"If you don't make time for wellness, you will be forced to make time for illness"
Better performing employees
Yin yoga (which includes meditation, mental focus, and breathing techniques) has been shown to improve gray matter and cognitive performance. The level of concentration, memory and learning is thereby increased. In addition, practicing Yin yoga improves mental clarity and agility, resulting in better decision-making and creativity.
In addition, research and experience show that Yin yoga improves your mood and gives a positive feeling through the release of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. Yoga in the workplace allows for the release and resolution of stress, because it lowers heart rate, blood pressure and tension and ultimately also has a positive effect on anxiety and depression.
Stress reduction in the workplace through yoga scientifically proven
Whether it's called corporate yoga, employee yoga, or office yoga, offering yoga in the workplace has grown in popularity in recent years. This is easy to explain, as a large number of productive hours are lost due to stress – especially in these uncertain times. The realization dawns that the well-being of employees is an important topic in, for example, HR policy and attracting good people. Yoga has long been considered an effective way to reduce stress in general, but there is now also a 2019 study that looks specifically at yoga's ability to reduce stress in the workplace.
The study, published in Occupational Medicine, reviewed the results of 13 studies involving 1,297 employees. Some employees attended yoga programs in the workplace, and others were part of a control group. During the study, yoga was found to have a clear positive effect on mental health and on stress reduction. It also turns out that the benefits of yoga in the workplace are reflected in the results of employers investing in the well-being of their employees.
For example, yoga at lunch is a particularly good way to build up more energy for the afternoon. It also helps to improve sleep, so it's easy to see why employees perform better. They experience the combination of external appreciation by the employer and internal satisfaction, which leads to higher levels of motivation and creativity.
Attracting and retaining the best people
The culture, environment, and specific benefits of an organization are some of the most important criteria a candidate uses in their decision-making process. Employees who feel valued are more loyal to their employer. This certainly applies to the new, younger generation of employees. Developing a meaningful strategy for employee well-being can make the difference between a top candidate accepting or refusing a job offer.
Physical fitness is directly related to a stronger immune system and greater resilience. Therefore, exercise in the workplace is and should be a core part of most employee wellbeing programs. Whether it’s setting up running clubs, on-site sports facilities or buying corporate subscriptions to gyms. But yoga at work offers even more, as it has been proven to have greater benefits for well-being than similar aerobic exercises.
While some elements of a company's wellness program can be offered one-on-one, yoga classes at work are usually done in groups. Shared experiences that go beyond just focusing on work-related issues are known to help teams form strong, beneficial bonds. In this day and age, it's especially important to connect colleagues who work remotely with each other to support their mental and emotional well-being.
Many people have recently started working from home (more), so their workplace is now also their home. It seems that this will partly remain the case. This is just one of the many new tensions and challenges we all face. A well-designed employee wellness program can make a significant positive difference for any organization. Yin yoga can be an important part of that. The fact that as a lawyer and trainer I am used to being in the 'corporate' world means that I can easily speak the language of your organization and therefore quickly create a connection.