Finding a balanced mind for a balanced week
Many people dread Mondays.
(Quick note: If you’re one of them, you might want to consider looking for another job as this probably means that you actually don’t enjoy what you’re doing! Life is short.)
But even for those who love their job, coming out of that two-day bubble of freedom and (ideally) relaxation back into the busy working life might pose a challenge at times.
This doesn’t have to be that way. I am extremely grateful for working in a company that has found the perfect balance to prepare for a healthy working week – in the very sense of meaning, that is. Every Monday, we have the option to gather at lunchtime with our lovely yoga teacher Jade to do some yoga and prepare our minds and bodies for the coming five days.
This should usually be a very straightforward undertaking for companies: we simply re-arrange our biggest meeting room to make space for our colourful yoga mats, positive thoughts and muscle-releasing poses.
Louise, one of our project managers who has been involved with yoga at Storm for over two years, doesn’t mind putting a bit of extra time into organising the weekly sessions:
I really appreciate the benefits of yoga and wouldn’t have time to commit to doing it otherwise. It just makes such a difference to start the week in a relaxed, healthy way that gives you energy for all upcoming challenges.
How does Yoga support a healthy working life?
Our weekly yoga sessions have an amazing effect on our working life.
I feel much more energised, focused and balanced – and these are only the mental benefits. Jade usually tailors her yoga sessions to focus on areas of our bodies that are most affected by the nature of work we’re doing (in our case, sitting in front of computers most of the day. If you’re not among the lucky ones that work with standing desks, that is).
After some gentle warming up, we usually focus on stretching, relaxing and strengthening either our lower back, shoulders, legs or hips. This has important effects on our posture while working and prevents injuries or signs of fatigue. In the event of missing one of our yoga sessions, I can really feel its impact.
Jade has observed the healing benefits of yoga at work for years:
When we sit at our desks for large parts of the day, our bodies adapt to that position and it’s not uncommon to experience headaches, low back pain, slow digestion and even trouble sleeping at night. When these ‘niggles’ stay unchecked, there’s an obvious impact on our work. Our ability to focus, think creatively and even our mood are affected. Yoga is an incredible practice to reset the body and mind, ironing out the kinks in our posture, deepening the breath and strengthening all the muscles that wrap around to support our bodies at work and play. The benefits to the individual and the organisation are immeasurable AND it’s cheaper than picking up the drinks tab at the Friday social!
-Jade Allan, Jade Allan Yoga
A win-win situation for both companies and employees
Offering (and even supporting) yoga sessions at work has many benefits, both for employees and organisations. Yoga has a recorded positive effect on the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of those who practice it.
Hence, benefits of doing yoga at work are:
- Reduced back pain
- Lower burnout rates
- More mental stability
- Positive work atmosphere
- Less absenteeism
In addition, offering yoga sessions is a great perk with which to attract health-oriented employees and shows that an organisation really cares for the well-being of their staff.
Tim, Operations Director here at Storm ID, is happy to support this initiative:
I believe that employers should take an active part in promoting a healthy working life and should set the conditions for achieving a good work-life-balance. We subsidise half of the costs for the yoga sessions to encourage members of Storm to sign-up and take advantage of this great opportunity.
I am very happy to work in an environment where we are actively supported to look after our health and make our working week as enjoyable as possible. Besides doing yoga, my colleagues and I get regular free massages on Wednesdays and are free to engage in lively, company-wide board game sessions on Fridays, which has a great positive impact on our culture of cooperation.
We also recently purchased standing desks for those who tried and liked them – my back is happier than it has ever been before!