In today’s world, unique company benefits are quickly becoming the norm. Many employees no longer see these benefits as luxuries offered only at pioneering companies. Instead, they expect them and may even see them as one of the key factors in choosing which company to work for.
Among a plethora of employee benefits, like midday surfing and in-house relaxation lounges, workplace yoga is gaining unprecedented popularity and is being offered at numerous corporations, such as Apple, A&E|Lifetime, POSSIBLE, IFC, the World Bank, and HBO, to name just a few.
Why are so many companies willing to spend big bucks on providing workplace yoga?
After all, it takes away working hours and a yoga instructor, along with all the yoga equipment, aren’t cheap. Why would companies spend valuable resources to encourage employees to exercise? Perhaps because it helps employees de-stress right where they feel the most stressed – the workplace!
In addition to improving flexibility and physical fitness, yoga has been known to be one of the most effective exercises in reducing stress. Studies by the American Heart Association have found that those who do yoga regularly are calmer than those who don’t. Yoga also dramatically improves productivity, efficiency, concentration, and boosts creativity. This, in turn, increases job satisfaction, mindfulness, and improves the overall wellbeing of employees.
Many yoga practices focus on Pranayama, the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises. The importance and multiple benefits of breathing exercises are often overlooked for their apparent simplicity – and unjustly so. According to the National Institute of Health, Pranayama not only helps lower blood pressure through relaxing the muscles, but also improves mental concentration, provides pain relief, and induces the feeling of well-being by triggering the release of endorphins. Deep breathing exercises help the lymphatic system work properly, which in turn aids the release of harmful toxins.
It is clear why companies are willing to provide workplace yoga – it reduces employee turnover and produces happier, more satisfied employees with higher productivity and enhanced creativity. Everyone loves a win-win situation, and workplace yoga is just the thing you need to improve both company culture and the overall productivity of the organization.