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5 Things I Learned from Corporate Yoga

It was 2010 and I was a few months into my new corporate job. I was starting to get the hang of my role and was really enjoying the in-house café where I could purchase a breakfast taco, a sugary hot chocolate, or a hot pizza lunch (sometimes I’d consume all 3 at the same time… shocking, I know!). I was beginning to feel energetically and physically sluggish and the “Freshman 15” was beginning to settle into my body.

One day after work, as I was heading home, I noticed a few folks rushing off to the back of the building with rolled up yoga mats. After a few weeks of wondering what in the world they were up to, I worked up the nerve to ask someone I knew from Human Resources.

A yoga class?! Offered twice a week?! Right after work?! No way?! YES PLEASE!

I signed up immediately and I am so glad I did! Corporate yoga changed my body, mind and life in so many healthy and positive ways; so much so that I made it my mission to help others get healthy through yoga too!

Here are 5 things I learned from taking a corporate yoga class:

My Excuses Didn’t Work Anymore

Excuse: I don’t have time.

Reality: I did have the time! The class was RIGHT after my work day.

Excuse: It’s too far to drive to the gym/studio.

Reality: No driving needed! I felt like I was embracing laziness somehow although I was very active during the yoga hour.

Excuse: I don’t want to sit in traffic.

Reality: I was AVOIDING traffic by taking the yoga class!

Excuse: I can’t get there until 15 minutes after class starts OR I need to leave 15 minutes before class ends. I don’t want to interrupt the class or disrespect the teacher.

Reality: My teacher actually encouraged us to come late or leave early just by letting her know. I felt welcomed at any time. No disrespect, man!

Excuse: I can’t afford it.

Reality: My work paid for more than half of the cost! It came down to each of us paying around $20/month…$20 per MONTH! That comes down to $3/class when the typical drop in fee is now $17-$20. Huge savings!

Excuse: I forgot my clothes/mat/etc.

Reality: I’m laughing as I type this right now: I can’t tell you how many times I went to class in my work clothes!! My coworkers did too - we supported one another. I remember one time I forgot a yoga shirt and my coworker lent me a big baggy t-shirt to wear! Sometimes, if one of us left our mat, the teacher would loan us her PERSONAL mat to use. Sometimes we just grabbed a towel from the kitchen or used the carpeted floor!

Yoga Is for Every BODY

I was a bit nervous to take a yoga class. I was a bit over-weight and the last time I had taken a yoga class I walked out after 15 minutes because downward facing dog felt incredibly awkward. I felt that there was some sort of yoga requirement to touch one’s toes in a forward-fold and I was EXTREMELY embarrassed because I couldn’t do that. When I mustered up all my courage to attend class, I realized that every student was different. My colleagues were short, tall, men, women, young, more mature, flexible or strong. Some of us came to class every time it was offered while others went occasionally. We were all different yet we all wanted the same thing: to get healthier!

Yoga Teacher Confession: OK, who am I kidding? I TEACH yoga now and STILL can’t touch my toes in a forward fold! It’s all on the path to self-discovery and I’m so happy I’m on it!