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We spend one-third of our lives at work. Somewhere between meetings and deadlines, we find ourselves faced with stress and anxiety as we try to balance our workload—and personal life. It’s no surprise then that wellness in the workplace is becoming an important area of focus for many employers.
In the last two years, an estimated 12.5 million working days were ‘lost’ in the UK due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. A recent MINDBODY UK study* found that almost a quarter of participants always felt stressed or anxious. So how do we limit these negative emotions? By making our wellness a priority.
“We all know that when we are healthy, we are more able to face challenges—and the working world is clearly waking up to this idea, too,” says yoga instructor Andy Kobelinsky. “Many of the yogis who come to my classes do so to help them cope with work stress. Yoga improves posture and breathing, boosts morale and shows you how to go with the flow!”
From clearing your calendar for Savasana to utilizing office resources, here are three ways you can benefit from workplace wellness:
Incentives and prioritizing wellness at work can promote health and well-being. If your employer offers flexible working options, make the most of it by finding time for a workout or appointment. Whether it’s a meditation session between meetings, midday massage or an afternoon cycling class, the MINDBODY app makes fitness, wellness, and beauty more accessible in your area, even on the busiest days. With easy-to-use filters, you can reserve a spot, get your workout or self-care session on, and be back at your desk and ready to go in no time at all.
Exercise is known to have a positive impact on mental health and boost mood. Who doesn’t want to be happier at work? From a relaxing Vinyasa flow to a quick cardio blast class, we’ve found five workout sessions for all fitness levels that can fit into your lunch hour:
Workout Type: Pilates
Try This Class: Reformer 45 | Express 45
Where: Bootcamp Pilates, Strand | Fulham
Time: 30 minutes
Workout Type: Yoga
Try This Class: Flow Express
Where: Yoga Hub, Dublin
Time: 45 minutes
Workout Type: Interval + strength training
Try This Class: Workout of the day
Where: SW3AT Studio
Time: 15 - 45 minutes
Try This Class: Stretch
Where: Xtend Barre
Time: 45 minutes
Workout: Hot Yoga
Try This Class: Power Yoga Express
Where: Tribe Yoga, Edinburgh
Time: 60 minutes
Employers who cultivate a positive, healthy culture stand out from their competition. As millennials—who are set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025—enter employment, company culture and work-life balance is a priority. With perks like on-site yoga classes, discounts on fitness, wellness and beauty services or employee wellness challenges, companies can implement various ways to help employees feel well. A happier, healthier workforce increases productivity, which in turn, makes the workplace a better environment, attracting and retaining talent.
To find out how technology, nutrition, design and mental health can have a positive impact in any workplace, we attended Unwired’s WELLNESS 18 Conference in London. By listening to panels lead by expert speakers and participating in wellness strategy workshops, it was clear that workplace programs need to include online and offline resources to be truly successful. From education to action items, wellness initiatives at work can positively benefit you—and your daily grind.
*A survey of 2,000 UK adults, conducted in 2018, using a five-point Likert scale
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.