Why Yoga at Work?
Yoga has a lot of benefits (see our benefits of yoga page) but how does yoga benefit the workplace?
Many companies recognize the value of yoga, and more are offering classes as part of their corporate wellness. These include pro sports teams, Forbes, Apple, Google, Chase Manhattan Bank, HBO and Nike. But yoga can help all companies, large and small—just as it can help all people, no matter their age, current health or level of flexibility.
Consider these six ways yoga can help productivity at work:
Increases Energy/Reduces Fatigue
One study showed that sitting for 5+ hours is a productivity killer and has the same health effect as smoking a pack of cigarettes! Working nonstop also creates stress. Even just standing up or doing some stretching or physical activity every 30 minutes increases blood circulation. Incorporating simple yoga moves at these times is a great way to avoid fatigue.
Alleviates Physical Ailments
If you’re suffering from aches, pains or serious physical problems, this will affect your productivity. No matter what kind of job you have, if you are constantly thinking about and dealing with ailments and pain, the last thing your mind will be on is work.
Yoga can help relieve even the most severe pain and physical problems, such as those associated with traumatic brain injury. If it can help such intense pain and trauma, imagine what it can do for regular headaches, carpal tunnel, neck strain, shoulder stiffness, arthritis, etc.
Aside from physical pain and illness, the other major factor affecting health and work productivity is mental and emotional stress. Stress also causes and exacerbates physical ailments and conditions (from colds, allergies and headaches to diabetes, cancer and heart disease).
Improves Concentration & Focus
Stressful deadlines, endless meetings and the general atmosphere of a workplace can create mental clutter that prevents you from concentrating on tasks and making good decisions. Yoga’s meditation and breathing exercises help to silence the noise and clear the clutter, letting you be more mindful, alert and focused.
As yoga helps you better concentrate and focus, it also opens the mind so the creative juices and energy can flow. You can’t think outside of the box when your brain is confined within the box.
If you physically, mentally and emotionally feel well, your morale will be high. If you are focused and energetic, you'll be more positive. If your creativity is unleashed, your self-confidence will soar. And all of this will make you a happier and more productive worker—in your job responsibilities, your dealings with clients, your interactions with your coworkers and even your personal life.
Healthy, relaxed and focused employees are more productive. Even taking just 10 minutes during the work day to practice some simple yoga stretches or breathing exercises at their desk, in a conference room or out in the fresh air and sunshine can help immensely. And offering yoga classes at work or off-site is a low-cost and effective way to achieve happy and productive employees.