After years of experience of offering business yoga, we have developed an understanding of when yoga in a working day is both a beneficial and sustainable commitment for a business and its employees, and….. it is not a time slot that necessarily makes sense to the human resources department!
When a business approaches us, it typically asks for after-work business yoga or early morning sessions. These time frames tend to be very popular at the beginning of a business yoga season and then lose momentum within the next six months. The businesses that, however, choose a lunchtime yoga session are the ones that end up having a business yoga class running for years! Here are five reasons why:
1. It does not feel like longer work days.
When choosing after work in-office yoga, employees feel that their workday is getting lengthened. It’s like an optical illusion: of course it is not work, but we know and can relate to the fact that employees remain in the office longer -even though they are not working- and that somehow translates in their psyche as “longer work days”….
2. It keeps it realistic.
Getting out of the house even earlier to go to work for your in-office early morning yoga class? In winter?? In Berlin??? A wonderful idea in principle… but in reality….. (tick the one that applies to you):
– the kids need breakfast
– the bed is warm
– you got a long commute
– last night you had a great party
– last night you could not sleep
– you need to meditate at least 30 minutes (with or without coffee)
– it’s the only time you can really catch up with your partner or yourself
– all of the above and more
…so, getting out earlier in winter is unrealistic. Most people are trying to stay healthy, fight off colds, and need their sleep and to move at their own pace. Lunchtime yoga does not ask any more time of employees in the workplace.
3. Sweating in the workplace can become an obstacle.
Employees are self conscious about sweating in their office. It sounds obvious, but this took us some time to discover… and no one ever really admits it. When you strive for an early morning class with a strong work-out in an office where showers are not available…. one of the reasons that fails is …. sweat. Hatha Yoga and gentle Vinyasa Yoga can be taught without working up a sweat, addressing back and shoulder pain, fuzziness and sluggishness, while bringing more oxygen to the brain. No sweating or further injury with contorted poses or fast sequences in an early morning class; more about presence, mindfulness, a sharpened kind of awareness.
4. It gives you a new lease of life for afternoon to come.
You got the urgent stuff out of the way first, now it’s time to deal with the important juicy tasks: enjoy a new wave of energy with a gentle, balancing and energising lunch yoga practice. Employees get to compare their state of mind before and after yoga in the office, and they also get to look at their colleagues in a different light, which can go a long way in strengthening working relationships
5. It is inclusive to people who are caretakers .
We are talking about people with children, or carers for parents or others, for whom home is mainly more work. It is a grateful, loving kind of work, but work nonetheless. It is often very hard for these people to be able to attend a pre- or after- work yoga class as they are often juggling more schedules than just their own. A weekly yoga class could tip the scales for them in helping them to not get sick and to build a relationship to the workplace as a source of support and care.
Think of these reasons when choosing the time in which to offer business yoga as a contribution to your workforce. A weekly in-company yoga class is something that employees can look forward to every week. It’s an opportunity for each individual to relax and rejuvenate their body and mind, and for the group to build trust, relationship and communication with each other. Office yoga classes offer a healthy injection of positivity and wellness into your workplace culture.