“The task of caring for others while putting our own health on line is not an easy one,” reflects ER trauma nurse and Yoga Buzz graduate Sara Shabany.
This Sunday, Sara is using her day off to share an anatomy & physiology focused online yoga class geared toward healthcare professionals.
Sara’s vision since her teacher training in Fall 2019 has been to create yoga programming specifically for her nurse colleagues to help manage chronic stress, vicarious trauma, and thus reduce burnout rates and increase overall well-being. With this in mind, Sara is creating her own program, Nurse Namaste Yoga.
“In order to operate at our best we have to mentally and physically feel our best. High levels of stress has been clinically proven to cause unnecessary inflammation in the body that can lead to long term negative health effects,” Sara shares. “And guess what? What we see at the hospitals every day is traumatic and stressful.”
Sara created the content for Sunday’s class with healthcare professionals in mind who are working through the COVID pandemic. Class is designed with a focus on increasing resiliency both emotionally and physically, as well as taking the time to encourage the body and mind to rest. “Now more than ever, it is crucial that we don’t rush ourselves through this,” Sara says.
It has become obvious that the buck has been passed to us as RNs, EMTs, PCTs, RT, CNAs, MDs, environmental services, etc. to care for ourselves during this pandemic. I want to help.
By learning to engage the parasympathetic nervous system branch of the autonomic system, we can give our immune system a boost. When the body experiences high levels of stress, it is clinically proven to cause an increase in inflammation in the body, which can lead to long-term negative health effects, including a decrease in our body’s immune system.
Movement practices can help physically move through tension and stress carried in the body, but the mental practice of yoga is just as – if not more – beneficial for overall wellbeing, especially for healthcare professionals who are the frontlines right now. When the brain is acting from a place of survival and stress, it can cause us to move too quickly, missing important steps for taking care of ourselves and others. By learning how to slow down the breath to re-engage the critical thought center of the brain, healthcare pros can stay present and calm so that they don’t miss important steps like putting on all of their PPE before engaging with a patient, or thinking critically and carefully when administering care.
“My hope is that we are able to then implement into yoga or meditation into our daily lives so that we may feel a deeper connection to our bodies and mind after a long shift of shutting off our emotions in order to perform our best. It has become obvious that the buck has been passed to us as RNs, EMTs, PCTs, RT, CNAs, MDs, environmental services, etc. to care for ourselves during this pandemic,” says Sara. “I want to help.”
- When: Sunday, April 26th at 11am
- What: Yoga for Healthcare Professionals (and anyone wanting to practice to show their support)
- Investment: Class is no-cost, although we encourage participants to consider making a donation to Yoga Buzz.
- What you need: Ultimately, you just need yourself. If you have a mat, blocks, blanket, or strap, you might find that helpful to have on hand. Otherwise, grab yourself a couple blankets, cushions or pillows, even a belt or scarf to use as alternatives.
Sara also suggests creating a playlist of your own if you’d like to add music to your experience, keeping water or another beverage nearby, and lighting candles or using essential oils to make the experience extra relaxing.
Header image by Harmony Willow Art, based in NYC. Her work is AWESOME – check out more here.