Community//

Setting up a Corporate Yoga class at your Workplace.

An expert's tips on bringing some zen in to your office boardroom.

An in-house yoga class is becoming a popular perk for many businesses in the UK, enabling their employees to reap the plentiful benefits of yoga without having to even leave the office. But how do you go about setting up, filling and maintaining a weekly class?

Sally Lovett, yoga teacher and founder of Stretching the City draws on her 8 years of experience delivering corporate yoga classes to share her top tips.

Creating your office yoga studio

Most of Stretching the City’s corporate yoga classes take place in the office boardroom, but a decent sized meeting room or a clean canteen can also do the job. When considering how many people you can fit in the space, bear in mind you typically need 21 sq feet per yogi (based on a standard sized 2 x 6 ft yoga mat.)

Office lighting can often be horribly bright and harsh. If that’s the case, we switch the overhead lights off and use a couple of cheap desk lamps on the floor to create a cosy, relaxing glow.

Unless your yoga teacher is travelling by car and able to bring a boot-full of mats (which is unlikely in London), you’ll need to buy your own. We recommend the Yogamatters sticky mat for a great quality, reasonably priced mat.

Sourcing your yoga teacher

There are a number of different teaching bodies and accreditations here in the UK and all require a minimum of a 200 hour yoga teacher training to be certified. Ask to see copies of your teacher’s certification and insurance documents, and make sure your teacher is insured for both professional indemnity and public liability. Whilst a number of teachers are, it’s not compulsory for teachers to be first aid trained. Check with your health and safety team to find out whether teachers running an out of office hours class will need to be first aid trained.

Planning your class

Decide when you’d like the class to take place,  be it before or after work, or during your lunch hour. Consider the culture of your company – if meetings are often scheduled during lunch hours, a class out of office hours may work better. Or, if everyone dashes home to their families at 5pm every evening, a morning or lunchtime class may prove more popular.

What to wear

To practice yoga simply wear something comfortable you can move in. My favourite is a pair of leggings and a vest. Yoga is practiced barefoot, but if you feel uncomfortable baring your feet to your colleagues, grab a pair of non-slip ToeSocks to practice safely.

Recruiting your classmates

Now you’ve organised your office yoga class, you need to fill it with some yogis! Promote the classes on your company intranet, on posters on the back of loo doors or in the staff kitchen, send out calendar invites, mention it in meetings and get your colleagues on board to help spread the word. If you can, open the class up to your whole office and use this an as opportunity to get to know colleagues outside of your direct team.

Maintaining the momentum

To really reap the benefits of yoga, try your best to attend every weekly class. Give your teacher feedback along the way, letting him or her know your favourite, or less favourite parts of the class. Have an open mind to try new poses, pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation techniques and I have no doubt you will be hooked on yoga for life.

    The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...

    Community//

    We Should Nama-stay Aware: The Portrayal of Yoga in the West

    by Stella Stephanopoulos
    Yoga on Mountaintop
    Community//

    What is Super Brain Yoga and How Does It Help?

    by Kayla Matthews
    Community//

    Wellness – too much of a good thing?

    by Lucy Wakefield

    Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

    Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

    Thrive Global
    People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

    - MARCUS AURELIUS

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.