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18 Fantastic Benefits Of Yoga In The Workplace

15 min read
Last Updated on 13 March, 2024

“Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.” — B.K.S. Iyengar

The health benefits of yoga are astonishing. Originating at the very dawn of human civilization, practicing yoga helps strengthen the mind-body connection to attain composure.

Now, attaining a calm and composed demeanor is essential for those striving to thrive in the corporate world. Moreover, job seekers nowadays are drawn to organizations that value employee wellness. So, if you want to level up the wellness game for your employees, introducing yoga in the workplace is a great way to do it.

According to an ASSOCHAM survey in 2021, over 53% of corporate companies opt for yoga sessions in the workplace to boost productivity, reduce sick days, increase mental clarity, combat fatigue, improve memory, fight stress, and increase workplace satisfaction.

Yoga has the power to enhance your employees’ work performance, too. So, if you want to improve the employee experience at the workplace, yoga is the key. We have created this blog to shed more light on how practicing yoga helps employees master their well-being and work performance.

Man meditating

Suppose you are an employer concerned about the health of your employees. In that case, the first step you should take is to create a workplace wellness program for your organization.

Yoga in the Workplace: An essential addition to a company's employee wellness program

Employee doing desk yoga while at work
Having health benefits that have been proven throughout history, yoga has been gaining prominence in workplaces worldwide. The demand for corporate yoga has risen so much that many yoga teachers and instructors provide their services specifically for corporate offices.

There are many benefits of incorporating yoga in your workplace. From increased energy levels to increased productivity, here are 14 corporate yoga benefits -

Relax with Savasana.

You might also like: Celebrate International Yoga Day at Work with this Easy Yoga Routine

How does incorporating yoga in the workplace help an organization?

1. Decreased healthcare costs

According to a Reuters source, employer healthcare costs will jump from 5.4% to 8.5% in 2024. It will be due to medical inflation, costly weight-loss drug demands, and the availability of high-priced gene therapy.

So, enforcing specially curated corporate wellness programs is a necessity if you want to reduce healthcare costs.

2. Lesser Absenteeism

Employees working happily due to benefits of yoga in workplace
When an employee feels stressed, their performance is hampered. 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 one from any kind of pain or discomfort. As a result, employee absenteeism due to sickness or 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.

3. Increase in productivity

Yoga benefits your employees' physical health and your workplace in many ways. This ancient exercise increases energy levels and boosts employee morale, making them more productive in their work.

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

4. Less employee attrition rate

Employee attrition is something that almost every organization struggles to maintain. One of the many reasons companies witness a high employee attrition rate is the inability to handle work stress. If you want your employees to have better stress management skills, then yoga is what they need to practice religiously.

5. Less presenteeism

In today’s time, presenteeism has become more common than one realizes. Given the competitive work culture in the corporate world, employees feel the need to attend their office despite feeling low or unproductive.

This is where practicing yoga turns out to be helpful for employees. Incorporating yoga into employees’ daily routines helps reduce stress and build mindfulness. This, in turn, assists them in handling stress better, reducing the chances of presenteeism.

6. Positive work environment

Employees cheer to work hard together
When employees practice yoga activities, which help enhance their mindfulness, it automatically helps create a positive workplace atmosphere. They feel more connected and focused on their work, leading to enhanced productivity and job satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to improved morale and better team dynamics.

How does workplace yoga help employees?

Employees attending yoga class
Research by Towers Watson Wyatt and the National Business Group on Health cites that organizations with efficient wellness programs have significantly lower voluntary attrition in comparison to companies who enroll in programs with low effectiveness (9% vs. 15%).

1. Increased Energy

employees stretching at workplace

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.

Moreover, simple office yoga poses and stretches can be done for short periods to achieve the benefits of Yoga while working.

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.

Organizations 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.

