How Stress Relief Yoga Can Help Improve Workplace Wellness

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Life | 0 comments

It is no secret that taking care of your overall well-being is a necessity. Workplaces have now started to support this notion by taking care of their employees well being. This means prioritizing a peaceful work environment, good interpersonal relationships, and conducting leisurely weekend activities. However, finding ways to balance and focus on your daily routine can transform your work life too. This is where yoga comes in.

Yoga is an age-old practice that goes beyond physical exercise as it delves deep into your mental and emotional roots too. Yoga has a myriad of benefits for your mind and body to establish a perfect harmony and help relieve stress in your workplace.

HOW YOGA INFLUENCES US IN WORKPLACE WELLNESS

  1. STRESS MANAGEMENT

Did you know, the mental and emotional stress employees experience at their workplace affect their productivity and health. This is the result of a relentless daily grind, a constant digital connection and mounting responsibilities. Taking out a little time to practice a few yoga exercises can help ease a lot of stress. Stress relief yoga promotes “feel-good” endorphins while suppressing the release of stress related hormones like cortisol. The stretching and bending involved in yoga also releases muscular tension which is another cause of mental stress. 

Stress relief yoga encourages introspection which helps to identify with the source of stress and anxiety, leading to more effective stress management strategies. 

  1. IMPROVES FOCUS AND CONCENTRATION

The individuals who practice daily yoga sessions will experience improvement in brain functions like alertness, memory and awareness. This is because yoga increases the blood circulation which means your brain is receiving more oxygen and therefore functioning better. 

In the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, a study was conducted on 20 young females who participated in 20 minutes of yoga a day. The results were positive wherein the participants were able to focus better and process information quickly and accurately as per their previous assessment, when they did not do yoga.

  1. REDUCES FATIGUE

If you keep yawning or feel disinterested at work, this means you are tired and lack energy to go through the day. This condition is also termed as fatigue wherein one may try to compensate for it with energy drinks, energy bars or coffee. However, practicing yoga can combat this by giving you renewed energy without any side-effects from energy products or a caffeine crash. Yoga poses will improve blood circulation and open up blocked channels throughout the body. This relieves pressure from the heart and allows the lungs to function better. Thus, one will experience improved endurance, feel recharged and energetic for the rest of the day.

  1. FEEL OPTIMISTIC

Mindfulness is a positive practice which is part of yoga. It teaches the art of staying in the moment and letting go of the past and future. You learn to listen to your body and honor it while ignoring your ego. Such a person becomes more self content and full of gratitude to appreciate their lives. This will often lead one to build up healthy relations with themselves and others in the office to uplift team spirit.

WAYS YOGA CAN BALANCE YOUR WORKDAY-03

  1. DEAL BETTER WITH PHYSICAL AILMENT

A few stress relief yoga exercises practiced daily regulates breathing and gently releases mental tensions. Thus, they prevent the aggravation of ailments and conditions that may affect the employee’s productivity. These conditions may be colds and allergies or heart problems and diabetes.

WAYS TO PRACTICE YOGA AT WORK

  1. BREATHING EXERCISES

Before you start with any yoga pose, you must take a few seconds to focus on your breath. For this, keep your back straight with a straight alignment from your ears to your hips. Try to keep out the distractions around you. Close your eyes while focusing on the breathing pattern. Notice the movement of your abdomen and chest to promote self awareness. 

  1. SEATED YOGA POSES

Practicing stress relief yoga while sitting in a chair is probably the best way to relax and recharge for someone who has a desk job. Here is a list of some of the best poses for somebody who sits at a desk all day.

  • Seated spinal twist
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Seated backbend pose
  • Seated figure four pose
  • Seated crescent moon pose
  • Wrist and finger exercises
  • Desk eagle arms pose
  • Seated cat and cow stretch
  1. INCLUDE YOGA IN AN EMPLOYEE’S WELLNESS PROGRAM

Conducting yoga classes once a week outside working hours benefits the employees who are not able to attend mindfulness sessions on their own. Some may also organize the classes during work hours or even virtual classes for their remote employees. Virtual class needs no office space and let you discover great instructors from around the world too.

  1. HAVE A YOGA ROOM

Arranging an open, well-ventilated and quiet space with few yoga mats is a great thing for employers to do. Stress relief yoga sessions will be a hit if scheduled at an optimum time so that all employees are able to attend them. The success of classes can be monitored by tracking the moods of participants. The number of participants taking part leads to improvements in health and will help make the company more successful too. 

  1. HOST INSPIRATION TALKS BY YOGA GURUS AND YOGA INSPIRED INITIATIVES

When guest speakers or yoga gurus deliver talks or workshops related to stress relief yoga, employees who participate in them feel more motivated after. An open end questionnaire round may also be helpful in resolving the queries and concerns of employees. 

WAYS YOGA CAN BALANCE YOUR WORKDAY-02

Another source of inspiration for employees is yoga inspired decor elements like calming colors and plants along with displays of motivational quotes. Employers should try to arrange for standing desk options, walking meetings and quiet zones for employees to have even more stress-free feeling at the workplace. 

2 OF THE MOST COMMON SEATED YOGA POSES:

DESK EAGLE ARM POSE

Method:

Stretch your arms straight in front, the palms facing the ceiling. Now, bring both palms together by crossing your right arm over the left. Also, interlock your feet by putting the right ankle over the left. Later, give your shoulders and arms a stretch by bending both the elbows. Repeat this yoga pose again with the left over the right. Both sets of poses to be done alternatively a few times more till you feel relaxed. 

Benefits:

This helps improve balance and focus while imparting postural and body awareness. The stretching takes place at your shoulders, upper back and thighs, along with strengthening of core, thighs, legs and ankle.

SEATED CAT COW POSE

Method:

This is a modified version of the original cat and cow pose. In this pose, you stay comfortably seated on a solid chair with a straight back. To start with, you slowly draw your abs in with an extended back while inhaling. Your chin is locked close to the chest using the strength from hands on the knees. 

In the second round, while exhaling, look up to the ceiling, arching the back and puffing out the chest. This will make your spine stretch completely inwards with your neck taken upwards. Repeat both rounds in a set of 8 with a 5-second hold.  

Benefits:

This helps stretch your hips, back, and abdomen muscles. The chest and lungs expand to ensure smoother breathing and alleviate depression and anxiety.

CONCLUSION

Yoga is the ancient practice that emphasizes on harmonizing the opposing forces i.e. effort and relaxation, strength and flexibility, mind and body. Therefore, scheduling some spare time for stress relief yoga sessions will help you manage errors and mistakes at work and keep you feeling refreshed and recharged.

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Dr. Bob Singhal

Professor Bhupendra 'Bob' Singhal, has taught creativity by joy and right-brain thinking, is a renowned international architect, won major design competitions, has over 70 awards, publications, and media mentions, and served as President of the American Institute of Architects South Bay. In 2011, in his book Joy in Health and Happiness: Your Optimal Path to Success, Professor Singhal wrote about the transformative power of joy and helped readers learn to enhance their daily experience of it.

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