In collaboration with Nyamwathi Gichau.
All businesses would like to see their productivity rates improve, but what makes the difference? The understanding that the profitability of your business is driven at the core by people is key. People keep you in business by being your clients, customers or employees.
People help support your business by lending assistance through specialized outsourced skills such as legal consultants, and in most cases, a grouping of people help to make up your business and keep it running. For a small, medium or large company, employee absences often directly impact business performance, as it often the case when employees fall sick or get injured.
With the global market getting more competitive, we have seen a sharp increase in stress levels all over the world. These high-stress environments have been linked directly to an adverse impact on one’s health. Another contributing factor is that our ability to focus on a task for a long period of time is decreasing due to the influx of media & messages bombarding us by the second. Leading us to lose our ‘focus’ muscle, which then impacts the time it takes to complete any task.
Yoga in the Workplace
While yoga is known for its fitness benefits, a regular practice has a positive impact on our productivity levels and overall happiness. Whether you are self-employed, a business owner or part of a larger enterprise, both you and your team (even if it’s just you) can benefit from incorporating yoga into your workplace wellness program.
Yoga as a practice improves one’s physical and psychological health and wellbeing in a variety of ways. From strength and flexibility, capacity building to self-awareness, concentration and focus increase. The benefits for employees are unparalleled, and employers who offer corporate yoga report seeing positive results, including higher productivity, fewer sick days, and a more positive attitude among employees.
Get an Energy Boost
We are all too familiar with the exhaustion that comes from sitting and working for long hours on end. Coffee is often what we reach for when we hit a slump however this can lead to an awful crash, which only makes exhaustion worse. Yoga, however, is a much better solution for the afternoon slump.
Breaking up extended hours of sitting with simple to light stretching improves blood flow, circulation and ultimately increases energy levels. This is done through the stimulation of the glands that produce Endorphins; our ‘good feeling’ hormones such as Dopamine & Oxytocin. Yoga postures address the body in a holistic way, massaging, stretching and stimulating muscle groups, joints as well as organs and glands within the body.
Workplace stress is a common and big productivity killer, especially within fast-paced work environments. Its effects can range from slight mental duress to major physical ailments and pain. Since yoga incorporates mindfulness and light exercise, it effectively helps your team feel better both mentally and physically which leads to a better quality of work.
Team members who are relaxed and productive are vital to a thriving workplace. Yoga helps you to focus on your breath and links that breath to your movement. It requires that you be mindful to what you are doing at that very minute, not about the meeting you have later that afternoon. By focusing on your breathing and the poses for an hour, you give your mind a rest from the pressures of reports and deadlines.
Improved Concentration & Focus
In a workplace full of distractions from chats with a coworker, emails, and meetings, yoga’s meditation, and breathing exercises, help to silence the noise and clear the clutter. This, in the long run, helps your employees to be more mindful, alert and focused. The entire yoga practice incorporates constant mental exercises challenging and growing one’s ability to focus.
Postures such as balancing poses, require one to be fully present in order to hold them for a set duration of time, if the mind wanders, one loses stability in the posture. These exercises help strengthen the ability to hyperfocus, which is really the key to productivity.
Health & Sick Days
Stress is a leading cause of chronic health problems, including colds, viruses, headaches, overeating, sleeplessness, and smoking; the more health problems that your employees endure, the higher your health care costs will be. By providing yoga classes, along with other wellness benefits, employees can help to reduce their risk of acute and chronic medical conditions, which can directly affect your bottom line. Healthier employees produce higher quality work, make better decisions and pay more attention to details.
Yoga postures offer a full-body workout, focusing on the body as a complex interrelated system, and addressing all of it from muscles, to joints, to organs and bones. This propels the body forward in cell regeneration, repair, growth, and immune strengthening, keeping one strong physically and mentally.
Goodbye Workday Blues
The mindfulness that yoga teaches doesn’t only benefit ailments, stress, and concentration. It also helps to improve positivity and morale – both of which are crucial in the work environment. When your team is happy and have a more positive attitude, the more likely they are to collaborate and maximize productivity. Additionally, positivity can be a great creative booster, which is necessary for most workplaces.
Many people are caught between the demands of long hours at the office and the time they need to spend on their wellbeing and with their families. Often, the first thing to go in a busy schedule is physical activity. However, being less active can actually make meeting those demands even more difficult.
When you are too sedentary, your mind and body fatigue faster, leaving you with less energy to give to your work and personal life. Having yoga in the workplace offers a convenient way for employees to have a balanced life and to fit a workout in, without having to leave the premises.
In the long run, providing workplace wellness solutions such as daily or weekly yoga classes, has a great impact on your team’s productivity, mood, focus and overall quality of work. Join Ikigai every Monday and Wednesday at 5 pm for an hour of yoga with Nyamwathi.
Nyamwathi Gichau is an Internationally Registered Yoga Teacher (RTY 200) with the Worldwide Yoga Alliance. Her styles include Creative Vinyasa Flow, Alignment Based Hatha & Yin Yoga. Learn more by visiting www.yogininyamwathi.com
Ikigai is a coworking office space in Nairobi that promotes wellness by creating workspaces that blend into the natural environment. We believe that individuals are more creative, healthier and happier in the outdoors. Visit ikigai.co.ke to learn more.