In recent years yoga has become increasingly popular in the western-world. It’s an ancient physical and spiritual discipline (and branch of philosophy) which originated in India almost 5,000 years ago. So, what is drawing westerners towards this practice?
There can be several associated mental and physical benefits to the individual which include;
- Improved flexibility
- Improved blood flow
- Increased bone strength
- Posture correction
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced stress and better regulated adrenal glands
- Improved balance
- Better sleep quality
- Boosted immune system
- Increased fitness
- Decreased headaches
- Improved focus
- Enhanced confidence
These benefits are increasingly recognised by medical professionals the world over. Since the 1970s, meditation and other stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, have been studied and applied as treatments for depression and anxiety.
According to the World Health Organisation by 2021 occupational stress will be the leading cause of absenteeism and presenteeism, overtaking lower back pain. When you take into consideration the above list of ‘yoga benefits’ there is a strong case for implementing yoga as part of a corporate wellness initiative.
Implementing Yoga at Work
For years, free or supplemented yoga classes have been a staple benefit in many organisations. However, often to avail of these classes employees are required to commit their own ‘free time’ which in itself limits potential attendees.
To maximise company-wide benefit, morning yoga or work day ‘desk yoga’ should be encourage. Like traditional employee stretching programs this routine time allocated yoga should form a mandatory part of the working day.
The stretching aspect of yoga will help reduce lower back pain, improve blood flow and correct the posture of employees. These physical benefits are important to people in all roles, be desk and field based. The added mental benefits; reduced stress, improved focus, enhanced creativity, and better sleep quality contribute towards tackling the ever increasing problem of employee stress.
Before putting office yoga to action make sure to do some research. Decide the best time, the best type (seated or standing) and be sure to consider any physical restrictions your team may have.
For some inspiration check this out:
Author – Sara Glynn, Marketing Executive, Wrkit.