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Yoga at work and how to make it happen

A regular work yoga practice can significantly help to improve our posture, prevent burnout, improve immune system function, help us feel connected and address our work-life balance.

Bums on seats

I know from first hand the effects of sitting at a desk all day, hunched over the laptop, tired eyes, tense and tight, not even sure if I’d been breathing for the past 4 hours. It makes you feel lousy. With a lot of us now working from home due to Covid-19 and a completely un ergonomic desk set up - dining table, plastic garden chair or wherever we can find our posture is really taking a beating.

This remote working not only brings back, hips and neck pains but also the loneliness of not having tangible interaction with our fellow humans. A study by the Mental health foundation showed 56% of adults said that they had felt ‘more anxious and stressed’ about work than they did before the pandemic.

It’s also clear taking a break is severely undervalued in our work culture. According to the same study we are working an average of 28 hours a month more since being required to work from home due to the lockdown. That’s a lot of extra hours people!

All these things can make you feel frazzled, less engaged, sick and needing days off just for the body to recover. But there are ways we can readdress the balance and counteract these effects so we can work happier and healthier.

How can yoga help with wellbeing?

Creating a regular wellness routine can help you and your employees feel valued and help maintain energy, motivation and focus. Yoga is the perfect tool to help with this!

Yoga in the workplace can really help your team to:

  • Address posture and body aches and pains

  • Relieve stress and burn out

  • Refocus and recharge

  • Maintain a healthy immune system (less sick days)

  • Feel supported and connected

Yoga reminds us that life is all about balance - the effort and drive to keeps things going and those deadlines met but also the ease and rest needed to recharge our bodies and minds.

How and where can we yoga?

Yoga is not just about the physical poses and exclusively for bendy people. Yoga is a way of being and a science that once integrated into your life can give you a deeper connection with your inner self and a profound effect on your relationships and interaction with the world around you.

Here are some practical ways you can bring yoga to your work week or business:

Regular weekly live classes

  • Live online classes brought straight to your home desk or work desk

  • Live classes in your office space. Clear out the kitchen, board room or head up to the roof terrace if you are so lucky.

  • Pre work wake up, lunch time break or evening wind down, choose a time that would work most for your team and their schedule.

  • Consider the duration of the class - express 15 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. What time realistically can people give? Maybe offer two slots a week at different times.

Yoga for conferences and events

  • Live group classes as part of a virtual or in person event/conference at a venue or festival

  • Recorded classes based around a theme or particular content from your event

  • As part of a wellness workshop focussing on a specific theme - a posture clinic or yoga for sleep for example

  • A company retreat session

Custom package

  • Don't work in an office or looking for something different? Tailor something bespoke based on your businesses needs and location.

What do you need?

Yoga can happen with little equipment and you don’t necessarily need all the flashy props from the studio as there’s lots of DIY options at home:

  • A yoga mat. These can be purchased very cheaply now or you can used your home floor just be mindful it’s not too slippy! Branded mats are also available if you are organising for an event.

  • Props. I always recommend having a couple of blocks or hardback books, a strap or a belt and a cushion

  • Space. Think the amount of personal space you’d expect from social distancing plus space to put your arms up! If in the office enough for 1 metre distance between each mat.

  • Quiet. Find somewhere you won’t be disturbed. Wireless headphones are always a winner.

No experience necessary!

Maybe you have beginners or a mixture of beginners and people more familiar to yoga. Tell your instructor and tailor the classes based on this so everyone feels included.

How can I persuade my work?

One thing to consider if you are organising yoga at work and trying to persuade the boss/your client is what are your businesses values? Anything about health and wellbeing of your customers, improving customer experience or delivering a service with purpose then including yoga into a wellness programme should go down well! After all when you have a well nourished and happy workforce this shines through into their work and customer interaction.

You don’t think Dave from accounts would be down with a down-dog? As well as yoga there are so many other complimentary holistic practices and activities you could incorporate into a wellness programme, just to name a few:

  • Cardio work outs - i.e HIIT, running, power walking, dancing

  • Nutrition - healthy bake offs, juice bars, power breakfasts

  • Massage - self massage techniques and in office masseurs

  • Mindfullness sessions

  • Painting class

  • Creative writing

  • Comedy

Think of the body as beautiful machine - a well oiled and tenderly looked after body and clear engine is going to run much smoother and for longer. Benefitting all involved employee and the boss!

Yoga for your workplace available with Vic via VQ Yoga - for more details visit here

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