Pictured: a good ole conference room! 🙂
Office Yoga is an incredibly accessible mode of healing and wellness that can be implemented into any workspace. Like, any workspace, with ease. You name it, I’ve yoga’ed there! Financial planning offices, breweries, dive bars, kitchens, faculty, lifeguard stations, active duty, contracting offices….
Does your workplace have a wellness or team-building budget? A Wellness coordinator? A healthy hippy HR rep? A new idea for their company Christmas party? The most daunting aspect of initiating yoga in your office space is going to be: ASKING.
-Chances are, your employer is going to positively receive any suggestions. You might not be the only person that has inquired about yoga and meditation in the workplace!
-Eradicating the EGO prompts us to vocalize our needs without worrying about how others will perceive you. As a shy and introverted person, you may have a hard time vocalizing to others what your needs are. Others may mock you, make fun of you, or criticize your mention of Yoga. Ah, this comes with the territory. The stereotypical yogi practicing yoga that we see in the media and on Netflix is not accurate. Media does not show an all-encompassing definition of living, breathing yoga, and others may be misunderstanding a few things. Take it easy on them, smile, and invite them to the mat!
-Help your team understand why yoga is important. Rather than challenging any religious beliefs, all-encompassing Yoga compliments them by holding the student accountable to self-study, awareness, and community. Plus, exercise! 🙂 Mindfulness will positively affect your workspace.
-Your boss probably needs Yoga
-Too nervous to ask and live in the San Diego area? Send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to reach out to your company, supervisor, or Wellness Coordinator about adding Yoga to your workplace to meet ANY BUDGET
-You can work with any budget! There are a few ways to execute this:
-Make your work pay for it. Wellness budgets and employee outreach is common; your work likely has money to spend, so why not have it spent on some OMazing yoga, instead of a pedometer?
-Work won’t pay? Pool together money yourself on a month-to-month basis. Become the steward/ess of yoga for your workplace, and ask your team how many people would like to participate in weekly yoga (tell them the time and date). If your Yoga Teacher charges $50/class, 4 weeks a month, that is a $200 expense. If 8 yogis participate in Yoga, then have each yogi contribute $25 a month. Pay your teacher for the month, and hop on the mat! (and if you pay your teacher in advance, before they teach, you get extra karma super powers and may reach enlightenment)
-FREE YOGA- while your teacher might not be as seasoned, or experienced, there are many recent yoga teacher training graduates that are looking for experience and would love to teach for you, for FREE. Ask your local yoga studio (that hosts yoga teacher trainings) if they would like to join forces with you! They will be able to provide eager, excited and graduated teachers to you, consistently. CONS: most likely, you will not have the same teacher consistently. Prepare to see a new face every few months or sessions, depending on the studio’s needs.
-Some Yoga Teachers have all props needed. Ask your teacher if they can provide mats and speakers.
– ‘seasoned’ yogis may already have their own mat.
-awesome opportunity to put your work logo on your next company GIFT! Mats make lovely gifts!
-If you work in close quarters, then you likely do not have space to store gym equipment. Having your teacher bring all props is wise, and worry free. Otherwise, tell all your OMies to bring a:
-comfy clothes (t shirts, basketball shorts, cotton)
-speaker/sound system (optional)
-space heater/air conditioning/sunscreen is optional but shouldn’t be overlooked!
-Chances are, you have ample dead space that could easily fit some yogis in your workspace. Do you have a conference room? Push some chairs over! Have an empty office? Totally doable! Long hallway? Let’s stop drop and yoga! That grassy lawn outside? That park across the street? You really ought to jaunt outside a bit more 🙂 When the conference room is busy, my yogis and I are able to practice on their ROOF DECK, and it is whimsical!
-Please let your teacher know if they are going to be teaching outside so they can prepare their class and FACE accordingly! 🙂
-let your team know when you are having Yoga, especially those that are not participating. I now put a sign on the conference room door! If you have shared space, you may experience the photocopier going wild in savasana (yup, happened!), or someone pops in to use the fax machine (really? yup! that happened), or someone needs to be pulled out of yoga for a work-related issue. SET THE TONE- tell them that Yoga is your sacred and revered moving meditation that should be approached with respect! Your teacher will have your back and help keep you safe, no matter where you are practicing.
-Remind your team that this is only an hour of their 40+ hour workweek. 1/41th of the time spent at work. They deserve a little wellness!
-Be sure that the teacher you hire is Registered through a Yoga Alliance approved, registered and accredited program. Be sure that your teacher has insurance. Ask for a copy of their insurance, and if they require any safety liability forms to be signed (this is optional and depends on the teacher’s insurance, as well as your workplace).
-You will have all shapes and sizes joining you in office yoga, and all are welcome. You’ll hear many excuses why people cannot make it to the mat, but if you build it, they will come. Injuries, disabilities, and superpowers welcome. I suggest when looking for a teacher, ask for someone who can teach: Gentle Flow, Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin/Restorative, Chair, and/or Prenatal Yoga
-Have a favorite yoga teacher at a studio? Ask them if they are interested in teaching at your workplace, or know someone who is! Yoga teachers have a unique schedule, and adding an hour session to their workweek might jive perfectly with their life and yours.
ARE YOU A TEACHER?
-Speaking from experience…Upon hire, I bring a hanging file that contains a copy of my certification, my insurance, (that I pay for annually) and a resume with other services I can offer to the office. (Think…reiki, massage, energy work, meditation, privates, events). I also list my go-to sub’s name and contact information, in the event I am absent I still guarantee YOGA, no matter what. In my couple years of doing this, I have never needed a sub! Think: safety net and professionalism, not worse case scenario
-Insurance through Yoga Alliance can be expensive (but is top notch); Insurance Canopy is a company here in the United States that has more affordable rates. Have I ever filed a claim? No! Have I slept like a baby every night I have had it? YAS!
-I suggest that your time and date is consistent. Discipline breeds freedom. Your clients may need grooming to put themselves first. You might need some grooming, too 🙂 Try not to sub out your classes for the first few months, if at all avoidable.
-Do not talk about your future absences right before you teach!
-Find an amazing ‘sub’ as soon as you are hired, so that you always have a back-up that you trust. Ask or tell your new client, upon hire, that you have a designated sub. The ball is in your court! Chances are, your office clients will change yoga days to accommodate your schedule because they LOVE YOU, but all yoga teachers need days off.
Thanks for reading! Why do I share my tricks of the trade? Because I care 🙂 am happy to share, and those curious enough to google ‘OFFICE YOGA’ and make it this far in my blog post deserves some actual information about OFFICE YOGA. Namaste friends!!