How to Bring Yoga into the Workplace

We have lots of demands on our time and allocating time for yoga and mindfulness often falls low on our priority list. Research shows…

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We have lots of demands on our time and allocating time for yoga and mindfulness often falls low on our priority list. Research shows, however, that investing in yoga and mindfulness programs on company grounds helps staff work more productively and reduces the number of sick days.

The author of Mindful Work and New York Times reporter David Gelles see mindfulness on the rise: “I think mindfulness is being accepted in the workplace today because we need it more than ever, it seems. We are so stressed. We are so bombarded with constant information overload. We are so addicted to our technology that the promise of a technique that allows us to come back to the present moment and stop obsessing about whatever it we just read in our Twitter stream or what we’re about to post on our Facebook page has a unique and enduring allure that is totally understandable. I mean, after a totally frenetic workday here at The Times, the opportunity to quiet down is totally lovely.”

If you’re interested in setting up a company supported yoga studio where you work, here are some helpful suggestions.

Sign-up for membership

Be clear about your goals and the company’s interests

Providing wellness options for staff can take many forms. What are the you aiming at and what is the company willing to do?

• A room for yoga and meditation

• A visiting yoga/meditation teacher on hire

• A local yoga studio nearby that will offer classes at your office location

• Subsidize the cost of staff visits to a local yoga studio or meditation center

Share Pilgrimage Yoga Online

The quickest way to start an office yoga practice is to gather together friends during a lunch break and play the online yoga and meditation classes from Pilgrimage Yoga Online.  Interested staff can sign up for a membership at Pilgrimage Yoga Online and practice at home using our 300+ video classes.

Talk to Staff – Measure Interest

Talk with colleagues about starting a yoga or meditation program in the office and measure interest. If you take a survey, write down the results. If colleagues favor starting an in-office program, you can share the results with management as evidence for why you want to bring yoga and meditation practices into the workplace.

Speak to Human Resources

Once you’re clear on your objectives and have the support of staff, speak with the person who leads the human resources department. If you have a staff council representative, bring that person into the discussion. Explore the possibilities.

Employee-Supported Program

Even if your company is slow to support your yoga and meditation program, your fellow employees might want to share the cost of bringing in a yoga/meditation teacher to offer in-office classes a few times a week.

Whichever solution you choose, you and your colleagues can start an office yoga and meditation program today using the video classes and playlists at Pilgrimage Yoga Online.

Do you have questions on starting an office yoga practice? Write to us at Pilgrimage Yoga Online.

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Writing a Home Yoga Journal? Tips for Yoga Lovers

Do you keep a yoga journal? Many of us practice yoga at home to achieve improved body tone. For some, the practice of yoga…

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Do you keep a yoga journal? Many of us practice yoga at home to achieve improved body tone. For some, the practice of yoga is a peaceful meditation at the beginning or end of a hectic day. Others practice Yoga at the Office, a range of yoga classes that can be done either seated in your chair or in the cubicle.

Record Your Daily Practice

Whether your practice at home or office, yoga is a journey and that’s why keeping a journal is a great way to record one’s daily practice.

During a yoga teacher training program, Morgan Turley’s instructors suggested that she keep a yoga journal. “I could see how it could improve my life, and yet it felt out of reach somehow. It was one of the hardest things for me to do. I would stare at a blank page and wonder what to write about.”

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Helpful Tips

If you’re thinking about what to write about in your home yoga journal, we found some helpful tips.

42Yogis suggests a journal entry might include:

• Date and time of practice

• Practice details: Did I go to a class? Did I do a home practice? Did I supplement my home practice with a yoga video? What style of class was it? How long did I practice? Who was the teacher?

• How did I feel before practice?

• What asanas did I have difficulty with?

• What asanas did I finally conquer?

• What do I want to work on next time?

• How do I feel after practice?

Anna Oldfield, Yoga London, added, “There are many different ways of keeping a journal, and everyone’s method will be slightly different. Some people just keep a note of when they practiced, for how long and the style of yoga, possibly with a few comments. Others may record lengthier descriptions of how they felt, their experiences surrounding the practice and the sequences used. Once you have found your journal style, filling it in regularly will provide you with great material for future reference and will help you to keep track of your personal development.”

What do you plan to write about in your yoga journal?

 

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A Stressful Day at Work

Most of my workday is spent in a seated position staring at a screen. It is NOT lotus position, but rather some distortion of what…

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Most of my workday is spent in a seated position staring at a screen. It is NOT lotus position, but rather some distortion of what a good posture should be. I try reminding myself to sit up straight as I look deep into the screen, but I don’t always catch myself. My back muscles are constantly sore and my eyes are blurry. Lately, I’ve also been noticing minor aches and pains in my joints, especially in the morning when I first wake up. Am I a complainer? Maybe, but I’m determined not to end up looking like a twisted tree trunk so I decided to look at some healthy alternatives.

Great timing, because I happened on this video from Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga’s online studio called: Gentle Yoga – 30 minutes with Danielle. I was drawn to the peaceful, relaxing nature of the video – from the soft background music to the soothing voice of the instructor, Danielle. There was also a “student” in the video demonstrating everything the instructor said that was very helpful in understanding what to do and how to do it correctly.

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Gentle Yoga in Practice

The video starts with a great example of proper sitting posture, which was timely for me. Next, they cover some simple but effective loosening of the hands, fingers, wrists and arms. This flows very nicely into other areas of the body – first with neck and shoulder stretches, followed by ankles, toes, legs, hips and spine. No part of the body is ignored!

Gentle Yoga in Everyday Life

The session ends with a gentle supportive spine twist, using 2 blankets as a “pillow”. This video was extremely helpful for my situation, not only because of the actual class, but also because I could use some of these stretches/movements at home and work and most don’t require a yoga mat. Since watching the video I find myself much more aware of my posture and practice moving my joints throughout the day. Now when I wake up, instead of complaining about my little aches and pains I have something positive to turn to. I would highly recommend this video for a gentle yet effective yoga class.

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