Workplace stress is an ongoing problem in this age of downsizing, information overload and job insecurity. Stress at work can lead to health problems ranging from high blood pressure to headaches.
Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice which can help alleviate stress and anxiety. More than 20 million Americans now practice yoga, according to a recent survey produced by Yoga Journal. But yoga practice at work is still unusual.
Divan Dave is out to change that for his employees, both in Tarrytown, NY and in Ahmedabad, India. The CEO of Integrated Systems Management, Inc., which is headquartered in Tarrytown, is a big believer in yoga for himself and the people at his company.
“Our software developers spend long hours in front of their computers, both in India and in New York,” Dave said. “I believe practicing yoga helps them be healthier and less stressed. So we hold yoga classes in the India office, and we pay for our Tarrytown employees to take classes at Riverstone Yoga.”
Several of the software engineers have reported that yoga is now part of their lives due to the classes. Some have lost weight, while others feel more relaxed and less physically stiff. Satish Nair, human resources manager, said, “Employees who do yoga regularly have fewer sick days.”
How can you bring yoga to your workplace? If your office has a large meeting room, that can serve as a yoga studio. There are many yoga teachers in Westchester and Putnam Counties who are willing to hold private group classes on your premises as well as in their studios. Also, some health insurance plans offer discounts on yoga classes through their alternative medicine programs, which can be another way to find a group instructor.
A new study from a researcher at Wayne State University has found that just 20 minutes of yoga is enough to influence concentration, focus and ability to learn in positive ways. It’s worthwhile to make time for yoga during the workday.