After two years of chaos (that felt like 20), any issues with overall well-being have definitely been brought to the forefront of personal and professional life. Those who were already working on improving their physical, mental and emotional health, doubled down on what was benefiting them. Those who were not have found themselves diving deep into the self-care pool of resources to find tools that make sense for them. Either way, we're all aware that our wellness matters and employers are taking note (cue applause)!
Organizations who never thought of offering wellness sessions and workshops are testing the waters. Companies who always had a little something in their wellness offerings are branching out to include more. It's definitely a fluid process and those that are open to feedback and experimentation will go far.
- It's not a one-size fits all design. Some people will love the perks of complimentary lunches and a discount at the local gym, while others want workshops on stress management and virtual sessions that they can access from home.
- Someone needs to take the lead. Organizations sometimes have difficulty identifying what their employees actually want in the wellness program. In my experience, when this happens, it's because the company doesn't have someone dedicated to employee wellness (one person wearing many hats), employees don't provide enough feedback to help with the decision (company culture of surveying without actually making changes based on that feedback) or both.
Wellness programs need a variety of options based on employee feedback, along with one or two team members who own the program.
So why would you want to take this on when you and your employees are already overwhelmed, exhausted and can barely keep it together? Let's dive into the benefits of virtual yoga for employee wellness and you can decide for yourself!
Top Three Benefits of Yoga for Employee Wellness
Yoga Helps Manage Stress
Yoga is an incredible modality that can be simple to learn and easy to use in daily life, especially as a tool for stress management. Breathing and meditation can help calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety and focus the mind. Stretching and working out with Vinyasa flows can help release tension and allow endorphins to create a blissful state. Mindfulness can help you be content and appreciative of everything in this moment. All of these practices are part of yoga and can be included in your virtual sessions for employee wellness. When you have a team who understands how to manage stress instead of letting stress manage them, your employees will be more productive, efficient and happy!
We offer custom sessions to help your employees manage stress, as well as a workshop series called Optimized. Each week your team will learn ways to identify stress in their lives and simple yoga techniques to manage stress. Since it's a live workshop on Zoom, they'll have time to ask questions and get personalized feedback from our instructors. It's an interactive series and they will leave with tools that are easy to use in daily life!
Improve Posture With Virtual Yoga Breaks
The #1 issue that I've heard as more teams have moved to remote and hybrid work is that they are sore and stiff at the end of the day. When I ask them why, EVERYONE says it's because of their posture. Whether its due to the ergonomics of the workspace at home or poor posture in general, the body is unhappy. Every action is training the body to adapt. If we spend 10 hours a day sitting with our head jutted forward and shoulders rounded over, we are teaching our body to adapt to that posture. Basically, we're saying "this is the posture we need". To counteract this, you can offer your team virtual yoga breaks to stretch and learn how to create a posture that is more aligned for their body. Yoga poses help build core strength and release tension for more space to move freely, with less crackles and pops at the end of the day. Your employees want less tension and pain, but they also want to prove how dedicated they are to your organization. Show some appreciation with a quick stretch break to keep them relaxed and refreshed!
One of our most popular virtual sessions are stretch breaks right at the desk. These allow your team to hop on, stretch and relax, then get back to work. It's most beneficial for hybrid or in-office teams that "never have time to take a break"...coders, customer service members, sales teams - you know the type ;)
Encourage Employee Physical Health with Yoga
Many of my corporate clients have health survey data that indicates their employees need support in improving their physical fitness. Yoga can be a great way to help your team increase strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. Research shows that a consistent yoga practice can improve heart health, breath capacity, overall energy, sleep quality and many more. This practice can also boost immunity by supporting the lymphatic system and decrease inflammation. Honestly, these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the physical benefits of yoga. But even if these were the only improvements, I think it would be worth offering to your team!
Our virtual sessions can be customized based on your team's goals for physical wellness. Stretching and slow flows are great for improving flexibility and decreasing stress. Power flows can help build strength and endurance. This is another opportunity for you to learn from your team about their wellness goals and offer options that make sense for them.
Adding Yoga to Your Wellness Program
Are you convinced that yoga might be the missing link to your wellness program? Make sure to run it by your team first! Although we'd love to share yoga with everyone, it only works if it's something your staff members actually want So create your wellness program survey, review the data and reach out to us if yoga makes the cut!
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About the Author:
Tiffany Lord is a corporate yoga coach and founder of Love + Asana, a virtual studio launched in 2016 offering workplace wellness sessions, workshops and program design. Her sessions incorporate movement and mindfulness focusing on benefits for stress relief and chronic pain. Tiffany’s fun, approachable style makes classes feel like you’re hanging out with friends while also improving your mental and physical health.
She is an E-RYT with the Yoga Alliance and currently enrolled in a 500-hour training with Yoga Medicine focusing on yoga applications for common range of motion issues. Continuing education in meditation, breathing techniques, myofascial release, yoga for COVID-19 recovery and training as a massage therapist help make her sessions relevant and beneficial to clients who want simple movement and mindfulness techniques that improve their quality of life. Her articles on wellness through yoga have been featured in online and print publications, such as fyi50+ and CO Yoga + Life magazine.
Questions? Contact Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org