Undoing the “nursing pose”

Hemera | Thinkstock
Hours and hours on our feet at work, lifting and turning patients, moving beds, it’s all in a day’s work for us, but it takes its toll on our bodies.
You know that nursing pose, where you’re standing at the bedside, holding some extremity of your patient, your lower legs are pressed against the bedside for stability and your other arm is trying to hold theirs, but their back is to you so your leaning over them too, and the whole time you’re holding for whatever procedure it is you’re thinking in the back of your mind about how you can’t move one inch without losing balance?

I hope I am not alone in this one, but I call it the Nursing Pose, and it’s not one I like holding for very long.  I’m not one for exercise, working out at the gym is not fun to me, and I love my wii, but getting a chance to sign in and get it done doesn’t always happen. But the one thing that I do make time for is yoga. Every Thursday night for the past few months my mom and I have been driving to our community center for yoga.

It’s the best exercise I think I have ever gotten in my life. Now, I suppose that’s either not saying much about my exercise regime, or it’s saying a LOT about my yoga instructor, and I hope it’s the latter. At 62 years old this woman is FANTASTIC! She looks about 12 years younger than she is, and has the flexibility of those gymnasts you see in Cirque du Soliel. She’s trained in India and has been an instructor for 16 years.

I think the best part of the class, and the one thing that makes her an outstanding instructor, is that she makes sure that we all go at our own pace. I’ve taken yoga before with instructors who are very good at what they do, but they teach yoga as a skill to be mastered in a short time, to perfection. This class that I am in now is filled with people of all ages, and she pushes each of us to our own potential, but doesn’t hold us to the standard of the yoga masters. She really believes in practice and moving slowly with your body to get to your goal.

I’ve been stretching in ways I didn’t know my back could stretch. From the Cobra to the Cat pose and then to Camel pose, there’s a lot of lower back arching that is slowly undoing what the ‘nursing pose’ has been doing to me. It’s also the most de-stressing that I can fit in to one solid chuck of time. I love that it’s strategically placed the night of my lecture class so I can unwind from the long day of lectures and projects and research. I get the chance to just be myself, be focused on something that involves discipline and dedication, but not hours of brain power. It’s an exercise of body and mind and I highly recommend it if you haven’t started yet! Enroll on campus or at a community center. Be good to yourself and treat it to some yoga!

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