Why Offer Yoga at Work?

Stress and anxiety are often an unfortunate and unavoidable consequence in a variety of work environments. Stress that stems from job demands is a large contributor to decreased employee productivity. According to the American Psychological Association, productivity losses (unrelated to workplace injury) cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee a year, or $225.8 billion annually. Studies show by reducing stress employers can promote a more positive work environment as well as increase employee productivity.

Aimed towards reducing stress in the workplace, there has been an agenda for change. Companies are administering “stress interventions” and health and wellness programs to remedy the stressors. Specifically, yoga is one of the best and easiest ways to de-stress, and employers are beginning to implement it into their health and wellness programs. In a recent study from the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, yoga in a workplace environment is suggested as a "viable and effective intervention to target high stress levels, sleep quality, and balance in employees."

Benefits for the Company?

According to the National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic, stress can cause an increased risk of diseases such as depression, heart-disease, obesity, memory impairment and sleep problems. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a haZard of the workplace. Overall, workplace stress accounts for 6.6 billion dollars lost for US companies annually (International Labor OrganiZation).

On an individual employee basis, medical expenses for high stress employees are 46% above the costs for low-stress employees (APA). Yoga not only reduces medical expenses, but companies who adopt health programs see an "average 26.8% reduction in sick leave absenteeism and an average 26.1% reduction in health costs" (APA). Even more, a workplace yoga program can enhance the company's bottom line: 11% more revenue per employee and nearly $6 savings for every dollar invested in the health and wellness program.

photo by Triple L Studios

What Style of Yoga Suits Your Company?

While there are several different yoga styles, all of them can reduce anxiety and stress. Programs can be individually tailored towards your employee and company needs. No prior yoga experience is necessary to receive the benefits. Here are 2 examples of yoga classes:

POWER FLOW
Designed for a more fitness based class. This style of yoga will get the heart pumping. It will assist in endurance and strength training. Participants find this type of yoga to be an excellent substitute for running, walking on a treadmill/elliptical and/or even lifting weights. This class will channel any kind of stress or negative energy into a more productive outlet, and students will utiliZe positive tools and techniques to learn to breath in challenging postures and difficult moments. This class will teach strength both on and off the mat.

GENTLE/MEDITATIVE OPENING
Designed to be a calming class. Participants utiliZe breathing exercises, visualiZation techniques and slower intentional movements to keep the heart beat slow and the body calm. After completing this class students will be prepared to take on any project with ease and grace. This is the ultimate style of yoga for stress reduction and is sure to leave participants rejuvenated and recharged.

How Often and When Should Yoga be Offered?

Most companies start with class once or twice a week. Usually, it depends on demand and availability. Classes can be set either during lunch, before and/or after business hours. 

Ultimately, the schedule can be directed according to company needs and availability. Classes can run as 8-10 week programs.

Contact AlexZandra to confirm and set a schedule.

Cost of Corporate Yoga

Corporations generally choose one of three options for cost:
1. Full subsidy - Employer offers the classes free of charge to the employees
2. Partial subsidy - Class fees are shared by employers and employees
3. Hosting - Employer offers both space and time within the office for class and employees pay for the class(s)

References:
    - "Stress: Constant stress puts your health at risk", Mayo Clinic, Sept 2010
    - "Yoga: Tap into the many health benefits", Mayo Clinic, Jan 2010 
    - "Fact Sheet by the numbers", American Psychological Association, 2010
    - Wolever et al. "Effective and viable mind-body stress reduction in the workplace: a randomized controlled trial." Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Apr 2012