By Faye Martins
Corporate yoga is becoming a popular program for many companies that wish to improve the health and well-being of their employees. Corporations are slowly realizing that employees are more productive, take less sick days and require less health insurance when they take proactive steps to health and wellness. Corporate programs often include incentives for exercising and eating right, access to exercise facilities and classes, information on healthy choices and an introduction to the benefits of yoga training.
Yoga teachers are commonly sent into companies to educate the staff about the benefits that yoga can provide and to teach the employees simple and easy poses they can perform throughout the day to stay focused, energized and limber. Instructors must realize that they are presenting in front of a diverse group of people with varying levels of past experience with yoga. Some people might be regular practitioners while others may have only heard about yoga and have never considered trying it. The best strategy is probably to keep it simple and concise.
Explain the Benefits
If you are presenting to the entire staff, keep in mind that you want to keep the audience engaged and interested. You will have skeptics in the room, but don’t let that bother you. Explain the benefits of yoga by trying to relate it to their own lives as much as possible. Perhaps you could generate a list of all the ways the staff feels drained throughout the day, what causes them to feel stress or what physical activities cause them strain. Based on the list, go through each item and describe a breathing exercise or pose that would be effective in alleviating the problem.
Show the Benefits
Get the audience involved right away by leading them in a few breathing exercises, like deep belly breathing or alternate nostril breathing. The best way to educate people is to let them experience it their selves. Think about the space you are in during the presentation and choose a few easy poses that everyone can perform right then and there. Always provide handouts to the staff that will remind them of quick and easy poses and breathing exercises they can do anytime of the day.
Teaching a Class
If you are teaching a yoga class on the campus of a large corporation, try to cater to the needs of the students as much as possible. If it is a high-stress environment, spend time on meditation, breathing and poses that will allow them to release pent-up anxieties. Get the employees moving a bit to re-energize their bodies and minds. Ask for feedback so you are meeting the needs of the employees as best as possible.
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