Let me start off by saying something about what it feels like after attending a yoga class. Well it depends really on the type of yoga, but for the purpose of this article, let's talk about the yoga classes which are generally open to beginners (e.g. this does not include Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, Hatha yoga - at times).
I remember when I used to have a "bad day" (they're in quotation marks as the definition of a bad day is somewhat relative), I would immediately go to a yoga class to de-stress and put a smile or at least pull up that frown back to neutral position). And it worked.
Since you go to a class, with an aim is to do the poses, consciously working on fixing your alignment and just focusing on your breath for an hour - this allows anyone to have that hour of just intense focus on the present moment. Which means that it removes you entirely from whatever situation you are into, or were into at least temporarily.
So definitely it took my mind off things that bothered me, and at the same time it allowed to focus on something else for an hour. If the mood strikes me, there are even times that I carried the mood that I have taken away from a class until few days after.
Sometimes the outcome is connected to my emotions, sometime it's connected to physically feeling good, sometimes puts nice thoughts in my mind space; if I am a lucky I get them altogether. So I end up being just completely relaxed, amiable and with a lifted mood after these classes.
Had the companies I used to work with offer yoga classes at work, I would have loved to attend them personally, but hey don't take my word for it, I am an avid fan of yoga after all, give it a try.
So having said that, is there a benefit of offering yoga in a corporate environment?
Based on clients' testimonials, when their companies offered it during their lunch breaks, in the mornings before the start of their shift, or an an after work event, they did notice that they were less stressed (if not having completely eliminated the stress entirely), they did come back in better moods therefore allowed better work interactions and most importantly, they were just "chill" therefore less emotional baggage, allowed more focus on what's required to be done.
You can see camaraderie forming "informally" as a result of just being in one room, trying to achieve on common goal - mentally cheering each other on (I hope) to do the poses.
I don't know where I got it from, probably from one of the books I have read, that...collaboration actual starts from a commonality. Perhaps this is a good start and all you need to do is have a yoga space, bring them in, and put them in an environment with one common purpose shared : to help your team members emotionally, mentally and / or physically become better. Who wouldn't want that for everyone or for themselves?
So why integrate yoga into your corporate wellness strategy?
The better question to ask is, why not? :)