Why Yoga/Meditation in the Workplace?
Having spent over 15 years in a high powered corporate environment, I fully understand the ravages of stress in the workplace. First as a corporate lawyer at two leading New York law firms and then as a COO and CEO of two fashion companies, I rarely left my desk, often eating lunch while working at my computer. I was convinced that taking a break would not only be counter productive, but a flat out waste of time. Boy was I wrong!
As top producers in any field will tell you, peak performance requires focus, concentration and an ability to stay cool under pressure, none of which can be achieved when you are over-stressed.
As a consequence, more and more companies recognize the value of on-site yoga and meditation programs to enhance workplace performance. According to a recent Financial Times Magazine article, 25% of large US companies have now launched stress reduction initiatives. Moreover, recent research from Aetna/Duke University showed a 1/3 reduction in employees’ stress levels after one hour of yoga a week.
Among the benefits cited by senior executives of yoga and meditation in the workplace are:
- Makes more effective leaders
- Improves focus and concentration
- Improves decision making
- Improves team work
How to Structure Classes
Yoga and/or meditation classes are generally 60 minutes long and are designed for all fitness and experience levels. Classes can be held early morning, during lunch or after work.
Your company will need to provide a space with as little distraction as possible. For example, a conference room is often a good location so long as the tables and chairs can be moved aside for class.
Generally, participants make a commitment to one class per week for six weeks. After the initial six weeks, the six week session can be continually renewed, as long as interest continues. An initial introductory class to encourage participation in the program is often useful.
Companies may choose one of three options to provide yoga classes:
- Full subsidy: the employer offers the classes free of charge to the employee.
- Partial subsidy: the class fee is shared by the employee and employer.
- Hosting: the employer offers a space in the office for the class time and individual employees pay for classes.
- Morning Wake-Up: Start your day with a practice to focus your mind and energize your body for peak performance. (45-60 minutes)
- Lunchtime Reboot: No excuse to stay at your desk. Refresh your body and mind over lunch break. (45 minutes)
- After Hours: Finish the day with a practice that relieves stress and clears your mind. (60 minutes)
- Corporate workshops: For retreats, team meetings, and leadership conferences.
All classes and schedules can be designed to best fit your employees, office routines, space available and budget.
In addition, your company’s health care policy may provide partial reimbursement for classes.
Please contact me to discuss programs in more detail and for pricing.