Written by Nat Young, Clinical Hypno-Psychotherapist and Yoga and Pilates Teacher.

We can’t go far these days without seeing something in the media about wellbeing or mental health. Quite simply, it’s a hot topic on the agenda right now. You may also have seen articles about yoga and its links with wellbeing. Yoga is a lot more than just exercise, although it’s great for flexibility and strength too. With yoga’s focus on the breath and remaining in the present moment even when things gets tough, it’s also fantastic for improving your mental health. But don’t just take my word for it, it’s backed up by research!

Over the years there have been multiple research studies which have expressed concern for high levels of workplace stress and poor emotional wellbeing. One study in particular by Hartfiel et al. (2011) examined the effectiveness of yoga in enhancing emotional wellbeing and resilience to stress amongst employees working at a university. In this controlled study, 48 employees were randomly recruited and put into a ‘yoga’ group or a ‘wait list’ control group. The yoga group were offered one lunchtime yoga class per week for a period of 6 weeks. The wait-list group received nothing.

The researchers surveyed the employees of both groups at the beginning and end of the study through self-reported mood questionnaires. They found significantly improved scores in the employees who did one yoga class per week with participants reporting improvements in feelings of clear-headedness, composure, energy, self-confidence and life purpose. The researchers concluded that even after the short 6 week period, yoga was effective at enhancing emotional wellbeing and resilience to workplace stress. If this is what a 6-week programme can do, imagine the benefits to be had from regular yoga practice…

Reference:

US National Library of Medicine, 2019, The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of wellbeing and resilience to stress in the workplace, viewed 10 Nov 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20369218/

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