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Yoga tips for irregular shift workers

By Arun Goel

Several professionals have a very demanding routine in terms of night shifts. Due to the altered 'body clocks' they end up suffering from several health disorders.

Such kinds of jobs are on the rise with a continuous emphasis on increasing productivity and lowering costs. Most common examples are call center workers, specially those that are serving clients half-way across the globe.

The two most common disorders related to this are Sleeplessness and Constipation

Sleeplessness or Insomnia

This is one of the most common complaints and not surprisingly so. Sleeping during the day is difficult and the general noise and distraction level is high.

It is well known that continuous use of sleeping pills may be detrimental to health. Also, the body develops a progressive resistance to them. Therefore, they should be avoided.

A yoga technique that can be of very great use is the technique of 'Yoga Nidra' or psychic sleep. When practiced correctly, this method produces such deep relaxation that one hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep.

This technique can be learned from a yoga teacher or even from a book or tape. To read more on yoga nidra, click here.


Although this is a universal problem, it is more common among shift workers.

After midnight, the automatic regulation of metabolic processes has an effect of slowing down the heart rate and the blood circulation. In a person on night-shift, as he sits upright, the blood accumulates around the pelvis, lower abdomen and legs. This causes the blood vessels around the colon to dilate, thereby constricting the passage and resulting in constipation. Prolonged effect of this condition can result in piles.

The yoga solution for this problem is a position called 'Sarvangasana'. This is an inverted position in which the legs are slowly raised up while lying down. In the final position, only the head and neck rests on the floor while the entire torso and legs lie vertical to the ground in the inverted position.

This position helps the accumulated blood in the lower abdomen and legs to move towards the lungs. This helps in the oxygenation of impure blood and the normalization of the colon.

Five minutes of Sarvangasana should be sufficient to counteract the problem of blood stagnation in the lower part o the body.

This is an example of how yoga, as a therapeutic system, can help in relieving several health disorders.

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