Firefighters do Yeti Yoga to raise funds for worthy cause
Firefighters think of ingenious ways to raise money for a worthy cause. In this instance the cause was the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb, and the fundraiser was Yeti Yoga!
'Yeti' is another name for an Abominable Snowman, a large hairy creature rumored to live in the extreme cold of the highest part of the Himalayas.
So, Yeti Yoga is yoga done in cold weather. No problem doing that in north central Kansas in February, right?
Oh, that Kansas weather. So unpredictable. After weeks of extreme cold and snow and wind chills below zero, it was a balmy 56-degrees on Saturday, February 2nd, when Yeti Yoga was held at the Broadway Plaza. But one fireman - Derek Champlin - was there to play the role of the large hairy creature.
The Yeti Yoga fundraiser was the brainstorm of Kelsey Larson, a reserve firefighter with the Concordia Fire Department.
"I read an article that said exercise in 40-60 degree weather is actually really good for you," she said. "I saw something similar to this before online, and presented the idea to Levi. He was all for it."
Firefighters Levi Whitley, Erin Williams, Champlin, Larson and a half-dozen volunteers showed up at the Plaza with their yoga mats. Larson, who has been doing yoga for 16 years and is now a certified instructor, put the group through their cold flow stretches and exercises.
It was certainly interesting to watch the firefighters do bridge, crane, cat, and dolphin plank poses while wearing full firefighter bunker gear.
Champlin had never tried yoga before, but he wasn't worried. "For a big guy, I'm pretty flexible."
The good thing about exercising with four firefighters is that if anyone overstrained themselves there were for four trained paramedics on hand.
Sharon Klima was one of the volunteers in attendance. It was a beautiful day at the Plaza, so she was asked if she would have come if it was five-degrees and snowing?
"Yes," she said, but hesitated so long before answering that there was room to doubt her answer.
The fundraiser was for the Concordia Fire Department Brothers who are participating in the American Lung Association's Fight for Air Climb to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, on February 24. The funds raised help support research, education, and patient programs for the millions of Americans impacted by asthma, COPD, lung cancer, air pollution and other lung diseases. The Firefighters participating in the Fight for Air Climb will climb 42 floors in full bunker gear.