Thursday, June 11, 2015

Should Yoga be Part of Your Corporate Wellness Plan

Yoga is a sport that is in perceptual search for health and tranquility. Through stretching, breathing and focus one is able to calm their mind and strengthen their body. Because yoga requires almost no equipment and can be practiced by people of any fitness level it is a solid exercise that is included in a growing number of corporate wellness programs. Wellness enthusiasts can expect to find physical and mental advantages when they engage in this ancient practice.

Wellness programs are becoming a popular way to reduce corporate costs associated with obesity, ill health, and disease. According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, Johnson & Johnson saved $2.71 per $1 dollar spent on wellness. Wellness programs can include anything from smoking cessation to healthy eating. Yoga seems to tie all the different health improvements initiatives together in an unbrella practice.

Physical Advantages:

Yoga improves flexibility, range of motion, strength and balance that is important for the sports enthusiast and graceful aging. Because yoga is preventative by nature, it encourages your body to adjust slowly before major health complications. Business people should consider the merits of yoga in keeping their health and motivation high.

One of the nice aspects of yoga is that you can start at any fitness level. It is an adaptable activity based on the needs of each person. Strength training can be enhanced by power yoga, cardio through incorporating faster movements, relaxation through slower breathing movements, and flexibility by stretching motions.

Mental Advantages:

Yoga improves focus and stress management. A person will hold a pose, focus, and breath slowly. The hope is that one can move into the higher brain and become part of the "nothingness". When the world around stops a person begins to connect with themselves at a deeper level and understand their needs better. The practice is akin to meditation.

Stress is a major killer in the country, and our complex lives are not getting any easier. There are lots of competing interests and stressful events that go on each day. Reducing stress will have an impact on motivation, satisfaction, health and retention. Reducing chronic stress can free a person to perform to their fullest potential.

Leonard, B., Mirabito, A. & Baun, W. (2010). What's the hard return on employee wellness programs? Harvard Business Review. Retrieved

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