As yoga becomes increasingly popular, it seems new styles are introduced every day, with new challenges, goals, innovations and opportunities for growth. Do yoga’s new qualities sound like something from the corporate culture? It’s because they’re closely related! Yoga is applicable to a company setting and everyday business culture. So why don’t we combine the two together?
There’s more and more research on yoga’s positive effects on health, well-being, concentration levels and overall performance in the workplace. Many employers have picked up on its benefits and integrated the practice into the workplace as a tool for building team morale, increasing employee satisfaction and reducing sick days, as well as improving performance, innovation and motivation levels of the most vital part of their business: their employees.
Have you thought about organizing a yoga class at your work place? Here are five good reasons to consider it:
1. IMPROVES WELL-BEING AND AWARENESS
It’s scientifically proven that yoga has a healing effect and increases overall well-being. The majority of jobs require a lot of sitting, which oftentimes leads to back pain, strained necks, and even cardiovascular issues. In turn, these contribute to an increase in sick days and even surgery and long recovery times. Weekly yoga classes will not only alleviate or prevent pain, they will also decrease sick days and interpersonal conflicts by improving employees’ overall mood and well-being in the long run.
2. DECREASES STRESS AND HELPS TO REFOCUS
Sydney J. Harris said once, “The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” As I’ve mentioned before, every one of us experiences stress in one form or another, no matter what our job is. In stressful times, we are at the highest risk for making mistakes, forgetting something, or to simply overreacting and creating unnecessary conflict. Yoga is one of the most effective ways to de-stress and refocus on the here and now, as well as focus on your breath and calm down. Mindfulness is truly a virtue that anyone can learn. After an hour of yoga, employees return to the desk at ease, balanced, focused, and ready to work again.
3. ACTS AS A TEAM BUILDER
Offering a yoga class will bring together people from all departments of the company. There will be yoga lovers, yoga newbies, or just people who are looking for ways to get moving. Either way, all of them come together in one class and get to know and support each other. Thus, the very important sense of belonging and connection will be reestablished. Some companies create distance between departments without even realizing it, which has something to do with our beloved comfort zone.
During the class, no matter if their job title is “assistant, “head of…,” or “manager,” everyone will be a yogi and moving into the same yoga positions. As Frank Boccio stated: “When you stop and really look, you see that you are supported continuously in literally countless ways. This is the highest wisdom of yoga, the truth of inter-being, of no separation.”
4. INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY AND INNOVATION
How many times do people stay in the office for long hours without actually being very productive? It’s ironic to think that someone can be innovative and move their company in a new direction, if they, themselves, are not moving at all. Yoga will not only stretch your muscles, it will also stretch your mind and thinking process. Many people mistakenly assume that yoga is a workout; it actually is a way of meditation, a method of concentration and controlling your own thinking. We’ve all had moments of staring at our computer screen without any progress on our tasks. In those moments, it’s your body’s way of saying “Let’s go, I need stimuli!” So, let’s get your blood flowing again with yoga.
5. INCREASES MOTIVATION
How do you feel after you’ve stretched or gone for a good walk or bike ride? As I mentioned before, movement is key to our overall well-being. The most common complaint of the working population is a lack of time for exercising or moving more than to the lunch room and back. Only very committed and motivated people will go to the gym early morning or late at night after work or after they put their kids to sleep. The other ones will probably feel bad for missing their gym class and beat themselves up for it, which increases anxiety and pressure in the long run. By offering a yoga class during the lunch hour, employees are given a chance to “check-off” the exercise box of things to do for that day and make them feel great about themselves. Plus, they will feel appreciated and valued by the employer. If those aren’t great motivators to hold the vision, be loyal, and finish the work tasks, then I don’t know what is!