Calmness and peace aren’t always two words you’d associate with a busy working office – but that’s about to change. 21 June is International Yoga Day, where people around the world celebrate the impact yoga has had on their lives, and the impact it can have on the world. With massive yoga events taking place around the world, it looks set to be a consistent annual tradition. So, to get you prepared, we’re taking a look at the benefits of persuading your employees to roll out the yoga mats. Get ready to do some stretching!
Yoga’s Impact on Human
International Yoga Day was first introduced in 2015, Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health.”
Yoga is far from just a fad that involves flexible people in brightly coloured leggings. It’s been around for centuries, with some people suggesting even as far back as 5,000 years ago. Based on ancient Indian philosophies of physical, mental and spiritual practices, it’s a very popular form of exercise across the world – for example, more than 36 million people in America regularly practice yoga.
But how does it help people? A study from Boston University found that if a person attends yoga classes, which focus on deep breathing and precise postures, twice a week, it can help treat depression symptoms. Amazingly, after three months of classes, most of the people surveyed had lowered their scores on a depression-screening questionnaire by at least 50%, showing just how powerful yoga can be for helping people relax, unwind, and feel more positive.
Lauren Chakkalackal, Senior Research Officer for the Mental Health Foundation talked about how yoga has helped her mentally:
Yoga has also been found to help people who have trouble sleeping and suffer from schizophrenia – not bad for ‘a few poses’!
With 488,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety reported in the UK last year, causing 37% of all work-related ill health cases, yoga could be a helpful way to relieve stress and reduce absences. A study from The University of Adelaide also backs up Lauren’s point that yoga is effective in combating stress, as people who took part in one-hour sessions over 10 weeks found an improvement in their stress, anxiety and quality of life.
The physical health benefits are there to see too, with Bikram Yoga, which is carried out in a heated room and has been shown to be effective in increasing flexibility, helping with back pain and more. Other variations, such as Dru Yoga, where you work in groups or pairs, have shown to give people an extra spring in their step, with 86% enjoying increased energy levels. With all of these mental and physical health benefits, it can definitely help your employees’ health.
Encouraging staff to take up yoga
There are many benefits of incorporating Yoga in your workplace. From increased energy levels to increased productivity, here are 14 corporate yoga benefits –
In our daily lives, while trying to balance work and family life, we often become victims of a sedentary lifestyle. Working for 6-8 hours every day decreases blood circulation and creates stress which causes fatigue and lowers energy.
Any physical exercise, even moderate stretching, has been known to increase blood circulation and help produce energy. Through its dynamic movements, yoga increases blood flow throughout the body and helps reduce fatigue.
Moreover, simple yoga exercises and stretches can be done at your workplace for short periods to achieve the benefits of Yoga.
There is no denying the fact that long hours at work can be very stressful. Stress is one of the major factors which affects workplace productivity and employee health. Companies have to face substantial monetary losses because of the ill effects of stress.
Organizations also see an increase in employee absenteeism, turnover, workplace accidents, and decreased productivity. This is why it is imperative for employers and employees alike to adopt ways to reduce stress in the workplace.
Yoga is one of the best ways to combat stress and its adverse effects. It has been shown to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Taking time out to do a little yoga can significantly reduce stress and eliminate all the associated aspects.
Being physically fit and flexible creates confidence in a person. The yoga exercises and poses are designed to make people more flexible while improving their muscle strength and cardiovascular health.
When a person becomes more robust and more flexible, he is confident in his own body. This confidence slowly transfers over to all aspects of his life.
Corporate employees spend most of their time sitting in chairs for long hours, hunched forward to stare at their computers. Oblivious to them, this unnatural position is detrimental to their health and can cause back and neck pain which could further hamper their productivity.
In fact, back pain is one of the main reasons why people take up yoga. Yoga can help relieve pain through its stretches and poses. Its poses stretch major muscle groups and help increase flexibility to prevent stiffness and joint pains.
Unlike weight training or other exercises that only focus on your body’s specific parts, yoga benefits every part of your body.
Regularly doing yoga strengthens your immune system and stimulates your lymphatic system to oust toxins from your body. It aids in blood circulation, bringing oxygenated blood to the internal organs to help them function optimally. It also helps in stress reduction and eliminating aches and pains.
So, encourage your employees to spend some time practicing yoga regularly because they are less likely to take sick leaves and be more productive at work when they are healthy and fit.
A stressful corporate life with crunching deadlines, heavy workloads, and endless meetings can create mental clutter, hindering your employees’ decision-making. It can impede their ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.
The poses and meditation of yoga can help clear away this mental clutter, helping your employees be more alert, focused, and productive. Yoga also improves blood circulation in the brain, improving brain function.
Moreover, yoga and meditation can teach your employees to have a still and focused mind. This is a handy skill to have in a demanding work environment.
Yoga and meditation allow people to be completely aware of their breathing. There are breathing exercises in yoga that teach how to inhale and exhale deeply. Deep breathing increases lung capacity and increases the amount of oxygen in the body.
When your employees have more oxygen in their bodies, it makes them more energetic and helps them fuel through the hectic work schedules. The lack of oxygen can cause many problems such as nausea and tiredness. Therefore, your employees must learn to breathe properly to attain sufficient oxygen.
Being stressed at work causes frustration and anger among employees, causing them to be less motivated and less productive. When your employees are physically and mentally unwell, it will hamper their morale.
With its stress reduction properties, yoga is beneficial in elevating your employees’ mood and keeping their anger at bay. It is a great way to improve mental and physical health, helping them be more motivated and confident.
With all its benefits, yoga boosts morale which will help create a harmonious workplace. So, conduct a yoga class for your employees to promote its health benefits and foster a healthy workforce.
Yoga increases focus and concentration among employees, making them more productive. With increased concentration and better focus, creativity also follows.
Practicing regular yoga supports and broadens creative expression. It refines the inner emotions, balancing the mind, body, and soul. This results in a clear animation of creative expression in an employee, helping him to complete tasks creatively and innovatively.
Being flexible has lots of benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduced chronic joint pain. It also prevents injury and helps to improve posture.
Yoga poses require a great deal of flexibility, and with lots of practice, it increases your employees’ flexibility. Also, by increasing flexibility, they learn how to apply it in other aspects of their lives. They learn how to go with the flow of things and not get worked up about little things. Situations that felt hard and inflexible do not feel so rigid anymore.
A corporate lifestyle usually means sitting all day without any physical activity. And corporate employees mostly eat unhealthy junk food items, which can cause digestive problems, among many others. Digestive issues can affect decision-making and decrease productivity.
Yoga has many postures that can aid in heartburn, indigestion and decrease acidity when done correctly. These postures can boost your employees’ metabolism and help in detoxification, helping them to lead a healthier life without worries.
Lesser Irritability and Aggression
Yoga relaxes the body and calms the mind. A calm person reasons and is not angered by any stimulus. Also, a stress-free and calm person tends to have a positive outlook on life and less likely to be involved in counterproductive work activities.
Stress-free employees are more likely to be productive than employees who are not. Such employees will function harmoniously and handle incidents of hostility with a calm and rational mind.
This is one more reason why engaging in one or two yoga sessions every week is beneficial to workplace productivity and employee health.
Yoga benefits not only the physical health of your employees but also benefits your workplace in many ways. Yoga increases energy levels and boosts employee morale, making them more productive in their work.
Also, when your employees are free of any kind of pain or health problems, they will be present more often and be more attentive, focused, and productive.