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Relevance Of Yoga & Meditation At The Workplace

Here's everything you need to know about the benefits of yoga and meditation in the workplace.

Relevance Of Yoga & Meditation At The Workplace

Meditation and yoga can help lower work stress

The ancient science of yoga acts as a holistic way of attaining overall well-being, helping people to easily fight off stress, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Yoga enhances clarity in employees, instigates creative thinking, helps cultivate teamwork and leadership, improves communications skills, and increases overall performance at the workplace. 

A recent survey by Marsh India revealed that 3 in 5 employees feel extremely, highly, or moderately stressed regularly which is higher than the average of both the global and Asian regions. Some of the reasons behind work-related stress are long working hours, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or co-workers, and job insecurity. All this can lead to a drop in productivity and performance in employees, stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Therefore, some of the biggest corporations across the world like Forbes, Apple, GE, Google, HBO, GM, and Nike are already offering corporate yoga classes to employees helping them to get healthier, less anxious and stressed, and more productive at work. 

Why do Yoga and Meditation at the Workplace Matter?

Yoga and meditation's approach to wellness focuses on the body's natural tendency to self-heal. While there are various types of yoga practices, anyone, starting from an average healthy person to an inactive person, can practice yoga to explore their limits and get in tune with their body and inner-self. Here are some of the benefits of yoga and meditation at the workplace:

1. Reduced Stress

Long working hours coupled with tight deadlines and extreme workload can often lead to stress among employees. It can also lead to turnover, absenteeism, and decreased productivity. Yoga is an effective way to beat stress along with its adverse effects. Practicing yoga on a daily basis reduces cortisol levels in the body which reduces stress and eliminates its associated aspects. 

2. More Energy

Sitting for long hours at the desk along with a sedentary lifestyle can reduce blood circulation in the body and eventually lead to lower energy and fatigue. With the help of dynamic movements, yoga enhances blood circulation within the body reducing fatigue and increasing energy levels. 

3. Increased Focus

The mind often gets cluttered with endless meetings, heavy workloads, and crunching deadlines. This can hamper an employee's decision-making and impede the ability to focus. Yoga and meditation can teach employees to have a focussed and still mind, improving productivity. 

4. Enhanced Creativity

With more focus and concentration, the creative aspect of employees also increases with yoga. Regular practice of yoga broadens and supports creative expression. It helps refine the inner emotions, which results in better creative expression among employees. 

5. Easy Yoga Asanas at the Workplace

Here are some yoga asanas which can be performed at the workplace to energise the body, reduce aches and stay focused.

1. Seated Crescent Moon Pose

How to do:

• Sit comfortably in a chair with a straight back

• Lift the arms overhead and stretch the fingers wide

• While leaning to the right from the waist take a deep breath and gradually come back 

• Repeat on the other side

• Continue the practice for a minute

Benefits: The pose deeply stretches the sides of the body and improves core strength, concentration and balance. 

2. Chair Pigeon Pose

How to do:

• Sit comfortably in a chair

• Put the right ankle on the left knee making sure that they are in a straight line

• Inhale deeply for 7-8 seconds and repeat with the left ankle on the right knee

• To intensify the practice, bend down a little while inhaling and exhaling 

Benefits: The pose opens up the hips, which supports flexibility and mobility. It also stretches the hip flexors and the lower back, which get tight due to prolonged sitting.

3. Neck Asana

How to do:

• Sit in a chair or on the floor

• Maintain a straight back

• Breathe in while bending the head to the left

• Exhale while taking your head to the normal position

• Repeat the same on the right side

Benefits: Expands the range of motion and elasticity in the cervical (neck) joints, and relieves the stiffness that comes with long hours of work.

4. Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

How to do:

• Sit comfortably with the back straight and close the eyes 

• Extend the tongue as far as possible outside the mouth

• Roll the edges of the tongue up so as to form a tube-like shape 

• Deeply breathe in through the rolled tongue

• At the end of the inhalation, bring the tongue in, close the mouth, and exhale through the nose.

• Repeat it for 9 rounds

Benefits: It helps to calm down and focus. It also reduces stress and anger and aids in digestion.

5. 10-15 Minutes of Meditation

How to do:

• Find a quiet and calm place inside the office

• Take a seat and switch off your mobile phone

• Close your eyes and notice the breath as it moves in and out of the body

• Inevitably, the mind will wander after a few seconds or minutes. When that happens, simply focus on the breath and regain back the attention

• After 10-15 minutes, gradually open the eyes and notice the emotions and thoughts

Final Words

Work is one of the biggest stressors in today's life. However, with the daily practice of yoga at the workplace, it is easy to beat the stress and remain happy and productive. 

Content By:  Dr. Deepak Mittal, Founder, Divine Soul Yoga

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