The end of the year is fast approaching, and it’s certainly been another big one. In 2021, Australians once again faced prolonged lockdown periods and significant concern and frustration regarding the on-going coronavirus situation. So, it’s not surprising that many businesses are looking for unique ways to encourage employees to relax and unwind heading into the new year. If this sounds like you, why not consider corporate yoga?
Your employees may have tried a virtual yoga lesson or two over the past few months but nothing can compare to an engaging, in-person class with a trained and experienced teacher.
What does Corporate Yoga Involve?
Corporate yoga is like any other form of yoga in that most classes will require you to only bring yourself. No need for specialist equipment, other than perhaps a mat, which the teacher may even provide.
A well planned yoga class takes into account the fact that the group most likely contains individuals with a broad range of abilities. You want to be able to challenge those who are familiar with yoga whilst also making the experience not too stressful or difficult for beginners.
As such, the teacher should first check in to see what your aims and intentions are for the class. This can be anything from experiencing a traditional yoga practice to encouraging your employees to become more active with a more upbeat series of movements.
Corporate yoga may be a one off event — like an end-of-year Christmas party — or it can be organised on an ongoing basis.
Benefits of Yoga — For Employers and Employees
Organising extracurricular activities for your employees is a great way of increasing motivation and satisfaction. If we spend too long hunched over our desks, staring at a screen, work can quickly become a source of stress and unhappiness. Breaking up the monotony with, for example, a corporate yoga class, will significantly improve overall morale.
In addition to being a great team-building exercise, yoga comes with a wide range of physical and mental benefits that can be useful for employers and employees alike — both in their world and daily life. Some of these include:
- Improved strength, flexibility, and balance: When we’re young, we might not realise how important these physical attributes are. The reality is, your level of strength, flexibility, and balance, has a significant impact on how readily you are able to engage with daily activities — from sitting at your desk to playing backyard cricket with your kids.
- Improved sleep: Everyone understands how important sleep is. You only have to go a few restless nights to realise that getting a solid eight hours has a significant impact on how engaged and motivated you are the next day. Incorporating yoga into your routine — particularly at the end of the day — can help you wind down and prepare your body for sleep.
- Reduced stress: Stress is a hormonal response that can cause significant physical and emotional damage if not addressed. In a workplace, high stress amongst either employers or their employees is not conducive to a productive working environment. Taking the time to gently engage with your body and breath, alongside other healthy lifestyle changes, can help you see clearly through particularly stressful situations.
- Reduced chronic pain: Chronic pain is something that many of us suffer from, whether it is the result of an injury or an on-going health condition. These types of issues often interfere with our ability to work, particularly if you are in an active industry or spend a lot of time typing at your desk. Yoga tends to work on chronic pain from two angles: reducing the perception of pain while also decreasing actual inflammation.
Organising a Corporate Yoga Class
The trick to organising a successful corporate yoga class is finding the right instructor. Not all instructors are suited to running this type of event. Some may be more accustomed to working in a one-on-one situation whilst others may struggle to tailor a class to suit varying abilities.
To find the right instructor, ask around for recommendations. Other companies that have participated in corporate yoga in the past might have some great suggestions. A quick Google for the term ‘corporate yoga’ is likely to also bring up several recommendations in your area.
Finally, you should ask your employees if they know of any great yoga instructors. They might have taken a private lesson or a gym class with a fantastic teacher who also provides corporate-type lessons.
Once you have found your instructor, make sure to have a discussion with them about what you’re hoping to achieve in the class. By giving them some background on your company and your employees, they will be able to tailor the lesson to provide a unique and engaging experience, which will wrap up a busy year on the right note.
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