Ahh the Yoga studio. Smells of essential oils and burning incense, dim cozy lighting, smiling peaceful faces- to many this space serves as a sanctuary and escape from the stress of the daily grind. Yoga studios are most likely everything that your typical office or workplace isn’t. While at first glance it might seem like these two spaces have absolutely nothing in common, the reality is students don’t have to travel far or forgo their practice all together — with Corporate Yoga students can tap into Yoga studio- esque vibes in their work space and find tools to access the “zen zone”. Better yet, Corporate Yoga allows all employees, even those that may normally turn away at the idea of yoga, the opportunity to find peace within themselves and the work space.
The past 6 weeks I had the opportunity to participate in teaching a Corporate Yoga program to nurses working at Crouse Hospital. This group of nurses mainly worked on Crouse’s 410 floor which is dedicated to caring for patients struggling with addiction, and provides them with appropriate treatment, medication, and support. Nurses on this floor and many others, are required to work long hours, often with very early or very late start times, in a highly stimulated, tiring, and stressful environment. Many of the nurses had never practiced Yoga before, which made sense to me given the exhausting nature of their job. My Yoga class was offered every Thursday afternoon during the nurses’ lunch break as an opportunity to bring Yoga and stress relief into the workplace, in a convenient and easily accessible way.
On the first Thursday, I introduced myself to the nurses and began my opening meditation and breath-work instructions like I would do for a typical class at the studio. I noticed a lot of fidgeting and tense shoulders as I welcomed them to close their eyes and deepen their breath. However, as I guided them through a basic sequence of asana, ultimately ending in savasana, I was pleased to feel a shift in mood throughout the space. Before closing that first class, and saw the nurses seated in the same seated position that they started class, I asked them to simply notice any differences in their breath, mind, and body. They didn’t have to say anything; their relaxed shoulders, improved posture, and the peaceful expressions on their faces said it all. The Yoga was working. The nurses left calm, smiling, and even said to me, “Can you just come do this everyday”.
Throughout the remainder of my 6 week yoga teaching session at Crouse I was able to further connect to and receive plenty of positive feedback from the nurses. The same nurses that hadn’t really been exposed to Yoga before, were now looking forward to our Thursday Yoga practice. One week I even witnessed one nurse turn to her co-worker after closing a class saying, “This is just the best, I always feel so good after”. Other students expressed to me that they absolutely loved savasana. I thought this was a very fitting favorite pose, because it truly embodies allowing oneself to simply “be” and take in the present moment, which goes a long way in a profession so dedicated to helping others. Above all, Corporate Yoga allowed the nurses at Crouse to tap into a feeling of relaxation and calm that was typically neglected during their everyday grind.
Interested in having Corporate Yoga in your work space? Email firstname.lastname@example.org!