Most organizations find that retaining people in the night shift jobs is a challenge, which they try to overcome by providing many incentives and schemes. However, there are said to be lots of health issues associated with night shift jobs. Odd working hours, sleep disorders, irregular eating habits, hypertension, backaches, etc. are just a few of the issues quoted. It is better to understand the science behind this and work out a night shift workers diet plan rather than pooh-poohing it.
Hormones secreted by the various glands in our endocrine system regulate the way our body processes. Along with the nervous and immune system, the endocrine system aids our body to cope with conditions like stress and anxiety. This is done through hormones like adrenaline, which are mostly secreted during daytime and less during the nights.
“Yoga is an art and science of living.” – Indra Devi
Also, there is another hormone called melatonin which is essential for the alertness of the mind and body. This is produced only in darkness, and this is upset in the case of people working in night shifts. As a result, hormonal imbalances occur in the body, leading to health issues.
Here are ten simple yoga poses or asanas (as they are called in the Yoga terminology) for people working in night shifts.
1. Shavasana (Corpse pose)
Shavasana helps in relaxation, stress busting and improving concentration.
- Just lie down flat on your back, with arms by the side.
- Ensure that your palms are facing up, close your eyes and relax.
- In other words, just behave like a corpse, except that you are breathing.
Sarvanga means whole body and this asana provides benefits to the whole body. This is said to be good for blood circulation, digestive system and one of the suggested Yoga poses for back pain problems.
- Lie down on your back. Relax your whole body and join the legs close together.
- Keep your palms pressed flat on the ground. Slowly raise the legs straight upwards at a 90-degree angle with the help of the pressed palms.
- Once steady, raise your back along with legs up into a vertical position with your hands supporting the back and the chin touching the chest. Maintain this posture for a few minutes.
3. Dhanurasana (Bow pose)
In this pose the body resembles a bow. It helps reduce belly fat and is another of the suggested Yoga poses for back pain problems.
- Lie down on the ground on your stomach. Relax fully by taking few breaths.
- Inhaling slowly, bend your legs up backward and catch the ankles with your hands. Your body should now look like a bow. Hold this pose for a few seconds and continue breathing.
4. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
This pose resembles a child relaxing so. It helps relieve stress and increases blood circulation. It also helps cure back pain.
- Sit on your knees with the heels touching the buttocks. Place your hand’s palms down on the thighs.
- Bend down your chest to rest between the knees, with your hands forward, touching the ground while exhaling slowly. Maintain the pose for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Padmasana or Lotus Pose
This pose is so named because the body takes the shape of a lotus. Practicing Padmasana brings peace of mind and strengthens the digestive system.
- Sit down cross-legged on the ground. Lift your right foot with your hands and place it on the left thigh, with your right heel as close as possible to the navel.
- Now lift the left foot and fix the left heel at the base of the right Both knees should be on the ground with the soles of the feet pointing upward.
- Hold your back and neck straight with your eyes closed. Keep both your hands on the knees with the index finger touching the tip of the thumb while the other three fingers point straight.
6. Sukhasana (Easy Pose)
As the name suggests this is a comfortable pose. This is a relaxation technique used in Yoga for night shift employees.
- Sit down cross-legged on the ground. Hold your neck and back straight with your eyes closed.
- Keep both your hands on the knees with the index finger touching the tip of the thumb while the other three fingers are pointing straight.
7. Vajra Asana (Diamond Pose)
Called so since it is meant to make your body strong like a thunderbolt. This relieves knee pain and aids in digestion apart from calming you down.
- Sit on your knees with the heels touching the buttocks. Ensure to keep your waist, neck, and spine in a straight line.
- Both your hands should be rested on the knees with your elbows kept straight and eyes closed.
- Breathe normally with your face looking front. Hold the pose for a few seconds.
8. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
A basic standing pose that helps in creating space within your body. It, therefore, allows a more efficient functioning of internal organs. It is also said to improve respiration, digestion, and blood circulation.
- Stand straight with your feet together and relax your shoulders.
- Your weight should be evenly distributed through your soles with your arms at your sides.
- With a deep breath, raise your hands up straight overhead, palms facing each other.
- Reach up skyward with your fingertips, feet firmly on the ground.
9. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
Cures a backache and helps in regulating menstrual cycles for women.
- Extend your arms out to your sides and bend over your right leg.
- Stand with your feet slightly apart, right foot toes turned out to 90 degrees and left foot ones at 45 degrees.
- Allow your right hand to touch either the floor or your right ankle. Extend the left-hand fingertips upwards. Look up and hold your breath for a few seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
10. Leg Cycling
This exercise is beneficial for weight loss.
- Lie on your back is facing upward. Keep your arms close to your body, straight with your palms touching the ground.
- Place your feet close to your buttocks with the heels and toes touching each other.
- Slowly lift up your legs and cycle in the air. Reverse the cycling direction after a few minutes.