I stumble upon this quote at the Sustainable Living Festival this year and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to use it! If you change nothing, nothing will change. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Well yes… and no… No because change is the only constant in life. So, if you change nothing, things will inevitably change. It might just not be exactly what you wanted to see change. But yes because if you wait sitting on your bum for magic to happen, chances are… nothing will happen. Even if you’re sitting in Sukhasana, hands in your favourite mudra! Yep. If you want to see change, you have to make it happen, you have to be the initiator. Take headstand for example. If you want to be able to do the pose but you skip your practice every time there is something ‘good’ on TV, forget it. If you want to get into headstand, you’ll have to commit to a regular yoga practice, persevere, practice patience, accept the challenges, overcome the hurdles, repeat… again… and eventually, you’ll get there. Or maybe not. But at least you would have tried. Here is another example that I hear all the time: yoga at work. If you want to practice yoga more often. If you envy all the lucky people who have yoga sessions at work. Be proactive. If you don’t express your interest and ask your boss/HR department, chances are, nothing will ever happen. Yoga is becoming more and more popular in the workplace and for good reasons so it’s a totally fair and reasonable suggestion to make. What do you have to lose? In the worst case scenario, you’ll get a no and that’s no big deal. The big deal is not trying. Because even if it doesn’t happen in an immediate future, you will have created awareness, you will have planted a seed.


Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you to go ahead, here is how (I think) you should approach it:

• Build your case

Learn the benefits of doing yoga at work and spread the word around you. If you need more benefits, here is another link and here but google it and you’ll find heaps…

• Get numbers

Talk to your colleagues and compile a list of all the yoga-thusiastics or anyone who will consider trying yoga at least once.

• Anticipate the showstoppers

Identify all the potential issues that your employer may come up with and have an answer ready for each of them. Ok I’ll help you here:

{Why such an interest in Yoga?}
Yoga is truly beneficial, refer to the list of benefits and this. Make sure you mention benefits for both the company and for the individual.
{The age bracket and levels of fitness are too broad amongst our staff.}
Yoga is for everyone irrespective of age, shape, gender or level of bendiness. Yoga is not limited to practicing strong postures on a mat. It can be done in a very gentle way as well as in your day clothes on a chair, it’s called Chair Yoga. Restorative Yoga, Relaxation and Meditation are also attractive options available. It’s all Yoga!
{There is no appropriate space.}
A meeting room is all it’s needed. It can be booked in advance for a weekly session at a time not very popular for meetings. Early morning, lunch time or after work.
{We don’t have mats.}
Participants can be bring their one. Or mats can also be purchased in bulk at a low price. Mats are cheap these days!
{We don’t have the budget.}
It’s a minor investment into employees’ health and wellbeing. Lots of organisations, big and small, have gone that direction and can attest it is money well spent. Both the company and the individual benefit from it. Yoga sessions can also be funded  by the participants themselves. The more people, the lower the individual cost!

• Ask in person

Don’t send an email that may never be read or considered as low priority and then ignored or forever forgotten. Request a meeting and go for a coffee to discuss the matter in a nice (and if possible relaxing) environment.

• Follow up

Depending on the feedback you had on the day, make sure you follow up soon enough after discussion. Or even better on a agreed date. If it was decided to reconsider in a month time or later, set a reminder in your calendar and don’t be shy.

• Contact me!

But that goes without saying… ;-)

I’ve been teaching in very diverse work environments over the past few years and I’ve seen different scenarios. From classes funded by the employer to classes individually funded. From one-off classes to on-going ones. Sometimes one-off have led to on-going… when employees have manifested their interest! In fact, it’s happening right now for two of my clients and that’s why I thought I’d write a post on the subject. Not for self-promotion. Do you practice yoga at work or wish it was happening in your workplace? Please share your experience or challenges.