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Workplace Yoga

Promoting health and wellness at the workplace is a big part of creating a holistic work environment - one that attracts potential talent, retains it's employees and decreases burn-out.


Yoga can help reduce the physical pain (especially in the low back, hips and shoulders) caused by standing for hours on your feet or being seated for long periods behind a desk. 


Reduce workplace stress, boost energy levels, focus, productivity and also decrease absenteeism.  By encouraging and supporting an employee's overall health and sense of well-being, everyone wins. 

Things To Consider Before Instituting A Corporate Yoga Program


Here are some of the basic key points to keep in mind prior to executing the program.


1. Assess the level of Interest

What is the point of practicing yoga at work if employees are not even a tad bit interested in it? So, before going forward with the yoga plan, ensure that most employees are up for it.

I can create an email for you that you can forward to your workforce, getting them excited about yoga and asking them to confirm their participation and interest.


2. Hire a Yoga Expert

The most crucial part is to find a well-trained and capable yoga professional. You want your employees to get access to the best teacher possible. So, it is advised to have someone on board with experience of at least 5 years.   I personally have over 20 years of experience practicing yoga and I have been teaching yoga for over 10 years.  Since 2011, Chessi May has been instructing non-stop, all over Shreveport from small boutique studios like Sweat Society to big organizations like the YMCA.  Just to name a few, I've taught Stand-Up Paddle Board Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yin Yoga, Barre, Pi-Yo, High Intensity Interval Training, Cardio Aerobics and led groups like the Freshman Class at LSU Medical Center through guided meditation.  


Also, virtual yoga is a real thing now. I offer online yoga via Zoom and I can upload your in person or online yoga session to Youtube for your convenience.  


3. Personalized Conversation

Practicing yoga with colleagues is good, but providing your employees the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation with the yoga instructor is fundamentally better. Pre-assessment and Post-assessment sessions will lead to progress in performance. Each attendee should take something positive at the end of each session.


4. Session Duration

To really see the benefits of yoga in your workplace, 20 sessions is typically recommended.  But you can modify it as per your budget and other requirements allow. A 45-minute to 1 hour yoga session is all your employees need to practice the asanas (yoga poses) with the inclusion of breathing exercises and meditation.


Try to fix the yoga schedule when the employees are not busy with their work. They should be able to relax while practicing yoga, not anxious about pending tasks and crunched by time.


As an employer, the only thing that concerns you is that your Yoga class is designed to establish a sense of wellbeing in your organization. A great teacher and a safe and comfortable environment is really all you need.


A Few Ways to include Yoga In Your Regular Work Routine


If stressed out employees are looking for a time-out from work, creating a yoga break in between work sessions can do wonders for relaxing the body and calming the mind. When that employee returns to their task, they will do so with improved focus and clarity.  


1. Meditation

Meditation is the one thing you can do anytime and from anywhere. Scheduling meditation breaks is a great way to disconnect yourself from work.


Take a 10-minute meditation break and simply focus on balancing the length of your inhale with the length of your exhale while closing the eyes and allowing your whole being to rest. If you want a change in place, you can always go to a conference room or anywhere that is quiet and free from interruption.


2. Yoga poses

You can even try yoga sitting on your chair, which is also known as desk yoga.  A simple spinal twist while sitting can also contribute to physical wellness. 

  • Chair twist: You have to sit straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand on the back of your chair. Now turn towards the right while using your left hand to rotate your spine. Now, try the same with the other side for maintaining balance.

  • Heart opener: Sit at the edge of your chair while keeping your feet on the floor. Taking your hands behind your back, intermingle the fingers or hold onto opposite wrist or elbows. Now inhale, pushing your knuckles towards the floor and chest upwards.  Exhale forward fold and let your belly rest on or between your thighs.


3. Outside

Taking 30 minutes off work to go outside and inhale some fresh air can really make a difference mid-day.  


When the weather is nice, practice some simple breathing exercises and easy yoga poses outside in the fresh air.  Step away from your desk and go somewhere peaceful, try some simple yoga poses before eating your food.



4. Other Desk Exercises

We spend half of our days at work, sitting in a chair and staring at that computer screen. Concentration at work is essential and it can be an arduous task for our bodies.  Low back pain, tightness in the shoulders and wrists go hand in hand with being hunched over a keyboard. 


Here are some more light yoga exercises, which will take less than 2-minutes and do not require you to move away from your desk. 


1. Shoulder and neck rolls

  • Sit straight

  • Inhale and lift your right shoulder near to the ear

  • Exhale slowly and roll your shoulder back and around, dropping it away from the ear

  • Do the same with your left shoulder

  • Repeat it three times alternatively

  • Inhale and lift both shoulders near your ears

  • Now exhale, dropping your shoulders away from the ear
    Repeat it five times

3. Neck exercise

  • Sit tall without the chair's back support

  • Lift your head a little

  • Drop the right ear on the right shoulder

  • Breathe in, breathe out. You will feel the stretch on the left side of your neck

  • Do the same on the left side

  • Now drop the chin to the chest and breathe evenly.

  • You can finish by doing neck rolls, bringing one ear to the shoulder, lifting the chin, taking the other ear to the other shoulder and then dropping the chin again.  

  • Repeat, moving in the opposite direction while continuing to breathe evenly.

4. Twisting arms

  • Sit straight without chair support

  • Extend your arms out in front on the shoulder level

  • Stick the right elbow into the crook of your left arm

  • Wrap your forearms with the back of your hands facing each other

  • Try to place your left fingers on the right palm.

  • Take a deep breath and feel the stretch throughout your upper body.

  • Allow the shoulders to relax as you exhale.  

  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Let's Start Planning

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