Yoga and Nursing Practice: Hand-In-Hand Support

by | May 21, 2014 | 2 comments

How to relieve stress in nursing is a hot-topic for nurses like me. And as a Registered Nurse, who lives and works in today’s world of nursing, I have some of my own stress reduction needs. One of the best ways that I release stress:


Yoga practice can teach us so many things. And things that we can relate to nursing practice. I guess it could be why there is such a nice and easy bridge between and blend of Yoga and nursing available to us today.

Listening In

Yesterday was slated as weight lifting day at the gym. As I was driving home I spoke with my husband who informed me he was going to work on the lawn instead of joining me at the gym. I was feeling rather tired myself and did not want to go to the gym alone. So I listened to my body, mind and spirit and switched gears.

I decided to head to my weekly Yoga practice instead, putting off the weight lifting until today.

What a great decision. My Yoga instructor, speaking to mind-body-spirit resiliency before class, asked me to speak to the group about Reiki practice. Being that I had just spent all day Monday sharing Reiki with nurses at the hospital and teaching Reiki Level II to a group of nurses on Tuesday, I was in the Reiki zone.

Practice was gentle, relaxing and allowed me to let go and focus in on the present moment, using my breath.

Allowing Support

Another interesting thing happened last night during practice. We were guided into a reverse triangle pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana), which interestingly enough I had never done before.

Well, in regular triangle pose I know that the front leg is kept straight so I figured it would be the same in the reverse of the asana. Glancing up at my teacher confirmed my assumption as his front leg was straight. I just could not do it. The pull in my thigh was beyond tolerable. So I did something I rarely ever do:

I reached for a block.

A block is one of the many available supports in Yoga practice. There are others as well like bolsters, straps and knee pads. Being that I have been studying and enjoying the practice of Yoga for several years now I would consider myself beyond the beginner stages of requiring the frequent use of props.

Resources Help

Once I placed my hand on the block I was able to square off my hips and get into the proper alignment of the pose. My body thanked me and I knew in my heart I would avoid any injury. I felt a release and was able to let go and relax into the posture.

We can relate the use of a Yoga block to our nursing practice. Where is it that we may benefit from just a bit of support? Maybe something as subtle as allowing ourselves a five minute breathe in the bathroom break.

As nurses we know we can do it all. In fact, many times we are put to that test. With short staffing, high patient acuity and our ageing population that maintains a steady level of chronic disease we have to be ready and willing at any time to go above and beyond the call of nursing duty.

But let’s be honest. Acknowledging the resources that are available to us and allowing ourselves to benefit from them makes the job that much easier. So I encourage you to think about this today in your own nursing practice:

  • Where could I use some more support?
  • Who can I turn to for help?
  • How can I be kind to my own body-mind-spirit system and listen to what it needs?
  • Why might receiving help allow for an even more productive nursing practice?

Go ahead and take some time to reflect. Jot down some notes if you like. And be sure to implement what your nurse from within speaks to you today.

I’d love to hear from you. Go ahead and share a comment below. Thank you for reading and enjoy your nursing from within practice today.


  1. Catherine Lloyd

    I really enjoyed your article. I haven’t been able to link my yoga practice to my nursing practice in this way, although you support my personal philosophies. I think as nurses we do try to ‘do it all’ and want to appear strong for colleagues, patients and family members. We don’t want to show our vulnerability. But as with yoga practice, flexibility and strength build resilience. Thanks !

    • Elizabeth Scala

      You are so welcome, Catherine. I am very glad you enjoyed the article and you make great points about vulnerability and flexibility. Enjoy the day, Elizabeth


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