Since starting my business 9 months ago I've had lots of conversations about Office Yoga. Most of them are quite positive, with corporate wellness being top of mind in recent years. Some of them are very inquisitive conversations, mainly around the logistics, i.e. "do we have to wear stretchy pants and put our legs behind our head, in front of our coworkers?" (Answer: not necessarily and absolutely not) and "but where will we do yoga, we don't have a gym!" (Answer: you can do yoga right where you sit!).
Very few conversations are actually negative, but what's interesting is the companies who have completely shut down the idea are very likely the ones that could benefit the most. Think about it, companies who are already open minded enough to host a yoga class during office hours are probably already doing things to create an engaging culture. If an organization is too (rigid? narrow minded? busy? fill in the blank...) to even consider something like this, then their people are probably suffering in some way and could really benefit from a leadership sanctioned break, whether it be an hour of yoga or an ice cream social. (Hey, that gives me an idea for a partnership...)
Yes, yoga in the office can at first seem like a strange undertaking. But when you break it down, I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to bring yoga into the office. Few would argue with the benefits of a physical yoga practice as exercise, but more important is what yoga can do for an individual's mental and spiritual health as well. I don't mean sitting on an embroidered pillow chanting "OM" while aligning the chakras (not that there's anything wrong with that) but more simply just the way that practicing yoga has a tendency to create calm, to inspire confidence, cultivate mental fortitude as well as compassion for the outside world. Who among us wouldn't do our job better and be a more pleasant person in general with this type of influence in our corporate culture? Don't take my word for it, there are plenty of studies showing that happier employees do more work, and unhappy employees not only miss work more often, but are less productive (and can have a toxic effect on those around them).
While yoga is not a magic pill, it definitely has a way of turning corporate frowns upside down. Time and time again I enter an office only to be greeted with grimaces, mostly on the anxious faces of those whom have never tried yoga before and are only present to escape their cubicle for a specified amount of time while still thinking they'd rather do another spreadsheet than attempt a downward facing dog.
More often than not, those same faces, tense with anticipation at minute 1 are calm, relaxed (and dare I say even smiling?) at minute 25. I like to think they take this renewed physical and mental freedom with them into the rest of their day, causing a small ripple effect on the people they interact with - including their coworkers, clients, superiors and subordinates. If you could give a dose of that (completely natural, non pharmaceutical but still likely very addictive) medicine to even 10% of your employees, why wouldn't you?
Instead of catering in yet another (likely unhealthy) office meal, schedule an on site office yoga session for your team. It costs about the same, and the benefits will last longer than that congealed queso in the back of the office fridge.
For more information or to schedule an on site office yoga class, email firstname.lastname@example.org today!