Spanish police to de-stress with the help of yoga

Places are limited so officers in the most stressful jobs will be given priority.
Places are limited so officers in the most stressful jobs will be given priority. / m. interior / efe
  • Members of the National Police force who experience psychological trauma will be given training in meditation and yoga to combat stress

Ever since it was announced last week that the National Police would be receiving classes in meditation to help them to deal with the stress of the job, little else has been spoken about during station coffee breaks.

But as many officers joked around and started doing the lotus position in the corridors, a majority, in fact, have expressed their interest in signing up for the classes.

This is the first time that yoga classes have been offered to the Spanish police. Not only is the course free, but officers will also have all their expenses paid.

The course is called 'Regulation of stress through yoga' and is aimed principally at officers further down the chain of command who, according to the Ministry of the Interior, suffer the highest stress levels. Only deputy inspectors and those fighting crime directly on the streets, which is to say the majority of the workforce, can sign up.

The first classes will take place at the headquarters for police training in Madrid between 11 and 13 December.

Although the course has been designed for all police officers, initially its organisers will give preference to those with job profiles considered the most stressful, more specifically, members of "units exposed to traumatic psychological experiences".

As a result, judicial police will be prioritised, especially those in the family and women's units (UFAM). Forensics officers and those tasked to deal with violent crime will also top the list. These agents are the ones who, in their day-to-day work, face very difficult situations, investigating cases involving the dead and wounded, family violence and paedophiles.

Perhaps it is not a surprise that the ministry expects a positive response to this initiative. With the prospect of hundreds of registrants, which would exceed the capacity the course has to offer, they have decided to do a "pre-selection", giving priority to those already mentioned.

The course is especially attractive as officers based outside Madrid will not have to pay for their accommodation, food or travel expenses.