“Om” in the Office

It’s no secret that work can be stressful and one way that businesses are increasing productivity in their stressed out employees is yet another yoga trend. The opportunities to practice yoga seem to be limitless; we have hot yoga, normal yoga, and a plentiful of fancy name yoga. In a 2016 study conducted by Yoga Journal and the Yoga Alliance, practitioners in the U.S. alone spend more than $16 billion a year on classes, gear, and equipment.

One would think that with more than 36 million people doing yoga, we would all be completely chill and very flexible. But, it turns out that employees want more yoga, and business owners are bringing it into their workplace.

Zen Vibe yoga located in Gainesville, FL is one of the go to destinations to find workplace yoga classes. Their website lists that yoga in the workplace improves general health issues, promotes

staff bonding, reduces stress, and offers an outlet to exercise regularly to those who have a busy work schedule.

Zen Vibe Yoga offers discounted package sessions for four weeks where they provide 30 minute classes, 45 minute classes, 60 minute classes and single “Try and Buy” sessions ranging in price of $95 to $800. The Zen Vibe Yoga website also pulled from an article stating that businesses discovered a $3 to $6 in savings for every $1 invested into a wellness program such as yoga.

Lauren Wilsman, owner of Zen Vibe Yoga and a Yoga Alliance registered teacher, is able to provide yoga to all levels of yogis. Some of her clients claim that her work has helped reduce anxiety, increase flexibility, and other benefits from the practice. She stated that from an employer’s perspective, offering workplace yoga is a great opportunity to be more attractive to young people in search of jobs.

“I honestly feel that from a marketing perspective for individual companies that are trying to hire young fresh employees, it benefits because it lets these potential employees know that the business offers health and wellness opportunities in the workplace,” said Wilsman, “With this millennial generation, we are so aware of the movement of our bodies that offering yoga is an added benefit when searching for jobs.”

Wilsman also noticed staff bonding when working with local companies in Gainesville.

“One company I just finished with did a before business hours class and offered breakfast, they also made it an opportunity to chat before and after, I realized that this company is so big they don’t even know all of each other, until we began the in office yoga classes,” said Wilsman.

Wilsman provides a certain number of mats to the offices, but suggests that employees bring their own. She stated that workplace yoga is still a growing trend and most of her business comes from in home private patients, but that she’s seen growth of the trend in Gainesville.

“I think businesses in Gainesville are more open minded and forward thinking,” Said Wilsman.

When working with office place yoga, Wilsman stated that a majority of her business clients choose to do the desk chair yoga. She suggests that the best time to provide in office yoga is either during the lunch hour, or after business hours.

She stated that after the 4 week sessions she can see an increase in general health around the office.

“People always walk away feeling better,” said Wilsman.

By Rhiannon Boyer

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