By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
The typical office setting often includes quiet cubicles, where people spend most of the day sitting in a chair, facing a computer keyboard. Perhaps, they roll over to a fax machine once in a while, pick up the phone, or turn and bend to pull open a file drawer. Sitting for up to eight hours a day, while performing very little physical activity, can affect the overall health of a person. Studies even show an increase in heart disease, diabetes, body weight, cholesterol and more, in people who sit all day long.
It is time for offices around the world to wake up and encourage employees to get up and move throughout the day. Many large corporations provide on-site exercise facilities, as well as time during the work day, for employees to use them. However, that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Many small offices do not have the resources to provide such luxuries for employees. For those types of companies, Hatha Yoga might be the answer. Yoga can be practiced anywhere, anytime, with little or no equipment needed.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga include stronger, leaner, more flexible muscles. Physical forms of Yoga increase blood flow throughout the body, giving a renewed sense of energy throughout the body and the mind. As the blood flow to the brain increases, so does creativity and critical thinking. Employers who encourage employees to practice Yoga, throughout the workday, will most likely see an increase in productivity as well. Yoga helps employees release built-up stress and anxiety, which will affect overall health. Employers might also see a drop in employee illnesses upon starting a Yoga program.
Yoga can easily be incorporated into an office setting. Employers need to find a certified Yoga teacher to educate employees about the proper alignment and practice of Yoga poses, teaching them how to perform them, and the benefits they can offer. Yogic breathing and relaxation techniques will also reduce stress levels within the office. Then, all employers need to do is encourage employees to take Yoga breaks throughout the day. Employees might choose to spend five minutes every hour practicing one or two poses, or perhaps, they would rather take a half-hour chunk at lunch to re-energize the body and mind. It is important for employers to give their employees the flexibility to make office Yoga work for them. Fatigue lowers productivity and Yoga reduces fatigue.
It is time for office Yoga to enter the work place to keep employees healthy. Since office work is generally sedentary, it makes sense to bring some movement to the day. Offices can designate a room for Yoga, or allow employees to practice in their own space. The nice thing is that Hatha Yoga requires only a small mat that rolls out anywhere. However, a Chair Yoga teacher could easily teach employees to practice techniques with office furniture. The more educated people become about the benefits of Yoga, the more likely it will be seen popping up in offices everywhere.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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