In a corporate environment, one of the things that makes a critical difference for employees is a relaxed congenial environment. The headquarters of Google is one of the most productive places in the world and every idea that comes out of the Google think-tank seems to be another winner. Yet this is achieved in a building that is filled with slides, relaxation equipment, staff libraries, canteens and even beds. The message is clear – we care about the results not about how long or hard you work. Not surprisingly the results come and the staff are happy to work long hours in a relaxing environment knowing that they will not be harshly judged by their co-workers for taking a relaxation break. In less ideal environments the opposite of this is often true with stress levels high because every decision, every move, everything could have the future of a company hanging on it. Successful businesses recognize that this stress is not productive and that if it can be reduced the level of accomplishment will rise proportionately. Google is the extreme of a trend that has been developing for a long time – providing recreation facilities inside corporate buildings. One of the most successful and popular is a Yoga class.
The stress of the modern corporate world is usually a counterproductive thing; it puts people on a knife-edge and frequently leads to mistakes that a calmer, more relaxed person would not make. Yoga is known to be one of the most effective forms of stress relief. Yoga is a special type of discipline that can be utilised on a number of different levels, places and situations. A perfect example is the Yoga breathing exercises such as Anulem and Vinolum. These are used to calm the thought process and allow you to maintain focus when overwhelmed with too much information or too many thoughts and problems at once. And because they are merely a deep and focused way of breathing they can be performed sitting in a chair, standing in an elevator or even while driving a car. Cramps and bad back posture are also often treated with nothing more than a steady breathing exercise with some quite spectacular results in some cases.
The simplicity of being taught to breath properly may strike some corporates as strange. Nobody teaches us to breath, or sit or even stand. These are simple things that we spend our whole day doing, yet at no point in our lives are we actively taught them. Incorrect posture when sitting is a very serious problem if you are in front of a monitor all day, but simply learning the correct way to breath can align your body properly and solve many of the problems associated with this bad posture. If you take deep breathes and focus on them your body is pulled in to shape by this most natural of human movements.
Where specific problems such as obesity or joint pain are present, a Yoga class can be specially tailored to address them. Blood pressure problems and ailments of the kidney can be treated with Yogic Kriyas. Poor agility is a result of poor balance and this issue is frequently confronted and quickly overcome with a range of balance-enhancing Yoga exercises. Some people who have reported daily occurrences of problems like anger, tension, hypertension, stress and headaches have achieved very good results simply from using Yoga to it’s full potential. The increased flexibility that Yoga provides is a godsend for people in sedentary job environments.
The mental advantages of Yoga are also quite clear. Yoga has an ability to redirect our thinking to a more positive frame. The most common form of Yoga used in corporate stress management is Hatha Yoga because it is a particularly potent form of physiological and psychological cleansing. In any environment stress is a normal occurrence, what differentiates a successful person from an unsuccessful one (and by extension a successful business from an unsuccessful one) is how we deal with that stress. Hatha Yoga, and Yoga in general provide executives with the tools they need to deal with stress on a daily basis.
Different Yoga techniques deal with different problems and a qualified instructor will be able to find those best suited to an individual’s personal situation. Through recognising Yoga’s ability to deal with the individual needs of employees and incorporating it into part of the daily work schedule businesses are creating a happier work environment and being rewarded by their employees by increased productivity and a greater loyalty and appreciation of their employer.