The Benefits of Yoga for Nurses
Nurses are very good at taking care of others but quite often fall short of taking care of themselves. A consistent yoga practice can have a positive impact on body chemistry, disease prevention, symptom reduction or alleviation, and emotional health.
Which type of yoga would suit you best? Well, that really depends on which body parts you wish to emphasise more with your exercise. You may want to focus on body alignment, or perhaps breath and movement is more suited to you. The best-known styles of yoga include Iyengar, Astanga, Vinyasa, Ananda, Anusara, Bikram, Kripalu and Kundalini. Find a yoga class that suits your work and lifestyle and discuss the benefits you want with the instructor before signing up.
Health benefits of yoga include:
- Cardiovascular system (heart and arteries) –Yoga moves are isometric, which means they rely on holding muscle tension for a short period of time. The mental and physical stresses of nursing can have a major effect on cardiovascular health so Yoga can really improve this effect.
- Digestive system – improved blood circulation and the massaging effect of surrounding muscles speeds up a sluggish digestion. As a nurse healthy eating on the go can sometimes be a struggle so anything to help with digestion and metabolism is a plus.
- Musculoskeletal – the gentle stretching releases muscle and joint tension, and stiffness, and increases flexibility. Long-term benefits include reduced back pain and improved posture. All of these benefits are essential to reverse the effects of being on your feet all day!
- Nervous system – improved blood circulation, easing of muscle tension and the act of focusing the mind on the breath all combine to soothe the nervous system. Long-term benefits include reduced stress, anxiety and fatigue, better concentration and energy levels, and increased feelings of calm and wellbeing.
Yoga will benefit student nurses and nurses who are facing exams due to up skilling immensely. Regular yoga practice during final exam weeks also can improve mental clarity and concentration making students more likely to manage their exam stress and pressure.
For your next career move, take a look at all our open nursing roles here