Yin Yoga for Workplace Stress

Yin Yoga is a unique style of yoga that emphasizes relaxation while also providing a beneficial stimulus to the bone and connective tissue of the body, promoting optimal functioning. The emphasis is on holding poses for long periods of time while relaxing the muscles of the body.

Jack Lalanne, who passed away at 96, worked out 2 hours per day and contributed regular exercise and nutrition to his longetivity and great health. In the early 1950’s, many people avoided exercise believing that exercise was detrimental to one’s overall well-being. Jack Lalanne, coined the term “use it or lose it”. Many people at that time avoided exercise, believing that exercise wasn’t helpful and even posed a risk to one’s longevity, diminishing the number of heartbeats. Imagine…

In a very similar way, Yin Yoga educates us about the powerful proactive steps we can take to reduce the fixation and immobilization of joints and improve the overall mobility and posture of our body. Up until recently, doctors believed that it was not wise to put pressure or to exercise the joints, believing joints would only wear out.

 

 

Yin Yoga can help to promote meditation and general relaxation, the important of which should not be underestimated. A wide range of health conditions are stress related and any practice that reduces stress will have far reaching effects on the general health of the individual. In addition when people are calmer they will be more likely to engage with their family, friends and all others that they encounter in a positive way, which then will improve the ealth of the social environment on more subtle levels.

 

 

Prolonged pressure (without force) increases synovial fluid and hyloraunic acids, keeping joints supple and pliant (opposite from atrophy, imbalance, fixation, dried out, brittle, hard, and more susceptible to injury)

☀Feeling of calm and balance

☀Regulated energy levels (chi-energy)

☀Greater strength

☀Improved health

☀Stress levels lowered

☀Greater stamina

☀Flexibility of the body’s connective tissues and joints

☀Slowed signs of aging

☀Improved meditation

☀Deeper Relaxation

☀Improved practice of yang yoga

☀Conditions you to sit longer and more comfortably

☀Also helps lengthen response time, stregnthens limbic system, hypothalamus, aid in the treatment of drug and alcohol, pain and trauma recovery, and eating disorders.

To start your onsite workplace Yin Yoga class, contact 314-630-1677.  We have been teaching Yin style yoga in addition to our regular Vinyasa classes for over ten years!!  Feel good.  Namaste.

 

How To Manage Your Corporate Yoga Program

darling-harbour-313216_640Setting up corporate yoga classes at your organization is the first step. You need to continuously manage the classes to get the most out of the wellness programs.

Here are a few tips we would like to share with you – these tips are based on many years of experience offering yoga programs to different organizations in and around St. Louis:

Have a corporate yoga coordinator who is responsible for communication flow between yoga teacher, company and yoga students. This will cut back on confusion many times thus saving time and sanity for everybody involved.

Explore the demand for on-site wellness programs before you begin looking for a supplier. You need to have a very clear idea about the preferred wellness options of your employees. Also, the number of interested co-workers makes a huge difference in your negotiations.

Ask your employees about best times for yoga classes. The easiest way is to set up an online survey with a few timing options. You can use SurveyMonkey.com for setting up free surveys (up to 100 respondents) or ask your IT department for help.

Promote the new yoga program as soon as you sign the contract with the yoga teacher. Let everybody know about the new classes so they can begin scheduling this new activity in their week.

Pay or no-pay classes? In our experience most yoga students have no issue with paying a small fee per class. Usually it is max $4-5. It is great savings for the people with the added flexibility and time saving as the class is offered at the workplace. Of course offering the new yoga program free of charge is also a very welcome idea.

One idea to try: gather the contribution your employees pay towards the yoga classes and use the funds to support a charity or company cause. Maybe help an employee in need with the funds? There are so many possibilities to use this money in the spirit of compassion, cooperation and support!

Pick a room for yoga with the help of the yoga teacher you are engaging. Let the instructor have a look at the available rooms and help you decide which one to take. You need some space around the yoga mats while practicing yoga – it can get very uncomfortable if you don’t have a big enough room. Also, the yoga teacher might need some space to store a few items between classes (e.g. mats, props, etc)

Share the company yoga experience in your newsletter to attract a continuous flow of students to the classes.

