Yoga: Hot Stuff for the Workplace

Ashleigh Sharman gets on the mat and discovers it’s not just clients who are receiving the wellbeing benefits of yoga.

Yoga Australia estimates some 300,000 people currently practice yoga in Australia. Chances are these are not only your clients, but your staff – and the SPA+CLINIC team are included!

“Yoga is currently Australia’s 13th most popular physical activity and steadily increasing in popularity,” says Yoga Australia President, Claire Nettley, adding that there are currently 40 different styles listed on their database.

“Yoga is a remarkably effective practice on its own or can be part of other physical training such as aerobics, weight training, running, swimming or other sports.

“But at its heart, yoga is a practice of mindfulness and, with regular practice, this mindfulness can be incorporated into other activities and areas of life.”

It follows then that, alongside a business offering for clients and guests – as seen at properties including Golden Door Elysia and Park Hyatt Sydney – that employees also benefit from the practice.

“At Park Hyatt Sydney, we understand the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, both for staff and residing guests,” says marketing manager, Maryam Awang.

“For staff it is a wonderful way to encourage the practice of wellbeing and fitness in their everyday lives, and for guests, just because you’re away from home, does not mean you should miss out on the comforts that keep you happy & healthy. And our staff absolutely love it! They make the effort to attend the classes because it sets their day off to a good start and a happy colleague makes for a happy working environment.”

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Lorna Jane’s Active Living Room

Fashion fitness guru Lorna Jane also practices what she preaches running weekly lunchtime yoga for up to 30 staff, across all departments, in the company’s Head Office training room.

“The team at Lorna Jane are all very busy and many find it difficult to fit in exercise before work or don’t have the energy to work out after a long day in the office. Offering lunchtime yoga allows staff to get in their move time during the day and chill out for an hour with some much needed relaxation!

“After stretching and meditating for an hour, staff are more relaxed and ready to tackle the afternoon,’ says Lorna of the benefits of the weekly practice which extend to coping better with stress, improved creativity and sleep.

And so, in an industry where client care comes first, many beauty businesses, Beauty EDU and Naked Tan included, are turning their attention to the wellbeing of staff and students and realising the mantra of inner health for outer beauty.

BLC Cosmetics have recently put in place a corporate wellness initiative for employees, offering fully-funded weekly yoga and meditation classes with a professional instructor to all NSW-based team members.

“Yoga is an activity that is flexible with adaptations to suit virtually any participant and because the majority of our team have desk jobs we wanted a way to achieve movement that would also help correct posture by stretching through muscles that shorten by sitting and working at a computer,” explains general manager, Nicola Gleeson.

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Beauty EDU students in Tree Pose

“We also wanted to introduce our team to the benefits of breath work and meditation to show them the advantages of a practice that focuses on the spiritual self, as well as physical and mental well-being.

“Judging by the blissed out energy after our classes the biggest benefit is muscle release and stress management. Our team have reported feeling fully revived after a week at work and that the class is the perfect prelude to their weekend. They have also commented on the unity it brings across all departments of the business,” Nicola adds.

Here at SPA+CLINIC, we count ourselves lucky to be able to escape the office to lunchtime yoga a couple of times a week – we even took our intern to experience a slice of community wellness on the mat (she probably thinks we’re crazy).

YOGA-AT-WORKIt makes us feel relaxed, clear headed and, wait for it’more like ourselves. The mat serves us for whatever purpose we need at that point in time: to let go, to relax, to be calm, to stretch and to feel alive. More importantly it connects us to our community and, despite the individual nature of the practice, allows us to connect as a team in a positive way.

Everyone is sprouting the benefits of yoga but right now there are businesses just like yours actually doing it – promoting and investing in wellness in the workplace through yoga, meditation and much more.

Hopefully we’ve inspired you to get on the mat so seek out a local yoga studio, attend a class with your team, or find a teacher who can come to your workspace. We guarantee that what you’ll get in return is priceless.

Read more about incorporating yoga in your business.

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