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  • Awilda Rivera

Under the Bohdi Tree - Corporate Yoga


Corporations are no longer satisfied with being the best in their industry, or the marketplace. The new end game is “Being the best place to work”. Making a place the “best” can include all manner of things from LinkedIn’s free gourmet cafeteria to Google’s internal coaching program. However, employers have started to realize that there is a correlation between their workforce’s level of happiness and the success of their company.

Mindfulness practices have emerged as one of the focal points of a new wave of corporate employee benefit initiatives. A 2015 study conducted by the University of Warwick's Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy shows that happy employees are 12% more productive.[1] Consequently in their search for the magic solution to increase happiness in the workforce, these companies discovered that offering Yoga during office hours could achieve their intended objective.

Yoga gives employees an opportunity to quiet their minds, move their bodies and build a foundation for mindfulness while being in the environment where they spend most of their waking hours, Work.

Yoga in the workplace has become popular over the last 3-4 years with top-level companies like Apple, McKinsey & Co., HBO, & Proctor and Gamble offering yoga on site during working hours. [2] It is actually quiet easy to offer Yoga in the work place because minimal equipment is needed. All that is required is a large meeting area, cleared of all furniture and a Yoga Alliance certified instructor. Employees can be encouraged to bring their own mats or the company can provide them.

Of course, the style of yoga being taught during the workday needs match the needs of the employees. In Atlanta, Home Depot offers Yoga on site during working hours to their employees through their company gym. The style of yoga taught there is rather rigorous because that is what the employees want, and Home Depot has showers on site to provide their workforce with an opportunity to bathe after such a rigorous practice. In alternative, at a company that does not possess shower facilities on site a lower impact practice may be more appropriate.

A gentle restorative yoga practice would be ideal for companies where there is a call center on site, have a focus on high volume business transactions, that deal with a lot of time sensitive negotiations, or have stringent project deadlines. A passive yoga practice would provide a welcome shift from the high level of intensity required by the job. Ultimately, happier employees are more productive employees. Happy employees are less likely to leave their company, and if they do leave they are more likely to sing the praises of their former employer. For businesses who depend on a their employees being sharp to succeed, Yoga may be the secret weapon for success in this new era of corporate evolution.

**If you are interested in bringing Yoga to your company please feel free to contact me directly at contact@awildarivera.com

[1] http://fortune.com/2015/10/29/happy-productivity-work/

[2] http://www.onlinemba.com/blog/10-big-companies-that-promote-employee-meditation/

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