De-stress and Celebrate National Yoga Day!
Recent national work related surveys have found 80% of workers feel stress on the job and half of those report their job as very or extremely stressful. One-quarter of all workers views their jobs as the number one stress in their lives. All this employee stress is more strongly associated with health complaints than financial or family problems.
Consider what these occupational pressures are believed to cause the employee:
- 62% routinely find they end the workday with neck pain
- 44% reported stressed-out eyes
- 38% complained of hurting hands
- 34% reported difficulty sleeping because of stress
- 30% of workers suffering from back pain
- 28% complaining of “stress”
- 20% feeling fatigued
- 13% with headaches
For our minds any stress can be too much, keeping us in a continual cycle of flight or fight. Invariably, an employee body carries the physical stresses of a host of perceived emotional threats from stressful work related issues. The manifestation of these repeated physical and emotional events can contribute to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, ulcers, neck or low back pain and many other “Diseases of Civilization”. The effects of long-term stress can increase the risk of debilitating diseases like depression; heart disease and a variety of other common illnesses like sleep disturbance and immune deficiency.
It has been estimated that nearly 80 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are the result of stress-related problems. Work related stress is far and away the leading source of stress for most adults. Employees are not the only ones suffering. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that U.S. employers lose about $70 billion a year due to the absenteeism, lost productivity and disability caused by mental distress.
Job stress is very costly with the price tag for U.S. industry estimated at over $300 billion annually as a result of; accidents, absenteeism, employee turnover, and diminished productivity, direct medical, legal, or insurance costs.
On top of these expenses, the industry has additional payouts associated with workers’ compensation awards, tort and FELA judgments.
According to a survey of 800,000 workers in over 300 companies, the number of employees calling in sick because of stress tripled from 1996 to 2000. An estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress. 40% of job turnover is due to stress. To replace an employee today will cost a business on average between $3,000 and $13,000. Unanticipated absenteeism is estimated to cost American companies $602.00/worker/year and the price tag for large employers could approach $3.5 million annually. A 1997 three year study conducted by one large corporation found that 60% of employee absences could be traced to psychological problems that were due to job stress.
Surveys also indicate that 60 to 80% of all accidents on the job are stress related. A whole host of job-related injuries are believed to be more severe because of stressful influence. For example, repetitive musculoskeletal injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have become the nations’ leading workplace health cost and account for almost a third of all Workers’ compensation awards. According to a recent 2008 survey, 14 million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. In addition, nearly half of all adults agree that yoga would be beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for a medical condition. Yoga is increasingly recommended by the medical community as new research shows yoga is a valuable therapeutic tool for many modern health conditions.
A rocky economy and soaring medical costs have actually forced many companies to reduce the number of benefits they offer. Yoga sessions included as part of a corporate wellness program have proven to be a relatively inexpensive perk. Many businesses are able to bolster employees’ health and also make them feel like the company cares about them. A corporate sponsored yoga program will help bottom line profits as a special money saving gift for the benefit of both its employees and stakeholders’
Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of stress hormones. Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate, improving digestion and boosting the immune system as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma, and insomnia. Yoga series of postures accompanied with controlled breathing exercises have become a popular means of stress management and relaxation. The simple techniques of yoga will help alleviate discomfort by releasing tension and creating a peaceful mind.
Yoga restores your body’s natural energy, which will counter the physical effects of stress on the body. The yoga sequences’ ultimate goal is to introduce you to an effective tool to enhance harmony in your physical, mental and emotional life. Yoga with its quiet, precise easy movements will draw attention away from your busy, chaotic day into a calming moment as you gently move your body through a series poses that require balance and concentration. At the end of a yoga session you feel invigorated, yet relaxed and calm.
Yoga is suitable for yoga beginners. It will be easy to follow along even if it is your first time. Yoga can help health conditions best when combined with treatment as recommended by your doctor. Even if you now experience good health, yoga can be an enjoyable addition to your regular exercise routine.”They are calmer, they think better, they have better productivity and they are out of work less.”
Here are two exercises to get you started on your yoga journey:
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Satori’s Tip: This exercise is highly recommended for people with a stiff or painful lower back. These backbend type poses are therapeutic for lower back pain and general stiffness. Feel
Allow your body and chin to gently fold towards the floor. Inhale deeply; lift your upper body, keep your hands and elbows tucked in. The shoulder blades are engaged and the chest expands. (Note: Arms are straight in upward facing dog pose and bent during Cobra pose). Relax your lower back as you support the pose with your belly. Keep shoulders relaxed and move your chest further upward with every inhalation. You can also look over your right shoulder for a few moments and then the left. Be aware of how good it feels.
- Increases range of motion and flexibility in spine
- Therapeutic for healthy structure of spinal vertebrae
- Strengthens the spinal muscles
- Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen
- Firms the buttocks
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Helps relieve stress and fatigue
- Opens the heart and lungs
- Therapeutic for asthma
“Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life”. Don’t expect your practice to be clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, “Attain deliverance in disturbances”.
-Zen Master Kyong Ho
Alternate Nostril Breathing
With Alternate Nostril breathing, you inhale through one nostril, retain the breath and then you exhale through the other nostril in a ratio of 2:8:4. Count to two when inhaling, hold for the
count of eight then exhales to the count of four.
- Breathe in through the left nostril closing the right.
- Hold breath, closing both nostrils.
- Breathe out through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed.
- Breathe in through the right nostril keeping the left nostril closed.
- Hold the breath, closing both nostrils.
- Breathe out through the left nostril keeping the right closed.
Start with three rounds and build up to twenty rounds.
- 1. The exercise fosters the optimum function to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity. This also creates a more balanced person, since both halves of the brain are functioning property.
- 2. This is the best technique to calm the mind and the nervous system.
Header Photo – Copyright: dimol / 123RF Stock Photo
About the Author
Satori, the creator of the Satori School of Empowerment and a personal life coach. She is a Muse and gifted light worker, skilled in Quantum Shamanic healing arts. Satori is a humanitarian born in Namibia, South West Africa and the root of her spiritual understanding evolved from studying Hebrew and Kabbalah in Israel.
Satori trained with a Cherokee Native American Shaman in Sedona AZ, this enhances her power to hold space for multi-dimensional frequencies.
As the founder of Seyoga Illustrated Products, (www.seyoga.com) Working with Fortune 500 companies like IBM and White and Case and many more, enhancing employee wellness. She has been able to positively enrich the lives of many. Her unique balanced approach to life has allowed her to joyfully share the power of Physical, Mental and Spiritual transformation.
She is the author of over one hundred published health related articles, several books, DVDs and audio CDs on natural stress relief, weight loss, children’s yoga, and natural lifestyle