In case of changes due to holidays, vacations, or emergencies, try to notify all people involved as soon as you can. Please notify the yoga teacher immediately. It makes sense to create a separate mailer or email list of employees who are involved with the classes so you can reach them easily and quickly.

One class is not enough? Try to add classes and even different time if yoga got really popular at your organization. Offering yoga classes on-site is an excellent investment and brings real ROI to most businesses.

St. Louis Corporate Yoga will help you design the best program for your company. Just give us a call at 314-630-1677 or send an inquiry through the Contact page.

Help Your Employees Deal with Job Stress

calculator-178127_640Is your organization one of the very few companies worldwide whose employees have only moderate stress? It is no secret that stress is commonplace and even expected in a work environment.

While some stress will actually increase productivity, there is a fine balance between stress that helps and stress that destroys performance. Conflicting personalities and work methods, increased responsibilities, pressure from management and peers – it all adds up to increasing stress levels for your people.

How can an organization help its employees to better deal with work related stress? Yes, it is possible to ease the burden of stress with simple and cost effective methods!

Create an environment that supports a great work climate. If there is a chance to involve your employees in creating their own work spaces, definitely take advantage of that.  Even if all you offer is to decide on the color scheme of the office, your employees will be happier to work in a room they helped design. Soft uplifting colors, some selected art pieces on the walls will work wonders to keep employees inspired all day.

Invest in ergonomic furniture if all possible. Sitting for hours in the office is a cause of many dangerous health issues. People who suffer from constant pain have very low tolerance level for stress. Fortunately there are many healthy options out there, special chairs and even standing desks enabling working standing up. What a blessing to be able to choose the position that minimizes any discomfort. These ergonomic options might cost more at first, but will pay back in the long run.

Add a plant to every office. Large plants will clean the office air and adding to the wellbeing of your employees. Their vitality and lovely green colors will cheer up everybody.

Adding an aquarium to an open office or to the entrance area will soothe the eyes of not just your people, your visitors will enjoy the sight, too.

Many companies had good experience with using Feng Shui (Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment)  principles when designing the workplace.

Offering seminars and programs around health, nutrition, and overall well-being gives your employee an opportunity to heal what ails them. Having speakers come to speak on subjects of yoga, exercise, and healthy food choices gives an employee the opportunity to learn techniques and tactics to de-stress on his or her own.

Financing corporate wellness programs is an investment although many times employees are more than happy to contribute to the costs.

St. Louis Corporate Yoga brings yoga to the workplace! On the basis of more than a decade of offering yoga classes at the office we know that when you take an interest in the well-being of your employees’ it will reflect in your office atmosphere. This is a win/win situation.

Would you like to take the first step in adding yoga to the workday? Let us advise you how your organization can integrate yoga in order to have healthier and happier employees. Just call us at 314-630-1677!

 

The Best Start to Your Workday

sunrise-182302_640Do you find that the beginning of your day has a major impact on your whole work day? Have you ever had a real bad start that didn’t want to stop until you finally dropped into bed?

The preparation for a great workday begins in the evening before. The more prep you can do before going to bed, the more stress free your morning become. Now, this doesn’t sound as the most unique tip ever, right? But how many of us do this?

Go to bed early or at least earlier than usual. It is easy to think that you can cut back on sleep. In fact when we have too much on our plates, this might be the first solution we try: let’s burn some midnight oil and get that last pieces of stuff done before we fall in bed. Now this can function for some time, even for weeks. But inevitable the day comes when your body will send you warning signals. Maybe you will find it difficult to fall asleep even if you feel very tired. Or you cannot wake up and sleep in. Or your stress levels explode. Don’t wait until this happens. Respect your sleep and never cut it short except for emergencies.

