Yoga may be thousands of years old with roots in ancient India but – according to one advocate – the practice is more relevant than ever in today’s modern workplace.
“People are catching on to this because the benefits are so powerful,” says Erin Markey, wellness consultant for Easypose. “We’re really starting to see yoga creep into workplaces because it’s solving the problem of both mental and physical wellness.”
Markey has worked with a number of major firms, including Salesforce, EY, and eHarmony, to bring yoga classes into workplaces – she claims the practice benefits both employees and organisations.
“People really like it in the workplace because it allows them to take a break from their work, to come together as a team or community, and centre themselves for an hour,” she says.
“You get to be around your team, doing something together to build a positive community and you’re also destressing and energising.”
Psychologically, the practice has pay-offs too, with Markey insisting it teaches staff resilience, persistence and patience while also increasing focus and overall happiness.
“Mentally, it’s a practice that really teaches you to be present in the moment,” she stresses. “There are so many outside distractions in the workplace and being able to just calm down and put that aside for an hour ultimately helps you perform better when you’re doing your work.”
With so many employers pushing to create healthier workforces – both physically and mentally – Markey says yoga provides a unique opportunity because it’s accessible to everyone, unlike some corporate sports teams or demanding fitness activities.
“Anyone can do it regardless of their ability or physical or mental level,” says Markey. “You can be inflexible, you can be unfit, you can be really stressed out, but there is a type of yoga for everybody.”
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