvy and technologically aware; who is devoted to creating value and impact through their creative practice; who reaches beyond existing disciplines to create new ways to connect with others; and who is willing to take creative risks in order to positively transform our world.

The Artpreneur of the Year Award is supported by a grant from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, with additional support from Margaret Scales and Graydon Pleasants and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. The Artpreneur Awards are administered and facilitated by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.

Contact Media Relations

Get the best news, performance and alumni stories from UNCSA.

February 04, 2021