Get up a few minutes early. If you had enough sleep to replenish your energy, it will be fairly easy to hop out of bed. Did you know that we sleep in 90 minute cycles? If you can time your wake-up at the end of a 90-min cycle, it will be a breeze to wake up the next day. This is how you can easily calculate when you should jump in bed: if you want to wake up at 6am, go to bed at 10:30 pm for getting a good night’s sleep (7,5 hours).

Arrive a few minutes early at the office. Just imagine arriving 5 minutes early instead of 2 minutes late? Do you feel your stress level going down? You ca use the extra 5 minutes to arrive calmly and breathe out when you get to your desk. Maybe making a short action list for the day? Or looking through your projects and making a priority list? Or have a short chat with a co-worker?

Mindful beginnings. Now that you have a few extra minutes in the morning, you can take just 1 minute to be mindful. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly. Then another deep breath. Focus on your body. Breathe in to welcome the day, then breathe out to let all stress flow out of your body. Try this mindful breathing sequence and see the results it bring to your life!

You can repeat the same mindful breathing at lunch break, too. This way you prepare yourself for a stress-less afternoon.

Does your company offer corporate yoga classes at the office? Definitely take advantage of those! And if you don’t have a corporate wellness running at your workplace yet, please talk to the HR staff. Please refer them to this site to learn about the benefits corporate yoga programs offer to all participants!

 

 

 

On-site Yoga Classes Benefit St. Louis County

AnnaGallThis blogpost is a recent interview with Anna Gall, Employee Wellness Coordinator/HR Generalist II with St. Louis County, who speaks candidly with Clayton Yoga about the direct positive benefits Corporate Yoga yoga classes have had on the employees of St. Louis County.

St. Louis County took a keen interest in onsite wellness yoga classes after reviewing the aggregate reports that came back from an overall health assessment given to its employees. Based on these results, St. Louis County realized that its employees had a high level of readiness for fitness classes. 3 years ago, Anna Gall took the initiative to ask Clayton Yoga to present yoga classes to its corporate employees.

Anna enjoys working with Michelle Maue and Clayton Yoga for two big reasons.  One, she is very impressed with Michelle’s level of perseverance and commitment to follow through on the job.  Anna finds that Clayton Yoga offers a high level of professionalism, flexibility and on the job training.  When there are unexpected holidays or room renovations, Clayton Yoga easily adapts to these changes.

The second reason Anna Gall is grateful she went with Clayton Yoga as opposed to mainstream high impact fitness classes, is the accessibility of yoga offers. Anybody can sign up and participate in yoga classes whether they have arthritis in their knee or are just getting started with a new fitness program.

Anna reports that employees feel more relaxed, refreshed and ready to work.  Clients also say they have greater energy, much fewer migraines and the company benefits as a result of overall greater presenteeism.  Employees also report greater concentration, and higher levels of positive energy in the office.

After just 2 years of onsite yoga, word got around from other employees in St. Louis County who also wanted to enjoy onsite yoga classes and the program has doubled from 4 to 9 weekly yoga classes.

Anna Gall feels strongly that the positive results for yoga classes far outweigh overall expenses.  “These classes were found to be very good”, Anna says “in reducing overall stress for many employees who faced high levels of stress daily when dealing directly with the public”.

In summary, County employees were coping better with stress due to their yoga and wellness class. Even more incredible is that insurance claims were lowered on average by 2% for St. Louis County employees’ medical claims.

Anna goes on further to say, “as the level of interest continues to soar, and word of mouth grows, this yoga wellness model is creating a whole new culture at St. Louis County”.  One in which Anna says “employees are wanting to take better care of themselves rather than having others take care of them”.

Anna is most grateful for the quality of work Michelle and Clayton Yoga provide.  Their level of services make it easy to keep communication flowing, and offer a continuous stream of quality yoga classes.

If you know someone or are interested in starting a corporate onsite yoga program, contact Michelle Maue at 314-630-1677.  We would love to have a free phone consultation learning more about your company’s unique interest and needs. Namaste!

 

Corporate Yoga Benefits – A Testimonial

sunbeams-56930_640Ed Enslin, a devoted corporate yoga student with Clayton Yoga finds his weekly yoga classes incredibly beneficial. 

