Updated: Apr 29
Yes, that is right I have said it now. Yoga is good for tradies!
If you do a job that requires physical activity every day you work, then yoga has significant potential. It can both support you at work and your downtime from work.
I have spent many years of my life surrounded by people who work in a trade for a living. I commonly hear complaints about body pain, including back problems.
Working in a trade like carpentry, plumbing or electrical, to name a few can be taxing on the body. When the body is young, you might not notice the toll it takes. As you age and the aches and pains set in, injury is often not far behind.
We all know hard-working people in trades in this position in life. These people are often men supporting their family. They are frequently working as a subcontractor and soldiering on through pain and injury.
To understand how yoga can help people working in trades. Firstly, it is important to understand what yoga is, what it is not, and what it does to support the body.
Yoga is not merely a form of exercise as many tradies likely think. This is because of the misconception that yoga is for women. Good yoga practices in movement, breathing and stillness are good for us all even tradies. Let us break it down into the yoga components to see why.
When working your body physically, good circulation of oxygen in the blood is essential in preventing injury and repairing the body. We all frequently do not breathe well, and therefore, our circulation of oxygen is inefficient, particularly when we put our physical body under stress doing repetitive physical movements in our work. This can result in injuries that often go on to be debilitating in all areas of a tradie's life.
Many tradies I have met, assume the solution is found in the gym lifting weights to get strong, but this comes at a cost in flexibility. The misconception that muscles get bigger is not helpful in this discussion.
When lifting heavy weights, yes we become somewhat conditioned to lifting more, so the muscles shorten, appearing bigger and feel stronger. But the truth is, they merely appear bigger because they are shorter, which comes at a cost to your flexibility.
Couple this with the fact that insertion points are the muscles weak-point does not help the situation at all. So basically this means that the desire for size compromises flexibility. Then through repetition, this is where injuries occur for most tradies. Basically, by lifting weights, you have exacerbated your weakness, being the flexibility at the insertion points of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
How does yoga help with movement
Yoga can help you as a tradie to find a compromise, between strength and flexibility. Helping to both prevent, and support faster recovery through injury times.
Postural practised in yoga helps stretch and therefore strengthen insertion point of the muscles, ligaments and tendons through controlled sequences of movement, which can only be improved through stretching.
Therefore a daily Asana (postures) yoga practice can be hugely beneficial to people who need their physical body to work well for them in their job. Improving strength in ways that lifting heavy weights cannot, thereby preventing injuries caused by a lack of flexibility.
The third area of a solid yoga practice is stillness, also known as meditation. A tradie's job can be stressful, creating a lack of ease in the mind and body, which is not supporting your overall well-being. Allowing space for meditation allows for a stress reduction and reduces the likelihood of being triggered at work, where potential stresses can be exacerbated.
So if you are a tradie, or you know someone who is, they may benefit in ways they never imagined through a solid yoga practice.
Would you like to know more about how yoga can support a better work-life balance?
Follow my blog on social media
Twitter - https://twitter.com/aniplapeo
If you would like to listen to my blog on the go, connect with me through Medium
Yoga is about living your best life possible, whilst helping those around you do the same. Who doesn’t want that?