Relax, I’m a first-aider!

thumb_IMG_4393_1024I’m now a trained first aider! I recently completed a three day course with the St. John’s Ambulance, a charity in UK that provides first aid training for the public and sends volunteers to attend sporting events and suchlike.

The course I went on was really well done and I met some interesting people there. We were a diverse bunch, all taking the course so that we could better look after those in our respective workplaces. Without exception they were all placed the course by their employees. They were mostly in more risky professions than my desk-bound one — there were builders and construction workers, cooks and other kitchen workers, a couple of lab technicians.

But I was there because I volunteered for this. And back in my workplace several people commented that there were glad I’d done it, but that they personally wouldn’t want the responsibility.

Hmmm, a logical fallacy I think. Because aren’t we all responsible? If we encounter someone in need or in danger even, wouldn’t we feel impelled to help? And isn’t it better to have some training that might mean we could respond more effectively if we ever needed to?

I have to say I don’t completely like this sense of responsibility. And it’s a bit of a novel feeling for me. Not that I was so totally selfish before (I hope), but I have more energy these days (after years of not having enough sometimes for quite basic needs) and so I’m happier to spread it around where it’s needed.

first_aid_kit_greenSo I have my first aider box (and my fire marshal vest — somehow the two volunteer roles go together in my workplace) and I’m proud to offer what help I can to anyone who might need patching up.

Somehow it just feels like the right thing to do in the daytime community that is my workplace. Yes, I’m terrified in case someone actually needs me. But I’m a little bit proud that I’m putting my selfish fears to one side and trusting that I can do what I need to do.

What’s this got to do with yoga? Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything. I certainly feel more compassionate towards others now and I think this comes from my practice, for reasons I don’t understand. And the more I work with my body and see others facing their own physical limitations, the more I realise what basic flesh-and-bone constructions we are in our physical bodies. It sometimes seems a miracle that anything works the way it should. As much as I now have increased strength, I also have an heightened sense of vulnerability. So of course not everything can be stuck back together with some micropore and a bandage, but I can now give it a better go!

4 thoughts on “Relax, I’m a first-aider!

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  1. “What’s this got to do with yoga? Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything.”— I feel like this totally sums up my blog haha! I really feel like practicing yoga permeates every aspect of my life- but I can’t for the life of me explain how!
    Good on you for doing the first aid course- I actually did the same St Johns one in NZ and found it a weird sort of relief to finally have some sort of idea how to help someone who might need it. Its such a great skill for everyone to know- I bored my family and friends about it for days imparting my wisdom- I like to spread some of that responsibility around 🙂


      1. No but about a month ago a lady stopped breathing in the restaurant where I work- it was just me an another waitress handling it (who’s English is not great) but despite me trying to help, the lady’s daughter wouldnt let me near her! It was so frustrating, I kept telling her to lie her down in the recovery position and she told me to go away… Then when the ambulance finally arrived the first thing he did was put her in the recovery position. Moral of the story, I wish more people knew first aid! Anyway she was fine in the end and that’s the main thing 🙂


  2. Seeing that we exist in a continuum with others – that not only are we all IN this together, but that we ARE all this, together – is the basis of compassion. It sounds to me that you are living this reality. That is very beautiful and, I think, very “yogic”.


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