Suggested reading: Top 10 Easiest Restorative Yoga Poses To Try At Your Workplace

3. Increased Confidence

Employee feeling confident at work
Being physically fit and flexible builds a person's confidence. Yoga exercises and poses make the practitioner more flexible while improving their core body strength and overall health.

Getting stronger and more flexible enhances confidence in one's own body. Over time, this confidence gradually flows into all aspects of one's life.

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

4. Improved Posture

Corporate employees spend most of their time sitting in chairs for long hours, hunched forward to stare at their computers. Oblivious to them, this unnatural position is detrimental to their health. It can cause back and neck pain further hampering their productivity.

In fact, back pain 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.

Woman practicing yoga out of work

Regularly doing yoga strengthens your immune system and stimulates your lymphatic system to oust toxins from your body. It aids in blood circulation, bringing oxygenated blood to the internal organs to help them function optimally. It also helps in stress reduction and eliminating aches and pains.

So, encourage your employees to spend some time practicing yoga regularly. Also, they are less likely to take sick leave and be more productive at work when they are healthy and fit.

6. Increased Focus

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

Yoga poses and meditation 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.

Moreover, 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

Mans breathing improves after practicing yoga

Yoga and meditation allow people to be completely aware of their breathing. Breathing exercises in yoga teach how to inhale and exhale deeply. These increase 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 fuel through the hectic work schedules. The lack of oxygen can cause many problems such as nausea and tiredness. Therefore, your employees must learn to breathe correctly to attain sufficient oxygen.

Suggested reading: Breathwork: Enhance Your Wellness Goals This 2024

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. So, conduct a yoga class for your employees to promote its health benefits and foster a healthy workforce.

9. Increased Creativity

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

Employees having a creative discussion at work

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 him complete tasks creatively and innovatively.

10. Better Flexibility

Flexibility has lots of benefits, such as lower blood pressure and reduced chronic joint pain. It also prevents injury and helps to improve posture.

Yoga poses require a great deal of flexibility. And with lots of practice, it increases your employees' body flexibility. Also, by increasing flexibility, they learn how to apply it in other aspects of their lives.

They learn how to go with the flow of things and not get worked up about little things. Situations that felt hard and inflexible do not feel so rigid anymore.

11. Better Gut Health

A corporate lifestyle usually means sitting all day without any physical activity. And corporate employees mostly eat unhealthy junk food items, which can cause digestive problems, among many others. Digestive issues can affect decision-making and decrease productivity.

Employee witnesses better gut health after including yoga into daily routine

Yoga has many postures that can aid in heartburn and indigestion and decrease acidity. These postures can boost your employees' metabolism and help in detoxification, helping them lead a healthier life without worries.

Avoid performing yoga immediately after meals.

12. Lesser Irritability and Aggression

Employee enjoying while working

Yoga relaxes the body and calms the mind. A calm person reasons and is not angered by any stimulus. Also, a stress-free and calm person tends to have a positive outlook on life and less likely to be involved in counterproductive work activities.

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.

This is one more reason why engaging in one or two yoga sessions every week is beneficial to workplace productivity and employee health.

Things to consider before starting a Corporate Yoga Program

Woman practising a yoga pose

There are certain ways and strategies involved before going forward with some plan. Even when it comes to implementing yoga programs at work, it is no different.

Here are some of the basic keypoints to keep in mind before executing the program.

1. Assess the level of Interest

What is the point of practicing yoga at work if employees are not even a tad bit interested in it? So, before going forward with the yoga plan, ensure that most employees are up for it.

You can discern this by sending an email to the workforce, asking them to confirm their participation and interest.

2. Hire a Yoga Expert

Yoga expert teaching yoga pose to employees

The most crucial part is to find a well-trained and capable yoga professional. You would want your employees to get access to the best teacher possible. So, it is advised to have someone on board with around five years of experience.

If not onsite yoga classes, you can think about incorporating virtual yoga sessions. Online yoga sessions are highly beneficial as they enable you to hire someone from another corner of the world. Thanks to the Internet.

