(The information on this post is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and is meant for educational and informational purposes only. You should always consult your physician before starting any exercise program. You can read my disclosure policy here.)
Every nurse knows that the stress from patient care over a 12 hour shift can be exponential. Yet many nurses aren’t giving themselves the tender loving kindness we give to our patients! (I have written many times before about why nurses need to practice yoga).
Yoga is more then just exercise. It offers caregivers a way to give themselves more self care (ahem, nurses!). Furthermore, it helps nurses take even better care of our families, our patients and ourselves in the process.
Restorative yoga is a great way for nurses to reconnect with themselves and provide recovery for their bodies after the end of a 12 hour shift of caring for patients.
Here are 7 easy and restorative yoga poses for nurses to help recover from the stress and physical ailments that plague hard working nurses.
#1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Health benefits of Child’s Pose for nurses:
Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
Stretches the spine
Relieves neck and lower back pain when performed with the head and torso supported
Gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles (gently is the key)
Stretches muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knee
Calms the mind and body
#2. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
Health benefits of Happy Baby Pose for nurses:
Opens hips, inner thighs, and groin
Releases lower back and sacrum
Stretches the hamstrings
Relieves lower back pain
Calms the brain
Helps to relieve stress and fatigue
#3. Supine Spinal Twist(Jathara Parivartanasana)
Health benefits of Supine Spinal Twist for nurses:
Brings blood flow to the spine, hips and shoulders
Stretches the hips, glutes, abs, back, chest, shoulders and neck
Opens the upper body
Helps alleviate lower back pain
Helps correct poor posture
#4. Reclined Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Health benefits of Reclined Goddess Pose for nurses:
Opens the shoulders & chest
Opens the groin, inner thighs, and hips
Helps relieve stress and anxiety
#6. Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)
Health benefits of Legs Up The Wall Pose for nurses:
It reduces edema in the legs and feet
Relieves tired leg muscles
Helps reverse the effects of gravity and may help digestion
Improves digestion and stimulates the abdominal organs.
Stimulates the thyroid gland
Reduces anxiety and fatigue
Helps relieve lower back pain
Calms the brain and nervous system
#8. Dead Body Pose (Shavasana)
Benefits Of Dead Body Pose for nurses:
Relaxes the whole body
Calms the nervous system
Quiets the mind
In summary, yoga makes you feel good. And you deserve it, nurse!
Nurses need to experience what it is like to fell good in our their own skin? Yoga empowers nurses to create a happier, healthier and more productive work environment by making us the best version of ourselves.
For better or worse, nurses serve as role models in the healthcare community. We need to practice what we preach. Why would a patient listen to our advice on how to life a healthy life if we are not living one ourselves?
Here are a few tools to get you started in your yoga practice:
This is a great yoga mat. The quality is very good for the price. I have been using this exact one in my living room for the past two years and it is still looks new! It is soft with a relatively nice thickness compared to other yoga mats I have tried. In addition, it has grooves that keep the mat in place while in use. It comes with a velcro carry strap for easy travel.
I love the cork Manduka yoga blocks because I have had mine for 6 years and they still look brand new. Unlike foam blocks, these don’t disintegrate and tear over time due regular use. They are also heavier and more sturdy with a trustworthy grip. It is a good idea to purchase 2 because many yoga poses require the need for two blocks.
Sarah Jividen is a registered nurse, blogger, writer, wife, and mother with an aspiration to empower nurses and moms to take better care of themselves. Sarah lives with her husband in a beach suburb outside of Los Angeles where they are raising their two-year-old daughter, newborn son and two rescue kitties. In a rare moment of free time you may find Sarah practicing yoga, socializing with friends, sampling dark beers or attending a local concert venue with her husband.