Vibrant health is the basis for success and happiness in our lives. Although we know what a healthy lifestyle is, we often overlook a key factor – chronic stress – which negatively affects all aspects of our health and wellbeing, linked even to life-threatening diseases.

One way to support employees’ wellbeing is through natural mental health solutions, including yoga, breathing and guided relaxation – something that is accessible to everyone.

Mental health problems are all too common in the workplace and it is the leading cause of sickness absence. New analysis by Deloitte, published January 2020, finds that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £45bn each year. This is a rise of 16 per cent since 2016 - an extra £6bn a year.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “Smart, forward-thinking employers are investing in staff wellbeing, and those who do tend to save money in the long run”

Across industries, the highest annual costs of mental health per employee are in the finance, insurance and real estate industries (£3,300) and on average public sector costs per employee are slightly higher than private sector costs (£1,716 compared to £1,652).

Yoga in the workplace

Having health benefits that have been proven throughout history, yoga has been gaining prominence in workplaces worldwide.

There are many benefits of incorporating Yoga in your workplace. From increased energy levels to increased productivity, here are 12 corporate yoga benefits:

1. Increased Energy

In our daily lives, while trying to balance work and family life, we often become victims of a sedentary lifestyle. Working for 6-8 hours every day decreases blood circulation and creates stress which causes fatigue and lowers energy.

Any physical exercise, even moderate stretching, has been known to increase blood circulation and help produce energy. Through its dynamic movements, yoga increases blood flow throughout the body and helps reduce fatigue.

2. Reduced Stress

There is no denying the fact that long hours at work can be very stressful. Stress is one of the major factors which affects workplace productivity and employee health. Companies have to face substantial monetary losses because of the ill effects of stress.

Organisations also see an increase in employee absenteeism, turnover, workplace accidents, and decreased productivity. This is why it is imperative for employers and employees alike to adopt ways to reduce stress in the workplace.

Yoga is one of the best ways to combat stress and its adverse effects. It has been shown to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Taking time out to do a little yoga can significantly reduce stress and eliminate all the associated aspects.

3. Increased Confidence

Being physically fit and flexible creates confidence in a person. The yoga exercises and poses are designed to make people more flexible while improving their muscle strength and cardiovascular health.

When a person becomes more robust and more flexible, they are confident in their own body. This confidence slowly transfers over to all aspects of their life.

4. Improved Posture

Employees spend most of their time sitting in chairs for long hours, hunched forward staring at computers. This unnatural position is detrimental to their health. It can cause back and neck pain which could reduce their productivity.

In fact, back pain and sciatica is one of the main reasons why people take up yoga. Yoga can help relieve pain through its stretches and poses. Its poses stretch major muscle groups and help increase flexibility to prevent stiffness and joint aches. 

5. Better Immunity

Unlike weight training or other exercises that only focus on your body's specific parts, yoga benefits every aspect of your body.

Regularly doing yoga strengthens your immune system and stimulates your lymphatic system to remove toxins from your body. It aids in blood circulation, bringing oxygenated blood to the internal organs to help them function optimally.

6. Increased Focus

A stressful corporate life with deadlines, heavy workloads, and meetings can create mental clutter, hindering your employees' decision-making. It can impede their ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

The poses and meditation of yoga can help clear away this mental clutter, helping your employees be more alert, focused, and productive. Yoga also improves blood circulation in the brain, improving brain function.

In addition, yoga and meditation can teach your employees to have a still and focused mind. This is a handy skill to have in a demanding work environment.

7. Improved Breathing

Yoga and meditation allow people to be completely aware of their breathing. There are breathing exercises in yoga that teach how to inhale and exhale deeply. Deep breathing increases lung capacity and increases the amount of oxygen in the body.

When your employees have more oxygen in their bodies, it makes them more energetic and helps them through the hectic work schedules. The lack of oxygen can cause many problems such as nausea and tiredness.

8. Increased Morale

Being stressed at work causes frustration and anger among employees, causing them to be less motivated and less productive. When your employees are physically and mentally unwell, it will hamper their morale.

With its stress reduction properties, yoga is beneficial in elevating your employees' mood and keeping their anger at bay. It is a great way to improve mental and physical health, helping them be more motivated and confident.

With all its benefits, yoga boosts morale which will help create a harmonious workplace.

9. Increased Creativity

Yoga increases focus and concentration among employees, making them more productive. With increased concentration and better focus, creativity also follows.

Practicing regular yoga supports and broadens creative expression. It refines the inner emotions, balancing the mind, body, and soul. This results in a clear animation of creative expression in an employee, helping them to complete tasks creatively and innovatively. 

10. Lower Absenteeism

When an employee feels stressed, their performance is affected. Being stressed also leads to physical injuries and musculoskeletal pains such as back pain and health conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Doing yoga improves health conditions and relieves pain and discomfort. As a result of this, employee absenteeism due to sickness or any other health problems decreases. Simultaneously, there’s an increase in employee morale and productivity.

Incorporating yoga once or twice a week at the workplace can significantly decrease stress and absenteeism.

11. Reduced Irritability and Aggression

Yoga relaxes the body and calms the mind. A calm person reasons and is less reactive. Also, a stress-free and calm person tends to have a positive outlook on life. Stress-free employees are more likely to be productive than employees who are not. Such employees will function harmoniously and handle incidents of hostility with a calm and rational mind.

12. Increased Productivity

Yoga benefits not only the physical health of your employees but also benefits your workplace in many ways. Yoga increases energy levels and boosts employee morale, making them more productive in their work.

Also, when your employees are free of any kind of pain or health problems, they will be present more often. And be more attentive, focused, and productive.

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