Should Yoga Should Be a Part of Your DEI Program?
Department Heads and HR Departments are always looking for fun new ways for teams to bond and work together to achieve great things through DEI training. While Yoga isn’t new by any stretch of the imagination it is fairly new in terms of being used this way and it works well on many levels. It’s okay if you aren’t a professional yogi (most of us aren’t either) because the more you experience, the more comfortable and confident you will feel in participating in DEI events and new activities you’re unfamiliar with.
Beyond balance, fitness, and physical dexterity, Yoga is able to teach us how to move in harmony with a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds that differ from our own. Yoga has also crossed over in terms of cultural benefits and individual benefits. Embarking on a wonderful journey with yoga is more exciting most especially if it is culturally diverse and inclusive. Diversity, after all, is what encourages inclusion by illuminating what is different in all of us.
Here are 5 reasons why yoga should be a part of your next DEI program:
1.) Yoga teaches us that we are all one.
The energy and light that resides in all of us come from the same source. How do we teach the world at large that it is okay to be different and embrace change?
We do that by celebrating our unique selves. We travel to diverse places and experience different cultures through food, music, and social activities. We can also do that by including and encouraging everyone to come to the mat.
Our yoga practice is a true reflection of ourselves. On our mat, we can be our authentic selves. So many people’s lives have been changed from stepping on their mat and finding their own true hearts. Yoga makes us well both physically and emotionally. It makes us more aware of the world around us and more compassionate and accepting of others.
2.) Yoga Relieves Stress
When you think of office wellness, you may think of stress relief. After all, a day in the office (or on Zoom) can be stressful or leave you burnt out (Zoom fatigue is a real thing) for anyone no matter how comfortable you make it through your office space design. You may find yourself dreading the workday, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and poor work ethic. It can also cause a hostile working environment, especially if team members are taking their stress out on one another.
A yoga session encourages everyone to take a deep breath and calm their mind, therefore reducing their stress, anxiety, and depression. The result? It increases motivation and productivity in the workplace, creating a positive work environment for everyone. This also opens up an opportunity to reshape our nervous system toward greater compassion. Without compassion or empathy, we aren’t able to look outside of ourselves and learn from each other or our diverse backgrounds.
3.) Yoga Encourages Team Building
Forget company bowling leagues and softball teams! Yoga has quickly become one of the top corporate team-building exercises, and for good reason. Yoga’s stress-relieving properties not only help your employees power through their own workload but will also help them work more cohesively as a team. One negative attitude can bring down the entire mood of the office, but yoga helps to elevate spirits and keep tempers even. Workplace yoga is also great for team building because it is a shared experience. Having yoga to look forward to and participate in together will encourage bonding within your team regardless of their skill levels.
4.) Yoga Promotes Trust-Building
Some yoga poses can only be undertaken by relying on another person. For those poses, the participants have to put their trust in someone else. Doing this allows them to open up to the idea of trust, giving them the push they need to feel it safe to share ideas or ask for help in the work environment.
5.) Yoga Creates a Shared Experience
Yoga promotes both community & team building! Wellness programs are a great way to facilitate bonding with your team members and give them the chance to get to know one another outside of a work context. For many, yoga is a great way to connect with coworkers in a non-competitive environment. The shared experience gives colleagues an opportunity to connect. Social connection is a huge factor in employee turnover. Workplace yoga allows employees to participate in a shared experience regardless of their skill levels and creates opportunities for them to bond in a relaxed and fun setting.
If you are looking to improve your DEI training and programming, incorporating workplace yoga is a great way to do so. By practicing yoga, your employees can achieve physical, mental, and spiritual benefits that will help them thrive in today’s fast-paced and multicultural world.
Also, be sure to keep an eye out for updates on Ethnic Events toward the middle of June. We have exciting events planned for International Day of Yoga!