3. Personalized Conversation

Practicing yoga with colleagues is good, but you must allow your employees to have a one-on-one conversation with the yoga instructor. Because both pre-assessment and post-assessment sessions are needed, this will lead to progress in performance. The attendees ought to take something positive at the end of each session.

4. Session Duration

Two months with 20 classes work just fine. But you can modify it as per your budget and other requirements. A 45-minute yoga session is all your employees need to practice the asanas properly together with breathing exercises and meditation.

Also, ensure you fix the yoga schedule when all the employees are not busy with their work. They should be able to relax while practicing yoga and not worry about work. If they are anxious about pending tasks, there is no point.

Man meditating at a fixed time

As an employer, the only thing that concerns you is that yoga is designed to establish wellbeing in your organization. And, yyou must hold these sessions in a safe and comfortable environment.

The goal of yoga in the workplace is to develop optimal health, increase productivity and boost the performance of the entire workforce.

5. Schedule yoga classes at convenient times

Offer yoga classes at times convenient for employees to attend, considering different work schedules and preferences.

6. Provide a comfortable and accessible space

Designate a dedicated space for yoga classes that is well-lit, spacious, and equipped with necessary props.

7. Promote yoga participation

Encourage employee participation in yoga classes through incentives, workshops, and wellness campaigns.

Employees may show reluctance to participate in yoga classes. Many have the wrong notion that yoga has no true impact on their wellness. Circulating informative creatives related to yoga benefits and incentivizing employees who regularly attend yoga classes is how you can gradually build their interest

Additional considerations for remote employees

1. Provide clear instructions and resources for accessing virtual yoga classes.

Ensure remote employees can access the technology and platforms to participate in virtual classes. Provide clear instructions on how to join and participate in these classes.

2. Consider offering pre-recorded yoga sessions.

Create a library of pre-recorded yoga sessions that remote employees can access. This provides flexibility for those with busy schedules or who prefer practicing independently.

3. Encourage peer-to-peer support and accountability.

Establish online communities or forums where remote employees can connect, share their experiences, and motivate each other to maintain their yoga practice.

Ways to include Yoga in your regular Work Routine

Employers have multiple methods to incorporate yoga in their workplaces. But when it comes to employees, there are certain simple ways.

Woman practicing yoga while at work

If you are a stressed employee looking for a time-out from work, try to inculcate a yoga break in between work. Take yoga breaks and embrace that relaxation your mind and body seek.

1. Meditation

The one thing you can do anytime and from anywhere. Scheduling meditation breaks is considered a primary task if you want to disconnect yourself from work.

Employee taking a break at work to meditate

Take a 10-minute meditation break and focus on your breathing and close your eyes. Slowly, practice the various breathing exercises right there, sitting on your desk. If you want a change in place, you can always go to the conference room because it is all quiet in there.

2. Yoga poses

You may feel practicing yoga poses requires a designated space. That is true, but you can do some yoga poses at your desk. Yes. You can try chair yoga poses, which is also known as desk yoga.
Employee doing desk yoga to stretch
Yes, you heard that right. A simple spinal twist while sitting can also contribute to physical wellness. So here let me tell you a little about the sitting exercises.

  • Chair twist: You have to sit straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand on the back of your chair. Now bend towards the right while using your left hand to rotate your spine. Now, try the same with the other side for maintaining balance.

  • Heart opener: Sit at the edge of your chair while keeping your feet on the floor. Taking your hands behind your back, intermingle them. Now inhale, pushing your knuckles towards the floor and chest upwards.

3. Out-of-workspace yoga asanas

As we know, yoga is all about asanas and meditation, but we fail to realize that there is more to it. Taking a 30-minute time off work to go out someplace and inhale some fresh air can be a part of meditation.

