Evidence of Effectiveness: Yoga Works in the Workplace

Workplace yoga programs are easy to implement, and are gaining popularity as awareness of job stress becomes widespread. Yoga originated in India and combines physical postures (asana) with breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation (dyana.) It is one of the traditional and complementary medicines included in the World Health Organizations (WHO) traditional medicine strategy.

The review considered Yoga as defined by combination of physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation.

The review considered Yoga as defined by combination of physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation.

As business leaders start to dedicate hard dollars to yoga programs, the anecdotal benefits of yoga are coming under close scrutiny. Unfortunately, studies up this point have been many, varied, and (often) biased.

This inconsistency merited a systematic review by Oxford Academic’s journal of Occupational Medicine, released this March. The study aimed at assessing the evidence regarding the effectiveness of yoga programs at work. Working under the rigorous standards of the Oxford University Press, over 1,343 scientific under the qualitative microscope. [Appraisal was carried out using the Cochrane Collaboration’s tool for assessing risk of bias in randomized trials.]

While only 13 of the studies passed muster, each confirmed that yoga programs were beneficial — mainly for stress.

No negative effects were reported in any of the randomized controlled trials.

At Awake, our focus is on re-adapting these techniques to offer programs that meet the time-constraints and limitations of the office environment. Our teachers have dedicated thousands of hours to mastering techniques passed through a direct lineage of Himalayan teachers. We make the integration of yoga programs and company culture seamless.

Many of our students are surprised by the impact of even short, no-sweat classes that take place while seated at the conference table or behind a desk. These techniques, from calming breath awareness to invigorating Kapal Bhati breath are life-long skills your employees can rely on both at home and behind the desk. Register for a free trial class today!



Occupational Medicine, kqz033, https://doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqz033

Published: 18 March 2019