“Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.” — B.K.S. Iyengar
With ever-increasing work demands and rising workplace stress, employers are now understanding the importance of employee health and wellness. A healthy workforce directly translates to increased productivity and decreased employee absenteeism. Many companies around the world have already started implementing corporate wellness programs to promote health awareness among their employees.
The benefits of introducing an employee wellness program are manifold. Besides improving employee health, such programs help employees become more satisfied and motivated in their work and personal lives.
If you are an employer concerned about the health of your employees, the first step you should take is to create a workplace wellness program for your organization.
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Yoga in the Workplace: An essential addition to a company's employee-wellness program
Yoga is a practice which companies are starting to include in their company's wellness programs.
Having health benefits which have been proven throughout history, yoga has been gaining prominence in workplaces around the world. As a matter of fact, the demand for corporate yoga has risen so much that there are many yoga teachers and yoga instructors who provide their services specifically for corporate offices.
There are many benefits of incorporating yoga in your workplace. From increased energy levels to increased productivity, here are 14 benefits of doing yoga at work -
1. Increased Energy
In our daily lives, while trying to balance work and family life, we often become victims of a sedentary lifestyle. Working for 6-8 hours every day decreases blood circulation and creates stress which causes fatigue and lowers energy.
Any kind of physical exercise, even moderate stretching, has been known to increase blood circulation and help produce energy. Yoga, through its dynamic movements, is great at increasing blood flow throughout the body and help reduce fatigue.
Moreover, simple yoga exercises and stretches can be done at your workplace for short periods to achieve the benefits of Yoga.
2. Reduced Stress
There is no denying the fact that long hours at work can be very stressful. Stress is one of the major factors which affects workplace productivity and employee health. Companies have to face huge monetary losses because of the ill effects of stress. Organizations also see an increase in employee absenteeism, turnover, workplace accidents, and decrease in productivity. This is why it is imperative for employers and employees alike to adopt ways to reduce stress in the workplace.
Yoga is one of the best ways to combat stress and its negative effects. It has been shown to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Taking time out to do a little yoga can greatly reduce stress and eliminate all the aspects associated with it.
3. Increased Confidence
Being physically fit and flexible creates confidence in a person. The exercises and poses of Yoga are designed to make people more flexible while improving their muscle strength and cardiovascular health.
When a person becomes stronger and more flexible, he is confident in his own body. This confidence slowly transfers over to all aspects of his life.
4. Improved Posture
Corporate employees spend most of their time sitting in chairs for long hours, hunched forward to stare at their computers. Oblivious to them, this unnatural position is detrimental to their health and can cause back and neck pain which could further hamper their productivity.
In fact, back pain is one of the main reasons why people take up yoga. Yoga can help relieve pain through its stretches and poses. Its poses stretch major muscle groups and help increase flexibility to prevent stiffness and joint pains.
5. Better Immunity
Unlike weight training or other exercises which only focus on specific parts of your body, yoga benefits every part of your body.
Doing yoga regularly strengthens your immune system and stimulates your lymphatic system to oust toxins from your body. It aids in blood circulation, bringing oxygenated blood to the internal organs to help them function optimally. It also helps in stress reduction and eliminating aches and pains.
So, encourage your employees to spend some time practicing yoga regularly because when they are healthy and fit, they are less likely to take sick leaves and be more productive at work.
6. Increased Focus
A stressful corporate life with crunching deadlines, heavy workloads, and endless meetings can create mental clutter which can hinder your employees’ decision-making. It can impede their ability to concentrate on tasks at hand.
The poses and meditation of yoga can help clear away this mental clutter, helping your employees to be more alert, focused, and productive. Yoga also improves blood circulation in the brain, improving brain function.
Moreover, yoga and meditation can teach your employees to have a still and focused mind. This is a very useful skill to have in a demanding work environment.
7. Improved Breathing
Yoga and meditation allows people to be completely aware of their breathing. There are breathing exercises in yoga which teach how to inhale and exhale deeply. Breathing deeply increases lung capacity and increases the amount of oxygen in the body.
When your employees have more oxygen in their bodies, it makes them more energetic and helps them fuel through the hectic work schedules. The lack of oxygen can cause many problems such as nausea and laziness. Therefore, it is important that your employees learn to breathe properly to attain sufficient oxygen.
8. Increased Morale
Being stressed at work causes frustration and anger among employees, causing them to be less motivated and less productive. When your employees are physically and mentally unwell, their morale will be hampered.
With its stress reduction properties, yoga is very helpful in elevating your employees’ mood and keeping their anger at bay. It is a great way to improve both mental and physical health, helping them to be more motivated and confident.
With all its benefits, yoga boosts morale which will help create a harmonious workplace. So, conduct a yoga class for your employees to promote its health benefits and foster a healthy workforce.
9. Increased Creativity
Yoga increases focus and concentration among employees making them more productive. With increased concentration and better focus, creativity also follows.
Practicing regular yoga supports and broadens creative expression. It refines the inner emotions, balancing the mind, body, and soul. This results in a clear animation of creative expression in an employee helping him to complete tasks creatively and innovatively.
10. Better Flexibility
Being flexible has lots of benefits such as lower blood pressure and reduced chronic joint pain. It also prevents injury and helps to improve posture.
Yoga poses require a great deal of flexibility and with lots of practice, it increases your employees’ flexibility. Also, by increasing flexibility, they learn how to apply it in other aspects of their lives. They learn how to go with the flow of things and not get worked up about little things. Situations which felt hard and inflexible do not feel so rigid anymore.
11. Better Digestion
A corporate lifestyle usually means sitting all day without any kind of physical activity. And corporate employees mostly eat unhealthy junk food items which can cause digestive problems among many others. Digestive problems can affect decision making and decrease productivity.
Yoga has many postures which when done properly can aid in heartburn, indigestion and decrease acidity. These postures can boost your employees’ metabolism, and help in detoxification, helping them to lead a healthier life without worries.
12. Lesser Absenteeism
When an employee feels stressed his performance is hampered. Being stressed also leads to physical injuries and musculoskeletal pains such as back pain and health conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
Doing yoga regularly improves health conditions and it relieves one from any kind of pain or discomfort. As a result of this, employee absenteeism due to sickness or any other health problems decreases. Simultaneously, there’s an increase in employee morale and productivity.
Incorporating yoga once or twice a week at the workplace can significantly decrease stress and absenteeism.
13. Lesser Irritability and Aggression
Yoga relaxes the body and calms the mind. A person who is calm thinks rationally and is not angered by any kind of stimulus. Also, a stress-free and calm person tends to have a positive outlook on life and less likely to be involved in counterproductive work activities.
Employees who are stress-free are more likely to be productive than employees who are not. Such employees will function harmoniously with each other and will handle incidents of hostility with a calm and rational mind.
This is one more reason why engaging in one or two sessions of yoga every week is so beneficial to workplace productivity and employee health.
14. Increased Productivity
Yoga benefits not only the physical health of your employees but also benefits your workplace in many ways. Yoga increases energy levels and boosts employee morale, making them more productive in their work.
Also, when your employees are free of any kind of pain or health problems, they will be present more often and be more attentive, focused and productive.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Incorporating yoga into your employees’ lives can improve their mental and physical health. The poses of yoga can help reduce physical pain, workplace stress and also decrease absenteeism.
With energy levels increased, your employees will be more productive and motivated to work. Moreover, a yoga program is a cost-effective one which will require only 10-20 minutes of your employees’ time daily to reap its full benefits.
So, waste no time to incorporate yoga in your workplace and see the difference in your employees.