There is conclusive evidence supporting the fact that offering even just one Yoga session each week brings about changes in employee behaviour by helping them manage stress better, boosts team morale, enhance focus, clarity and creative thinking, improve communication skills and teamwork.
Workplace yoga allow employees to participate in a shared experience regardless of their skill levels and creates opportunities for them to bond in a relaxed and fun setting.
The Benefits of Yoga in The Workplace
- Reduce Stress: It’s no secret that work can be stressful, and yoga is the perfect antidote. Stress alone leads to changes in mood, poor performance, and anxiety. Looking for ways to reduce employee stress so they can be more productive, have more positive interactions with co-workers, and stay focused pays off for organizations.
- Increase Focus: By combining movement and breath, your yoga practice does not allow for a wandering mind. By being present “in the moment” you’ll learn to control your mind so you can focus on the task at hand. A vitally useful skill to have in a fast-paced workplace where multitasking is a way of life.
- Boost Immunity: Yoga activates your immune system, gets your blood flowing and stimulates your lymphatic system. Yoga also supports healthy bones through weight-bearing exercises. That’s a lot of health benefits that lead to less sick days and higher performance amongst employees.
- Improve Posture: Sitting all day wreaks havoc on your posture and the natural curves of the spine slowly start to reverse as you hunch over your computer desk (lucky for us we all have standing desks). A huge benefit of yoga is finding the natural curves of the spine by lengthening the sides of the waist, tilting the pelvis and broadening the back body. Yoga also stretches major muscles groups and increases joint mobility to prevent joint aches and stiffness.
- Increase Confidence: When you are confident in your body, it bleeds over to other areas of your life. Yoga increases body confidence by showing you just how strong and nimble you can be. The poses are designed to increase flexibility while building muscle strength and oftentimes cardiovascular health. Small changes lead to major results and soon your confidence in your body’s ability is skyrocketing.
- Boost Morale: Who doesn’t love having fun activities offered at work? Getting to try a yoga class for free, while bonding with your co-workers is a benefit that far exceeds the hour spent in the room together.
- Improve Digestion: Stress and anxiety, sitting all day and not moving around enough, mindlessly eating at your desk or on the fly, all cause digestive distress but many yoga postures aid in digestion. Stress reduction can decrease acidity, heartburn, and indigestion. Deep leg folds and twists can turn on your digestive fire, aid in detoxification, and wring out any toxins stored in the intestines. Once your digestion is back on track, you’ll be able to tune into those gut feelings in your second brain (the gut) to help aid you in making important decisions at work and in life.
- Increase Energy: Exercise has been proven to increase your energy. It’s easy to become sedentary when trying to balance out the demands of work and family life but it’s actually counter-productive. The less active you are, the quicker you fatigue and the less energy you’ll have to tackle everything. Taking the time to focus on yourself, even for a short period of time, is just the boost you need to tackle the rest of your day with vigour.
- Improve Breathing: Yoga supports you to bring awareness to your breathing. When you are not breathing fully, and shortening your breath, it depletes your energy and can make you feel light-headed and sluggish because your vital organs (think brain) are not getting the oxygen they need. Yoga teaches you how to breathe deeply and use your breath to relax or energize your system, as needed.
- Increase Flexibility: By increasing flexibility in your body, you also learn how to increase flexibility in other key areas of your life. Suddenly the things that you were feeling rigid about, are not as important anymore. Learning how to go with the flow helps to decrease stress and anxiety and helps you roll with the punches in an ever-changing work environment.
Yoga in The Workplace
As more and more organisations understand the impact of employees’ health on the companies’ performance, there are steadily more employers who have integrated different physical activities into their corporate wellness programs. Having long proven to provide many mental and physical benefits, Yoga is increasingly finding its way into the workplace. Leading successful companies like Apples, Google, and Forbes have introduced Yoga into their corporate wellness programs and have reaped benefits like improved productivity and increased employee motivation.
Benefits of Yoga In The Workplace
Benefits for Employees
Let us shed some light on how Yoga can benefit improve employees’ productivity and motivation.
Alleviates Common Pain from Desk Jobs
Office workers often spend long hours slouching over their desk and unknowingly stretch their neck forward as they stare at the computer screen. This unnatural posture is unhealthy and can cause back pain, neck strain, and shoulder stiffness which interrupts productivity as employees are distracted by the discomfort and unable to focus on the tasks on hand.
Yoga can help employees to relief such pain through fluid movements and stretches. It can also help lessen any tension caused by stress.
Increases Energy & Reduced Fatigue
Working non-stop throughout the day is bound to create stress which can lead to lower energy and burnout in the long run. It is proven that doing any form of physical activity every 30 minutes, including stretching or even standing up greatly increases blood circulation and promotes oxygenation which is crucial for energy production.
Yoga can help to get your heart pumping and blood flowing through dynamic movements and poses. Not only that, simple Yoga stretches can also be achieved within your workstation to improve blood circulation and energy.
Improves Concentration & Focus
Stressful deadlines, demanding workload and endless meetings can create a mental clutter that prevents you from concentrating on tasks and making intelligent decisions. Yoga’s meditation and breathing exercises is a great way to effectively silence the noise and free the mind of clutter that is hindering productivity.
The increase in blood circulation from practicing Yoga also helps to improve brain function for a sharp and focused mind.
Promotes Team Spirit & Morale
Stressed employees are more likely to be hostile and aggressive which disrupts peace in the office and affects mood of employees negatively, causing them to be less motivated. A harmonious workplace is more productive as employees are collaborative and willing to help each other out to achieve excellence.
Yoga can help to elevate spirits and keep tempers mellow as it has been shown to lower levels of cortisol, a.k.a. the stress hormone, as well as perceived stress in ways likely to foster a more tranquil workplace.
Benefits for Employer
Yoga, Good for Business
The bottom line – Yoga can help to create healthy, less stressed and motivated employees who are more productive and cost effective for organisations. Encouraging employees to take just 10 minutes during work hours to practice some simple yoga stretches or breathing exercises at their desk or out in the fresh air and under the sun can help tremendously.