Why yoga, meditation and mindfulness are good for managing work stress
Workplace stress can wreak havoc on our health – triggering headaches and anxiety in the short term and depression, heart attacks, and strokes in the longer term. No wonder they call stress the silent killer.
I have dived deep into the clinical studies on yoga, mindfulness and meditation and they provide insurmountable evidence in support of these practices as a powerful way to manage stress at work.
These studies conclude that yoga is proven to speed up recovery from stress, to reduce anger and anxiety, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and to reduce fatigue.
Physiologically yoga changes the balance of the autonomic nervous system - towards (relaxed) parasympathetic dominance, helping to calm the adrenal glands, reduce blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels, improving hormone function and oxygen uptake.
These physiological changes not only help to improve work performance, but also improve our experience of work by creating significant improvements in our perceptions of stress.
Mindfulness and meditation have also been proven to create a more positive state of mind, improve self-compassion and self-esteem and reduce the impact of common workplace hassles.
For more on yoga for work stress visit
See also yoga for anxiety
See also yoga for headaches
How to deal with stress at work using yoga, meditation and mindfulness
Dealing with stress at work needs to be a joint effort on the part of both employer and employee. The employer should provide space and time for the practice, and the employee must actually do the practice!
A daily yoga and or meditation class, at the beginning of the day, at lunchtime, or at the end of the day is ideal. It doesn’t have to be a long class – half an hour would suffice – but it does have to be regular. It is the frequency of the practice, getting in the habit of letting go – ideally when the stress is happening, that is critical. Half an hour every day works much better than two hours twice a week.
If it’s not possible for the company to provide a yoga teacher, the space could be provided, and employees could practice on their own using an online subscription service like Glo or Gaia.
Employees can also be encouraged to practice exercises at their desk. This 12-minute practice by leading yoga teacher Anna Ashby will help workers release the build-up of tension in the neck and shoulders when they have spent too long at their desk. It aims to open up the shoulders and torso, bringing a sense of space to both mind and body. Click here to access the practice: Look for Class 3 "Release Tension at your Desk.
Meditation and mindfulness practice is easy for employees to do on their own – the company could pay for a subscription service like Calm or HeadSpace and employees could wear headphones to access practices at their preferred time in a room set aside for the purpose.
This short sweet and simple 8-minute desk-based meditation, also by leading yoga teacher Anna Ashby, has been designed to calm and invigorate mind and body, bringing a spacious quality to both. Click here to access the practice: Look for Class 4 "Meditation at your Desk."
YogaClicks can provide yoga mats, meditation cushions and equipment to corporates at discounted rates. We can also create yoga and meditation inspired corporate gifts for your employees. The best corporate Christmas gift ever! Please get in touch with email@example.com for more information.
NB. Please check health and safety regulations before offering these practices to employees.