Having been always very athletic, Ed finds however, in his maturing years, the impact life can have on our bodies: “When I took my first yoga class, I was very stiff.  And I had several previous injuries that had not gone away.”   Over 13 years ago, maybe longer, Ed suffered a right broken heel, and after surgery, and many more months of painful recovery, still found it difficult to put his shoe back on.  Even completing simple daily activities like mowing the lawn, left his foot feeling swollen for days.  Also walking up and down the stairs, he had to go one step a time time leading with the left foot only.

At this point, Ed knew he needed to do something and to make healthy lifestyles changes or things were going to get a lot worse.  Ed decided to sign up for his first corporate yoga session with Clayton Yoga.  What initially interested him the most was the low cost and outstanding value.  Because health insurance companies subsidize these corporate yoga onsite classes by more than 70%, individual students no longer have to carry such financial burden.  Ed Enslin, also enjoys the added convenience of onsite yoga classes.  Rain or shine, it is super easy to get to class!

The benefits he has found through attending classes are incredible. While he admits that very often before coming to class, he feels very sore and definitely is not pain free, soon enough, after a few yoga stretches, the soreness goes away.   Also, he is much more interested in keeping an eye out for high potassium levels in the body.

The wellness model has helped Ed Enslin realize what terrible shape he used to be in and how is able to change all of that.  The flexibility and learning that is taking place in my life now is incredible.  The practice of breathing prepares Ed for other office tasks too.   As he gets older, he finds that yoga also helps him to stay physically balanced as well.

He has even found in the past 4-6 months that attending two corporate onsite classes per week is not enough support.  He supplements more yoga with 1-2 additional yoga classes each week at Clayton Yoga studio.  Ed enjoys keeping his injuries at bay and his new found ability to take part in more and more of life’s activities.  Now, he says he can walk up and down the stairs with two feet!

Ed Enslin finds the Clayton Yoga studio teachers to all be very intelligent, dynamic, active and people that he would want to be friends with.  Also, he looks forward to the yoga classes because students are cheerful and bright.

In working with is colleagues, he notices many positive changes there too.  People tend to become more social interactive.  They really look forward to class.  And quite frankly, it makes their day go by faster and folks are more productive.  Because of all these benefits, more and more students are also attending.  The benefits of yoga are there for everyone, but Ed advises that students do need to give themselves more than just 12 weeks to see all their dreams come true too!

Are you interested in being your healthiest and having your own best lifestyle?  If you are interested in more information about starting an onsite yoga class with Clayton Yoga, please contact Michelle at 314-630-1677 or info@claytonyoga.com.

 

Yoga’s Incredible Benefits

architecture-21591_640Companies looking to provide wellness programs to their employees often turn to Yoga for the preventative and healing advantages it provides. What a great choice! The body and mind can be rejuvenated by the gentle moves and deep breathing involved without needing to risk injuries or worsen existing medical conditions.

Here are a few of the amazing advantages that Yoga offers:

Improve Flexibility – Do you believe that you need to be flexible to be able to do yoga? That’s not true – your muscles and joints will become more flexible as a result of a committed yoga practice.

If your employees sit a lot during the workday, there are specific postures that address that issue. An experienced yoga instructor is able to build a customized practice to fit your people’s needs.

Build Muscles – If you think that only weightlifting can develop muscles, you’re wrong. Yoga can assist strengthening muscles through special asanas. You don’t have to lift weights – you can lift your own body weight! We can show you very effective yoga postures where the muscles get sculpted even without trying!

Toning and strengthening of the body is a natural result of consistently practicing Yoga.

Ease Back Pain – Back pain can be distressing and incapacitating. And ultimately decrease the wellbeing and productivity of your work force. Yoga postures can help naturally and provide the relief needed.

Restorative Yoga can neutralize the damage of a sedentary life style and too much sitting in the office. A few easy yoga poses that are terrific to ease back discomfort are Cat/Cow, Downward Dog and Spinal Twist.

