SANFORD, N.C. – FirstHealth Fitness - Sanford will offer yoga classes tailored for military personnel and first responders, led by new group exercise instructor Christopher Davis, RYT 500, who will start teaching on Oct. 27.
After more than 25 years of service, Davis recently retired from the Fayetteville Police Department, where he worked as an assistant chief of police. Prior to entering law enforcement, he was an officer in the United States Army and served in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He said he found yoga while going through a difficult time and discovered the practice helped him both physically and mentally.
“Like many yoga teachers and practitioners, I had to hit rock bottom mentally to realize I needed to do something different,” Davis said. “A coworker challenged me to a ‘yoga challenge’ to see how many classes you could go to in a 30-day period. I ended up going to 22 classes. I didn’t go into the challenge thinking yoga would save me, but it did make the stress I was experiencing manageable.”
He has since completed 500-hour yoga teacher training, Yoga for First Responders Level 1 and Level 2, iRest Level 1 and Warriors at Ease Level 1 and Level 2 training.
In 2018, Davis started Yoga911, an evidence-based, trauma-sensitive yoga practice designed for first responders, with the aim to help practitioners build resiliency and improve professional and personal performance.
“The mission of Yoga911 is to increase awareness about the power of yoga and meditation and integrate both into first responder settings,” he said. “We aim to share evidence-based practices that support physical health, alongside mental health and spiritual growth.”
Davis has taught yoga at numerous agencies and organizations, including the Fayetteville Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the North Carolina Justice Academy and the Raleigh Police Department.
Originally from Ohio, Davis relocated to North Carolina when he was stationed at Fort Bragg after graduating from the University of Dayton’s ROTC program. Phillip Williams, FirstHealth Fitness – Sanford facility director, said Davis will be an asset to the local community.
“Chris brings a diverse skill set to yoga and group exercise. We’re excited to have him on the team, and to be able to offer additional health and wellness resources for first responders and the military community in Lee County,” Williams said.
Call (919) 258-2100 or visit www.firsthealth.org/fitness to learn more about yoga and group exercise at FirstHealth Fitness.