Woman ready to carry out yoga poses outside workplace

If the place is some nearby park, one can practice breathing exercises, and some easy yoga poses there. But taking this break at untimely hours is sort of a hassle. Therefore, use your lunch break and fully utilize it.

Step off your desk, go out somewhere peaceful and try some simple yoga poses before eating your food.

4. Other Desk Exercises

We spend half of our days at work, sitting in a chair and staring at that computer screen. Even if concentration in work is essential, it can be arduous for our bodies.

So, here we bring you the extended version of some light yoga exercises, which will take less than 2 minutes.

Also, it does not require us to move away from our desks. This is why these are also known as desk exercises which we have already mentioned above.

1. Shoulder rolls

  • Sit straight.
  • Lift your right shoulder, bringing it close to the ear.
  • Roll your shoulder around, dropping it away from the ear.
  • Do the same with your left shoulder.
  • Repeat it three times alternatively.
  • Lift both shoulders near your ears.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • Now exhale, dropping your shoulders away from the ear.

Note: Repeat this five times.

2. Chest stretch

  • Sit on the edge of the chair.
  • Intertwine the fingers behind you, joining your palms together.
  • Tilt forward with the arms held high in the same pose. You will feel the stress on the chest.
  • Now, take a deep breath while lifting your chest.
  • Release the breath and drop your shoulders.

Note: Repeat this five times.

3. Neck exercise

  • Sit tall without the chair's back support.
  • Lift your head a little.
  • Drop the right ear on the right shoulder.
  • Breathe in, breathe out. You will feel the stretch on the left side of your neck.
  • Do the same on the left side.

4. Twisting arms

  • Sit straight without chair support.
  • Extend your arms out in front on the shoulder level.
  • Stick the right elbow into the crook of your left arm.
  • Wrap your forearms with the back of your hands facing each other.
  • Try to place your left fingers on the right palm.
  • Take a deep breath.
  • Return to normal.
  • Repeat the same with the opposite side.

Related reading: 20 Desk Exercises That Help To Boost Employee Health

How does yoga make employees happier at work?

Group of emloyees happy at work

Yoga is not just like every other workout. It has a lot to do with the mental health of people. A research done in Occupational Medicine has shown that yoga programs at work positively affect the mental conditionand, most importantly, reduce. It helps develop patience, awareness- things which go beyond the spectrum of physical health.

Often, people who practice yoga and meditation are emotionally resilient and calm. And why not?

Yoga develops that sense of peace in them. And when the mental health of employees is fine, coping with anxiety and stress becomes more effortless. Also, it leads to physical well-being, as well as psychological and physical health, which are interconnected. One affects the other.

So, why not introduce yoga in the workplace?

Bottom Line

Incorporating yoga into your employees’ lives can improve their mental and physical health. Yoga poses can help reduce physical pain and workplace stress and decrease absenteeism.

With increased energy levels, your employees will be more productive and motivated. Moreover, a yoga program is cost-effective, requiring only 10-20 minutes of your employees’ time daily to reap its full benefits.

So, waste no time to incorporate and reap the benefits of yoga at work.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How does yoga help in the workplace?

Promoting yoga in the workplace helps reduce absenteeism and presenteeism, increase employee morale and productivity, and create a positive work environment.

2. Why yoga is important for corporate life?

Corporate life is all about employees delivering quality work while trying to maintain a work-life balance that barely exists. While most employees adapt to the competitive and busy corporate life, some tend to experience burnout in the long run. This is where holistic wellness practices like yoga turn out to be helpful for employees to lead their corporate and personal lives better.

3. How can yoga help productivity?

Regular yoga practice tends to have better mindfulness, develop the ability to handle stress better and maintain a calm mind when required. This in turn, helps employees focus more on their work quality, increasing their productivity.

This article was penned down by Shah Alif Ahmed and Dipshi Bhattacharjee, who work as digital marketers at Vantage Circle. For any queries, reach out to editor@vantagecircle.com

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