The Science of Workplace Yoga: Understanding the Physical and Mental Benefits
Workplace yoga has amazing benefits for the physical and mental wellness of your employees. Learn about the benefits of office yoga here.
Some people estimate that yoga, in some form, originated around 5,000 years ago (if not more). It's an ancient practice that's still popular in modern times but for different reasons.
While some people still practice yoga for spiritual purposes, many more enjoy it for its mental and physical health benefits. Many employers are even introducing office yoga to their workplaces so their employees can enjoy those benefits.
But what are the benefits of workplace yoga anyway? Let's talk about it. Read on to learn more.
Physical Benefits of Workplace Yoga
First, let's discuss some of the excellent physical benefits of yoga both in and out of the workplace. Yoga is a type of exercise, so it's clear that many of its benefits are physical.
Here's a quick rundown of what your employees can expect.
Yoga is excellent for flexibility. Even if the goal of a specific yoga practice isn't to become flexible, there will still be changes. For example, employees may realize that they're able to touch their toes without bending their knees.
Most people don't spend enough time stretching, and sitting at a desk all day is bad for hip and hamstring flexibility. Workplace yoga will help.
Strengthening Core Muscles and Posture
Yoga is excellent for your core. Even a basic vinyasa, going from plank to cobra to downward-facing dog, is challenging for the core and you will build strength over time.
Having a strong core is excellent for your posture. Employees may be used to hunching over their desks and slouching, but with more back and abdominal strength, they'll be sitting up straighter. This will also be better for their backs, and it may prevent back pain in the long run.
Enhancing Overall Body Strength
While yoga works the core, it's also beneficial for the rest of the muscles. Depending on what style of yoga you're doing in the workplace, it can challenge both the upper and lower body.
Everyone should strive to get stronger. Building and retaining muscle through yoga can help improve bone density, which is especially important for older employees.
Do you or your employees ever feel physical tension in your necks, backs, and shoulders? Yoga is a great way to relieve that tension.
Yoga gently stretches the body and pulls it back into alignment. This can get rid of some of the tension associated with sitting at a desk all day, stress tension, and more.
Enhancing Balance and Stability
Yoga is also excellent for balance and stability. This is partially due to how good it is for core strength, but certain positions rely heavily on balance.
Improving balance and stability in the workplace can help prevent some workplace injuries. It's also great for the long-term health and wellness of your employees because it may help prevent dangerous falls in old age (to some extent, at least).
Mental Benefits of Workplace Yoga
So what about the mental yoga benefits? While yoga is excellent for the body, it's also great for the mind. Many people do daily yoga for relaxation and emotional well-being.
Here are a few ways that office yoga can improve the mental and emotional health of your employees.
Boosting Energy Levels
Yoga may boost energy levels, making it excellent for a mid-day break. When you do yoga (or any exercise for that matter), your body releases endorphins. Those endorphins are good for many things, and one of them is energy!
You'll get a small energy boost from doing a fast-paced vinyasa routine. It's a great way to start a day.
Yoga is also excellent for stress reduction.
When you do yoga, you have to focus on your breathing. "Yogic breathing" is a key element of any yoga practice. Movements often align with breaths.
Deep and purposeful breathing is excellent for stress reduction. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system and tells your body that it's time to calm down and relax.
Endorphins also play a part in stress reduction. When your body releases endorphins, they make you feel happier and more relaxed.
Improved Mental Clarity and Focus
Do you ever experience brain fog at work? There are many potential causes for this, and the most common "solution" is to just grab a cup of coffee or step outside for a moment to get some air.
While caffeine and fresh air can work, yoga is another great solution for poor focus and brain fog.
After a yoga session, many people report feeling more "centred." It can quiet overactive thoughts and help employees focus on their tasks. Because it's also good for energy, it can cut right through the mid-day slump of brain fog.
Increasing Mindfulness and Self-Awareness
"Mindfulness" may seem like a modern buzzword, but it's a genuine thing. When someone is mindful, they're staying aware of themselves, their feelings, the people around them, and their surroundings. Mindfulness in the workplace is essential.
While doing yoga, people have to focus on their bodies and their breathing rather than whatever is going on in their minds or elsewhere. This is inherently mindful. That mindfulness, over time, will extend to the workplace and their daily lives.
Fostering a Positive Work Environment
By adding office yoga to your workplace, you'll be showing employees that you care about employee wellness. This, combined with the other mental and physical health benefits, is going to create an overall more positive work environment.
This is great for both you and your employees. Your employees will be happier in the workplace, and you'll have better employee retention as a result, as well as increased workplace productivity.
It's Time to Bring Office Yoga to the Workplace!
Office yoga brings with it many physical and mental health benefits for you and your employees. Your employees will feel stronger, more flexible, less stressed, and so much more. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
At SPORTSESSION, we can bring both in-person and online yoga sessions to your business. Register today so we can bring the benefits of yoga to you and your employees.
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17 Aug 2023
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