• Wed, Jan 4 2012

Taking Yoga May Make You More Employable

Karnataka, India is the home of a women’s-only engineering college, GSSS Institute of Engineering and Technology for Women. In order to prepare students to face this very competitive industry it is encouraging them to take up yoga. The institute believes soft skills like these will help these women be more employable. Being able to deal with stress calmly is certainly a very employable trait.

in 2007, the college constructed a meditation hall, it was conceptualized as an add-on facility to help the students ease out academic stress. The facility is now being used to accustom the girls to handle stressful situations, thus increasing their employability. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s engineers. If students accommodate meditation in their routine, they can handle stress better. Even I do meditation here whenever I feel like,” said P Prakash, principal.

Twenty minutes per day of guided workplace meditation and yoga combined with six weekly group sessions can lower feelings of stress by more than 10% and improve sleep quality in sedentary office employees, a pilot study suggests. “It doesn’t matter what the stress is, but how you change the way you perceive the stress,” said Maryanna Klatt, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of clinical allied medicine at Ohio State.. “I like to describe mindfulness as changing the way you see what’s already there. It’s a tool that teaches people to become aware of their options. If they can’t change the external events in their life, they can instead change the way they view the stress, which can make a difference in how they experience their day-to-day life.”

This institute isn’t the first one to realize yoga can help both relieve stress and increase productivity. There are actually two whole yoga movements, Corporate Yoga and Workplace Yoga, which particularly focuses on helping people reduce work stress. Catherine Halcomb has been working with corporations and small businesses since 1989. Before she became interested in yoga Catherine was helping to bring unity and teamwork to the workplace. Having seen the benefits yoga has had on her students, Catherine began teaching Yoga in the workplace. She has a mobile yoga center that includes yoga mats, belts, blocks and blankets. All of the equipment needed to conduct a yoga class in a board room, office or recreation area. Some of the companies she has worked with include AT&T, DuPont, PG&E, IBM, Bank of America, MSN, Minnesota Vikings and numerous small businesses. [tagbox tag="health"]

Some companies do offer yoga in the workplace but it seems that it hasn’t become as big a part of corporate culture as one would hope. More companies should consider this though as studies show that companies who offer yoga and wellness programs to their employees reduce their annual health insurance premiums, and therefore improve their bottom line. According to a recent study on worksite health programs, corporations realized $3 – $6 in savings for every $1 invested in wellness programs. The same study showed more than a 25% average reduction in health-care costs for well-designed programs  according to the American Journal of Health Promotion. A report from the United States Department of Health and Human Services revealed that worksites with physical activity programs, such as yoga, have reduced healthcare costs by 20 to 55%, reduced short-term sick leave by 6 to 32% and increased productivity by 2 to 52%. Throw in a Lulu Lemon discount and I’ll sign up tomorrow.

Photo:  Diego Cervo/Shutterstock.com

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