The Well Work Yoga Story
From Burnout to Balance
Looking back, workplace yoga was an obvious meeting point for my love of people development, effective leadership and wellbeing.
In 20 years as an employee, manager and director in start-up, mid-size and multi-national organisations, I experienced a huge variety of working cultures. Since I always had sales targets and clearly defined goals it was easy to see the connection between how I felt at work and my performance. So when I experienced burnout, I could clearly see the impact on my work and on the people I managed.
My experience led me to explore how current ways of measuring business success might be contributing negatively to our experience of work. I wanted to find better ways of managing my own resources to be a more resilient manager, while still driving growth. I already knew that when I felt valued, had a great relationship with my boss and closest colleagues and connected with the purpose of the company, I loved my work and did it well.
First I trained as a yoga teacher, specialising in workplace yoga and stress management. Then I studied Positive Psychology, the science behind human flourishing. I looked in depth at the impact of posture on wellbeing, particularly on how we feel and manage stress. Studying the relaxation response gave scientific evidence to back up what I’d already learned by moving past burnout myself.
The Leadership Benefits of Workplace Yoga
The lessons I learned on the yoga mat influenced my management style and my entire relationship with work. We all want to work hard and only become disengaged when we feel unappreciated and unsupported. I’ve seen previously top performers blamed or ostracised for becoming disengaged when the problem was really the organisational system. When this happens, we have to let go of assumptions, decide to actively listen and be open to feedback. And this is exactly what we learn to do on the yoga mat. We become skilled at quieting the mind, tuning in to how we feel and harnessing our inner strength.
Yoga may be an ancient practice but it offers a fresh take on the current organisational challenges in the new information economy. Offering yoga to employees demonstrates how sincerely we respect and value them.
On the yoga mat, there are no job titles – we’re literally all at the same level (on the floor!). Yoga also trains us to take a break, step away from titles and to-do lists and simply breathe. From there, new understanding, ideas and perspectives emerge. It is this type of rest and recovery that is vital to resilience in the long term.
I have seen how yoga brings this much needed balance into organisations. Individuals out of balance experience stress, anxiety, low mood and physical aches and pains. In the same way, the unbalanced organisation experiences conflict, poor communication, low morale and a negative culture.
Well Work Yoga brings together two decades of work and leadership experience with the ancient practice of yoga and the emerging science of happiness. We bring workplace yoga and stress reduction classes tailored to the corporate market. Our teachers are familiar with high-pressure office environments and trained in the nuances of workplace yoga.
Yoga develops the very best leadership skills, demonstrates employee appreciation and builds solid teams from the inside out.