As an experienced provider of workplace yoga, KS Yoga was invited to write an article for the launch of this new magazine. The article explains the benefits, dispels some common myths and provides ten hot tips for getting yoga started in your workplace. Happy reading…
The benefits of regular yoga practice, as a holistic system of health that is capable of promoting good mental, physical, physiological, and emotional health have been recognised and sought out in India since before 2500 BC. Despite its age and its origins, yoga has a great role to play in modern corporate life as it can be made accessible, enjoyable and of benefit to all within companies, from receptionists through to senior executives. Kim Sutton, managing director of KS Yoga, looks at the benefits of a yoga initiative in the workplace and provides us with handy tips on how to implement it effectively.
An indoor workspace, especially the office environment with its air conditioning, strong overhead lighting, and long hours of desk and computer work, are not conducive to a healthy human body or mind. Nor is regular car, train or plane travel and dealing with its associated side effects, but they are often essential aspects of modern business. The good news is that we can at least do something to counterbalance them.
The human body is designed to be outdoors, to run, hunt, and generally pursue demanding physical tasks. Whilst technology has developed at an unprecedented pace over recent years, the human form has not adapted as quickly and common workplace complaints include stiff shoulders, sore necks, low back pain, weak tired wrists and the list goes on.
Yoga in the workplace has an impressive role to play in reducing workplace-related ailments, injuries, and illnesses and regular practice can promote increased health, happiness, concentration, energy, and productivity and even reduce absence levels. Set aside those misconceptions that Yoga is only worth doing for 90 mins at a time, that you must be on a yoga mat and in a large and/or quiet space.
Think more of a regular class per week to learn the techniques and then putting these into play at your desk, in the car at the traffic lights, on the tube or even in a plane seat. Think five or ten minutes of neck and wrist rotations, shoulder roles, and spinal twists on your office chair to ease tension caused by sitting on a chair all day, done almost without anyone noticing or using simple breathing techniques to calm nerves before an important presentation or to energise yourself for a big day ahead.
Practices are simple, adaptable and accessible to all, so there’s no reason not to get started today.
Here are ten hot tips for starting yoga in your workplace:
- Consider your offering as an organisation. Are you going to recruit the yoga teacher yourself or will you leave this up to an interested staff group? (doing it together is probably the best option as this ensures the teacher shares your organisation’s culture and values, as well as being the right personality that your co-workers are looking for/feel comfortable with).
- As an organisation, are you planning to cover all costs by offering sessions free to co-workers as an employment/salary benefit? Or are you going to provide a room and leave it to your employees to administer and pay for the classes with the yoga teacher themselves?
- Providing promotion of the classes at the first point of recruitment and induction, and then via regular and timely internal emails, posters, the intranet, and flyers is crucial.
- Make sure the room you have set aside is clearly marked in your organisation calendar as occupied every week. It will be very difficult for the yoga teacher to motivate the group and confirm your slot in their teaching calendar if the availability of the room and the time of the class are not consistent and guaranteed every week.
- Find a well-qualified yoga teacher and experienced teacher. Many courses offer teachers the chance to qualify in four weeks, whilst more solid qualifications, such as The British Wheel of Yoga (the UK’s governing yoga body recognised by Sport England) require students to study for approximately three years, covering each area of expertise in great detail.
- Find a teacher with sound knowledge and skills in key yoga practices, including modifications and alternatives for ailments, human anatomy, physiology, and first aid.
- Always check that the teacher is insured!
- Ask about the teacher’s ability to tailor classes to the diverse needs of the group, as each individual is different and what works for one person is not necessarily perfect for the next.
- It is generally advisable that women in their first trimester of pregnancy do not practice physical forms of yoga (breathing and relaxation practices are okay) so ensure this message is passed on during the registration process.
- Consult with co-workers to identify the time of the day and week that works as this will maximise attendance.
If you would like to find out more abut the author of this article Kim Sutton and her corporate yoga business Kim Sutton Yoga, then please visit www.ksyoga.com.
KS Yoga discusses the benefits of Yoga in the Workplace, calling on case studies from years of experience teaching and delivering workshops with large high profile corporate clients, ranging from retail giants, educational institutions to multi-national film making organisations.
2 May 2010
KS Yoga is invited to contribute to Time Out magazines feature on yoga in the UK, which explores the characteristics, practices and benefits of Hatha Yoga. The British Wheel of Yoga, is the UK’s governing body, recognised by Sport England, and is the accrediting body of KS Yoga. They are called upon as the key expert on yoga in the UK.
Designed by Kim of KS Yoga in collaboration with Satya Jewelry for her charity, the FSI, this yoga inspired collection contributes vital funds to work with vulnerable children and young people – across the UK and beyond.
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To purchase visit: www.satyajewelry.co.uk
50% of each item purchased is donated to The Foundation for Social Improvement
About the charity
In the UK there are 166,000 small charities that support millions of disadvantaged people and communities each day. These charities carry out the most valuable grassroots activities, devoting time, energy and passion to the causes that matter the most at very little cost. Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources and support, 4,000 of these close their doors every year. Every day the FSI supports thousands of small UK based charities to become more effective, efficient and sustainable. With your help, the FSI can provide essential support to charities delivering essential support to vulnerable children and young people across the UK and beyond.
4 Dec 2007
Happy New Year!! Each year I hear my friends, colleagues, and family making New Years resolutions. Most often, these involve something about getting fitter, being happier and improving their lives. With as little as one class per week, yoga can bring about these changes, so now is the perfect time to think about trying yoga. Private Tuition with KS Yoga is the most convenient way to try yoga in a way that is guaranteed to meet your individual needs and bring about the fastest results.
Learn more about private tuition with KS Yoga on the Private Tuition page of this website.