corporate yoga

combining business and breath together is truly a pleasure!


An out-of-the-blue request for an engagement activity at the EDF Occupational Health & Safety Training Team Conference took me away from the familiar routine of my usual Friday morning yoga class. I have had many experiences teaching yoga in a variety of truly different environments and the spec of introducing the physical and mental benefits that the practice of Yoga can bring within the confines of a 30-minute Yoga session, in a corporate environment for 40 people aged between 25 and 55, the majority of whom haven't done any Yoga before required the relevant context and focus.

The clients were EDF Energy so it only appropriate for me to plan the session around the theme of “Yoga for Energy” and how to be energy-efficient within in our own body. The EDF organisers wanted my Yoga session to be a surprise so no-one attending the conference knew what had been planned. Not wanting to give the game away, I turned up in my long, posh skirt (yoga trousers underneath!) and high heels. My attire demonstrated that one can “do” Yoga anywhere, in any kind of clothes, and much more easily once you've kicked your shoes off. Once I had made the introductions to the session, I took off my skirt for ease of movement in the standing postures and then realised there may be some misconceptions. I quickly reassured everyone that nothing else apart from my skirt was coming off :)

The “Corporate Yoga” session was a wonderful opportunity to see a large group of people explore their internal space. It was very satisfying to observe the group feel the unexpected novelty of the unfamiliar clasp; recognise that just simply sitting and quietly watching one's own breath was a strangely fulfilling experience; find that moving just a little bit more mindfully into some shoulder stretches made a lovely difference to one's shoulders and neck and upper back. We even expanded our comfort zone by exploring the energising effect of the (slightly bizarre) sounded breaths which understandably gave some of us the giggles! For the gentleman who put his elbows on the table: although cheating for the purpose of that particular exercise, you actually demonstrated very efficiently how simple it is to modify a Yoga pose so that you never strain your body.

In this day and age when “corporate” can carry many negative connotations, it was truly gratifying to see a major company like EDF addressing the issue of occupational health & safety not by ticking boxes but with creativity and care. We have been asked to do another 6 Yoga sessions for them at the end of the month at the European Health & Safety at Work Week. Next time, I won't stand on a
chair to ensure everyone can see my demonstration of an efficient forward bend!

Thank you to EDF for letting us share how the many aspects of Yoga can enhance our lives both in and out of the office.



could yoga help your company?

We are keen to do more of these corporate sessions - it is an excellent opportunity to introduce people to the benefits of yoga. EDF seemed to find it useful - they recently came back for more! Do you know of or work for a company that might be interested? Email - we'd be happy to discuss any ideas.