Workplace Yoga: A Win-Win

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Yoga W/ Marca now offers a suite of Corporate Wellness Services. We deliver our mind-body wellness services, including yoga, in-house to small businesses and large corporations during the work week.

Employee wellness programming is quickly becoming a standard of competitive employee benefits packages. Oftentimes, this includes regular weekly yoga and mindfulness classes.  

Corporate Wellness Programs benefit both the employer and employee making it a win-win for everyone. The employer wins by increasing productivity, lowering absenteeism and health care costs, and fostering morale with workplace camaraderie. Time and cost are the main barriers for people who might like to add yoga into their schedules. By offering complimentary yoga to workers during their workday, these barriers are removed and the employees have a win, too!

Whether you are en employer or an employee, consider bringing Yoga W/ Marca to your workplace. We will work with you and your company to customize programming to meet your wellness goals.

For more information, visit https://www.yogawithmarca.com/corporate-wellness-services/


Benefits of a regular yoga practice:

  • Stress relief: The practice of yoga is well-demonstrated to reduce the physical effects of stress on the body. The body responds to stress through a fight-or-flight response, which is a combination of the sympathetic nervous system and hormonal pathways activating, releasing cortisol – the stress hormone – from the adrenal glands. Cortisol is often used to measure the stress response. Yoga practice has been demonstrated to reduce the levels of cortisol. Most yoga classes end with savasana, a relaxation pose, which further reduces the experience of stress.

  • Pain relief: Yoga can ease pain. Studies have shown that practicing yoga asanas (postures), meditation or a combination of the two, reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune diseases and hypertension as well as arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions.

  • Better breathing: Yoga includes breathing practices known as pranayama, which can be effective for reducing our stress response, improving lung function and encouraging relaxation. Many pranayamas emphasize slowing down and deepening the breath, which activates the body’s parasympathetic system, or relaxation response. By changing our pattern of breathing, we can significantly affect our body’s experience of and response to stress. This may be one of the most profound lessons we can learn from our yoga practice.

  • Flexibility: Yoga can improve flexibility and mobility and increase range of motion. Over time, the ligaments, tendons and muscles lengthen, increasing elasticity.

  • Increased strength: Yoga asanas use every muscle in the body, increasing strength literally from head to toe. A regular yoga practice can also relieve muscular tension throughout the whole body.

  • Weight management: While most of the evidence for the effects of yoga on weight loss is anecdotal or experiential, yoga teachers, students and practitioners across the world find that yoga helps to support weight loss. Many teachers specialize in yoga programs to promote weight management and find that even gentle yoga practices help support weight loss. People do not have to practice the most vigorous forms of yoga to lose weight. Yoga encourages development of a positive self-image, as more attention is paid to nutrition and the body as a whole. A study from the Journal of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that regular yoga practice was associated with less age-related weight gain. The lifestyle study of 15,500 adults in their 50’s covered 10 years of participants’ weight history, physical activity, medical history and diet.

  • Improved circulation: Yoga helps to improve circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells.

  • Cardiovascular conditioning: Even a gentle yoga practice can provide cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate, increasing endurance and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.

  • Presence: Yoga connects us with the present moment. The more we practice, the more aware we become of our surroundings and the world around us. It opens the way to improved concentration, coordination, reaction time and memory.

  • Inner peace: The meditative effects of a consistent yoga practice help many cultivate inner peace and calm. (Yoga Alliance)

Position Yourself as the Student

"To understand is to stand under which is to look up to, which is a good way to understand."

- Sister Corita

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It's National Teacher Appreciation Week. I have so many teachers in my life from whom I learn and grow from; my yoga teachers, my business coach, my mother, and my students to name a few. Teachers exist in all areas of my life. But in order for them to teach me, I have to orient myself to their wisdom.

What does this mean? I like the Corita Kent quote above; "To understand is to stand under which is to look up to, which is a good way to understand." To engage in the rewarding, lifelong learning journey, one must always remember how to be the student. And to be a student, one must position themselves for learning from the teacher before them.  We must stand under and look up to, with reverence, what the teacher is trying to impart to us. 

As my kindergartner and fifth graders navigate through their grade school years, I've had a lot of thoughts about how to foster the innate love of learning that we are all born with and tragically, for many of us, fades or becomes completely extinguished by one or a collection of negative experiences with education. How do I keep them hungry to learn and support their instinct to dig deeper when a subject excites them? 

Over the past several years I have budgeted healthy portions of my time and money pies to my own continued learning. I value lifelong learning and hope my children learn from my own example to never stop growing and seeking deeper knowledge in their subject or subjects of interest. Every week I attend classes, and many weekends I spend in workshops. 

I have a yoga mentor who I train with every week and I can't tell you how valuable this relationship is to me in my life. The teacher/student relationship can be very rewarding. Not often do our friends and family members share our same interests. It can be a very deep and meaningful experience to find a mentor who can take you further in your own educational pursuits as well as someone with whom you can dialogue, bounce ideas off of, and who can reflect back to you where you may be stuck or misguided. 

In yoga, our aim to make the body more supple in hopes that it will have the same effect on the mind. Lifelong learning can have the same effect on the mind;  we condition ourselves to the learning process which innately invites a certain flexibility and agility to the mind. In the learning process we take risks, we make mistakes, we adapt and modify and try again, and eventually we perfect. 

I have all sorts of students I teach and I can tell those who are lifelong learners versus those who aren't. There is a certain rigidity that takes over when one stops the active learning process. There is more aversion and attachment. A good student should be able to learn from any teacher. The difficultly is positioning yourself to that teacher. Which requires a certain flexibility on the student's part. 

Every week, give thanks for your teachers. And also, to the good students who bend their ear in just the right way to listen to their teacher. 

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