Strengthen the Spine – To preserve appropriate spine alignment you have to have flexibility and balance. If your spine isn’t really aligned properly, you can struggle with back pain and lack of motion. A couple of Yoga stretches such as Seated Twist and the Bridge Pose will help to keep your spinal column straightened appropriately and to improve your range of movement.

Boosts Immune System – Priming your immune system for better wellness is essential to fend off colds and flu and other, more severe conditions. Yoga can boost your immune system by enhancing circulation of the lymph – a clear fluid that helps to get rid of microorganisms and viruses.

Yoga poses such as the Child’s Pose and Downward-Facing Dog can considerably benefit the immune system and are easy to practice even during a corporate yoga class.

St. Louis Corporate Yoga classes offer a customized plan to help your employees to enjoy better health and higher productivity. As no two work environments are the same, we will support you to find the best solution for your company!

It is easy to connect with us! Just fill out the box to the right on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible, usually in less than 48 hours’ time. Alternatively you can give Michelle Maue a call at 314-630-1677 .

 

 

 

Office Yoga Programs Are Not Just For Corporations

architecture-22039_640Yoga offered in an office setting is usually referred to as corporate yoga. But it is not just big corporations that can take advantage of all the benefits in-house yoga classes deliver.

Many different type of organizations can benefit from inviting yoga to the workplace!

A company doesn’t have to employ hundreds of people to make adding on-site wellness programs worthwhile. Small companies with 5-10 employees can make this concept work, too!

Non-profit organizations, hospitals, hotels and government organizations can all benefit from our programs.

We offer on-site private yoga classes, small group classes and yoga classes up to 25 participants.

One of our new offers is private yoga classes at the workplace. Many busy executives don’t have the time to travel to a yoga studio after work. On the other hand, these managers have to cope with very high stress levels daily. The practice during lunch hour, before or after work might be the only opportunity for them. A private class offers privacy and sole focus on the person’s needs.

There are many different ways to finance corporate yoga programs. Your health insurance might finance the costs of such program full or at least partly. In our experience the employees who take advantage of in-house classes gladly pay a small fee per class, too.

A few months ago we ran a pilot case study program at one of our valued partner companies. Our goal was to understand what type of improvements yoga class participants enjoy after practicing for just 3 months. The results were very positive! If you would like to get a copy of the executive summary of this case study, please let us know. We are very proud of our results and would be more than happy to share it with you!

Would you like to hear what our corporate yoga students has to say about their experience with St. Louis Corporate Yoga? We have interviewed a few of our enthusiastic students and recorded these videos where they share their results: http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/praise/

Would you like to have a peek at how our business yoga classes are running? Check out our class videos here: http://stlouiscorporateyoga.com/videos/

We are famous for our flexibility and client friendliness when we prepare an office yoga proposal for our prospects. No matter if your organization has 10 employees or 1000, we will find the best way to share yoga with everybody in the company.

Please call Michelle at 314-630-1677 to explore the possibilities of offering in-house wellness programs! You are also welcome to send us a message through the message box to the right side of this webpage! We will connect with you soon!

 

You Need To Stop

stop-37020_640If your company is caring enough to organize and invest in corporate yoga programs, make sure you make the most of those classes! We gathered a few behaviors you need to STOP doing during your on-site yoga class to benefit the most.

Stop the comparisons

It is very attempting to check out how your colleagues are doing during class. We all do it from time to time, don’t we? It is OK to peak once in a while… but don’t waste much time and energy on this.

Pay attention to your body instead. Our bodies always try to communicate with us well ahead of time that an illness manifests in symptoms. We just don’t have time and patience to listen. A class can give you this precious opportunity so focus on yourself!

In yoga we are all on our own path. What another student does is not relevant. Judgment or criticism have absolutely no place in a yoga class.

Stop the hard work

Practicing yoga is supposed to be fun. Lighten up a bit, this is no performance sport! You are doing awesome if you make it to the class, practice focused on yourself and enjoy this special hour of the day. Keep your expectations realistic. One class will change your state for some time but will not be able to remedy all your troubles. The longer you practice, the more beneficial changes you will notice in your life.

