Three Ways to Promote a Mindful Office for Your Employees

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Did you know 22% of companies now offer mindfulness training? Corporate warriors like Apple, Google, and Aetna have recognized the importance of mindfulness in the workplace and have dedicated entire programs to making sure their employees are staying stress-free and focusing on the present moment. If your company doesn’t have a plan in place for promoting mindfulness, now is the perfect time to start.

The benefits of making mindfulness an integral part of your company’s culture are endless. In addition to reducing stress and increasing productivity, a mindfulness program does worlds for sending a positive message to employees and ultimately, in attracting and retaining talent.

Here are three ways to promote a mindful office for your employees.

 

1. Offer on-site yoga and wellness classes.

We already know giving your employees a brief break from their daily 9-5 can help improve their overall being (Harvard Business Review reports it can even help spark emotional intelligence!), and during the course of a lunch break, employers can offer their employees an entire yoga class. Chasing Nirvana Yoga, for instance, offers on-site yoga and wellness classes that cater to each company to meet its individual needs. Even a lunch-and-learn with a wellness expert can promote mindfulness in eating and nutrition. Try carving out an hour once or twice a week and encourage your employees to take advantage of a mindful activity.

 

2. Designate no-email hours, if appropriate for your industry.

The average person checks their email 15 times a day on different devices. Now that’s a mindfulness disrupter! If you’re not in a time-sensitive industry like a news room, try out a company-wide no-email hour (or half hour if you’re hesitant to be offline that long). Not only will this give people the chance to focus on the present moment, it will minimize distractions so employees can get a project done in one sitting without interruptions.

 

3. Encourage employees to give up long hours.

Is your office open from 9-5? Unless it is a special circumstance, give your employees the verbal go-ahead to pack up and head home right at 5 p.m.! Many employees don’t realize they’re working late hours until the room goes dark, and some may even put in extra time because they don’t want to be the first to leave. Work-life balance is essential for promoting mindfulness, and by letting your employees know you respect their personal life, you’ll reduce stress, increase loyalty, and give employees a chance to wind down for the evening peacefully. If your employees have difficulty getting their work done by 5 on a normal basis, sit down and help them prioritize. You may be able to take something off their plate!

It’s clear that mindfulness in the workplace is here to stay. By promoting a mindful office for your employees, you’re creating a healthy environment that encourages productivity and happiness. What steps are you taking to make mindfulness a priority in your day to day?

The American Workforce is More Mindful Than Ever Before

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There must be something in the air, because studies are showing American employees are paying more attention to mindfulness and holistic health practices than ever before. This is great news – we know that activities like yoga and meditation have proven to improve employee well-being, productivity, and overall health.

The American workforce is becoming more mindful. In a new study of more than 85,000 adults, yoga practice among U.S. workers nearly doubled from 2002 to 2012, from 6 percent to 11 percent. Meditation rates also increased, from 8 percent to 9.9 percent.
— TIME

Based on these rising numbers, the study makes another good point. Incorporating mindfulness practices into the workplace experience – through employee wellness and stress-reduction programs, yoga and meditation classes, and web-based offerings – can be a way for companies to encourage their workers to take care of themselves both inside and outside the office.

As a whole, mindfulness practices can ‘address multiple workplace wellness needs, benefiting both employees and employers,’ the study authors say.
— TIME

At Chasing Nirvana Yoga, we offer on-site yoga and wellness services for offices, apartment buildings, and more. We’ve already seen the benefits these types of classes provide, and many of the companies we work with offer our services on a continual schedule because they recognize the importance of overall wellness. It’s worth its weight in gold.

Read more in TIME on the recent studies showing that mindfulness is picking up steam in the workplace. To learn more about how mindfulness and holistic health practices can help you get through your day to day, connect with us at www.chasingnirvanayoga.com!

5 Tips for Newbies Attending Their First On-Site Yoga Class

New Yogi

So, your office is jumping on the wellness train and is offering an on-site yoga class during your lunch break. Or maybe you’re a tenant of an apartment complex, and your landlord or building manager posted a flier advertising a community yoga class, free of charge, right downstairs. The problem is, you’ve never attended a yoga class, and you don’t know your chaturangas from your namastes.

Are you going to skip out? Of course not! You just need a support system to get your head in the game, and don’t worry. We’ve got your back! Here are 5 tips for newbies attending their first on-site yoga class.

1. Wear comfortable clothes.

One of the best parts of yoga is that you’re encouraged to dress comfortably, which is a huge perk if you’ve spent the day in work clothes. Though there are many well-known brands out there, don’t feel like you need to dress in designer yoga clothes to get the full experience! Keep it simple. Wear stretchy pants or shorts (exercise attire is just fine!), and a comfortable shirt that is a bit fitted, since many yoga poses will have you bending at the waist. Most often, yoga is done barefoot, so don’t worry about footwear – but if you’re uncomfortable taking off your shoes in front of strangers, opt for socks with non-slip grips.

2. Bring a water bottle.

If you’re a beginner, yoga can be tricky, and you’ll likely find yourself sweating and out of breath at one point or another. Make sure to bring a water bottle to hydrate yourself if need be! However, try not to overdo it, because if you leave for a bathroom break, you’ll interrupt your flow and may distract other yogis in the room. After class is over, be sure to hydrate plenty. Your body will thank you for it after you exercise it in new ways!

3. Show up with an open mind.

Even if you’re skeptical, always try to show up to your first yoga class with an open mind. You never know what aspects of class you’ll like best! All yoga teachers have a different approach, and if you enjoy your time on the mat, you’ll want to practice with many different instructors to find the best fit for you. Don’t be afraid to try that tricky-looking pose, to modify poses to fit your needs, or to chant “OM” loudly with the group! You’ll never know what works for you unless you try it all!

4. Sit in the middle of the room.

One of the best tips for yoga newbies is to sit somewhere in the middle of the room during your first class. That way you’ll have other yogis in front, behind, and on all sides of you in case you need help understanding the way a pose is supposed to look. Most instructors will walk around the room and offer adjustments and assistance if need be, so don’t worry about sitting right up front. Give yourself plenty of room and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. Be kind to yourself.

Above all, be kind to yourself before, during, and after your first yoga class! It can be very intimidating signing up for something new, and you’ve already done a great job by expressing interest. Even the most disciplined yogi is never through with their yoga journey. Yoga is an ongoing practice, and you can’t fail because each person’s practice is their own. Continue showing up to class and you will thrive!

Chasing Nirvana Yoga offers on-site yoga classes for employers, landlords, building owners, and every organization in between. To request more information, please visit www.chasingnirvanayoga.com.