homebox2A lot of people are a bit confused about what yoga is. Some people think it’s a strenuous physical feat that requires you to tie yourself into a knot like a pretzel. Others think yoga is a religion worshiping the sun, the moon, and all things Mother Nature. Still more people assume yoga means sitting still and breathing for an extended period of time. I’ve had women show up to my yoga classes and I can see the look on their face as they realize my yoga class isn’t the easy, passive, gentle, sitting, stretching, and breathing they expected.

There are many styles of yoga

 Yoga has been completely westernized since exploding throughout the United States. I took a class last week during which the teacher blasted the music. She had to scream at the top of her lungs to be heard giving instructions. I was pretty stressed out by the end of class. I won’t be going back to that class! It reminded me of when I taught aerobics. That yoga class left little opportunity to de-stress and explore quiet my mental state. The mental and emotional benefits one can experience during and after a yoga class are some of the things I love about yoga. Sometimes the challenges you find yourself overcoming during a yoga class, can help in the rest of your life.

Yoga is a proven way to boost one’s health, energy, and state of mind. There have been lots of research studies verifying the medical benefits of practicing yoga in the workplace.

“Participants attended one-hour weekly group meetings during lunch and practiced 20 minutes of meditation and yoga per day at their desks. After six weeks, program participants reported that they were more aware of external stressors, they felt less stressed by life events, and they fell asleep more easily than did a control group that did not experience the intervention.” Health Education and Behavior a Sage Publication

Another study published in the Journal Of Occupational Medicine concluded “that workplace yoga participants reduced back pain, lowered stress, felt calmer and more confident.” Yoga Slate

One of the best things a company can do for its employees is to offer yoga in the workplace, whether that’s a factory, or an office.

All a company needs to provide is a room. The yoga teacher brings props and music. The employee brings a yoga mat. Employees not only reduce stress and tension, but they can also become stronger and more physically fit. Companies have discovered that programs that offer yoga and meditation also boost the companies’ net income. Less stress in the workplace makes for a healthier and happier employee-less missed workdays, less injuries. The cost of having a yoga teacher come to your company is very low. And recently, there are many tax benefits for companies who offer on-site fitness classes and facilities. It’s a win-win situation for organizations, their employees, and the yoga teacher.

It’s important to keep Eastern spiritual influences out of the classes. Being aware of the many fitness levels and belief systems can be a fine line for some yoga teachers. Wearing yoga attire that is revealing is also a no-no for the corporate yoga teacher. Make sure the yoga teacher your company hires has years of teaching experience and can be adaptable to different situations. The best yoga class and yoga teacher will create a nurturing, and noncompetitive environment. Yoga in the workplace offers your employees an opportunity to find peace and clarity in the midst of a busy workday, while at the same time increasing your company’s bottom line.