Stop pushing through the pain

If something hurts, stop. If you feel slight discomfort doing a pose, you might try it again after waiting a few seconds. If you feel pain, stop and ask your instructor how to proceed. She might have a modification that fits your body better or can show you a different pose that will deliver similar benefits to the original. You are taking a yoga class to relax and nurture yourself not to suffer.

Stop the thought carousel

All the problems, the worries, the questions from your work and private life might scream for attention when you finally take some time off your schedule. Why? It is easy to hush away those worries when you have 100 things on your to-do list.

Yoga class might be the only 60 minutes in a week when you have a single focus: you are doing yoga so it is impossible to call somebody while reading email and trying to put some files away. Of course problems and life’s big questions will try to take over this sacred time! If this happens, focus on your breath again and again. This can be a challenge, we know. Please try again… and again…and again.

Stop being late or leaving early

Arriving too late or leaving minutes before a class finishes is not very considerate to your fellow yogis. We know that it is sometimes not easy to get away from your desk! And there might be very good reasons for leaving the class early. But please do not make a habit of this behavior!

It disturbs the flow of the class for all participants. And it also kills the whole purpose of you taking these classes. Make a commitment to respect yourself and your fellow yogis!

Can’t wait to meet you in a corporate yoga class very soon!

 

 

Yoga Research Findings Enhance On-site Corporate Wellness Classes

11728051_sDr. Benson at the Harvard Medical School found that a certain amount of stress is good.  A little stress is a good thing. Whether you are doing a job, playing a game, raising a child.  Some stress motivates us to adapt to more difficult situations.  A little stress can be fun, motivating and even interesting.

But too much stress is a bad thing. Dr Benson uses a graph to show how increasing stress raises your performance and efficiency until you reach a certain point – after that point, more stress causes your performance to decline and efficacy to reduce.  Also too much stress can cause a person’s locus of control to be placed outside of one’s own experience.

In recent survey taken at the Mind Body Institute, Americans identify stress as their number one health concern today.  More than 50 % of adults in the U. S report high stress on a daily basis.  Untreated, stress can seriously affect performance, health, and well-being.  This chronic type of stress the never lets up weakens the immune system, making us vulnerable to disease, and harder to recover from illness.

Dr. Andrew Weil has also found that even in remote parts of Africa, more and more patients are visits doctors for stress related symptoms such as ulcers, headaches and indigestion.  More than 60% of all healthcare visits are related to mind-body stress induced conditions.

The key according to Dr. Herbert Benson, is to break the chain of everyday triggers or thoughts that worry usThe Dalai Lama says there are two types of problems, one the kind we can do something about and in that case, it is very important not to worry and in the second type, this problem is something we can do nothing about, and also not to worry!  When we take deeper breaths, or go for a walk or bike ride, our heart beats slower and our brain waves slow down.

According to Mehmet Oz, MD, the average person’s breath is between 16 to 20 breaths per minute.  Researchers found that 23 women and men who recited Om mane padme hum and the Ave Maria prayer slowed their breathing to a rate of about 6 breaths per minute compared to spontaneous breathing and random talking.  What this suggests is that prayer or mantra chanting slows the “internal metronome” lessening the risk of heart attacks and strokes.  Chanting or saying prayers increases our concentration and synchronizes cardiovascular rhythms creating a sense of calm and well-being.

Also it has been reported the best physiological benefits include pulse rate decrease, respiratory rate decrease, blood pressure decrease, galvanic skin response increase, alpha wave increase, posture improves, endocrine function normalizes, endurance increase, energy level increases, immunity increases, sleep improves and energy levels increase.

There is without a doubt then, through the scientific research findings here that just with a few minutes of practice, our breathing can break the chain of stress and bring about nourishing, nurturing healing energy to the brain and body.  For more information on starting a corporate on-site yoga class at your company, call us at 314-630-1677.  Namaste!

 

 

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