With the stress of morning meetings, presentation prep and dreaded rush-hour commutes, one thing that is much-needed with the return to office, is the chance to slow down and take a breath. Insert – puppy yoga! A room full of playful pups, coupled with a guided yoga practice combines all the mental and physical benefits of yoga, with the refreshing energy of an adorable litter of puppies. This exciting and healthy activity will offer a unique, non-caffeinated pick-me-up through the workday.
Here are five reasons why puppy yoga should be a staple in any corporate wellness agenda:
1. Puppies are wonderful facilitators of team building
One aspect that virtual-office could never quite effectively foster, was the chance to bond with a team and build a community. As fun as virtual happy hours were, they never quite captured the same feeling as having the chance to interact with each other, face-to-face. Now with the opportunity to connect in person, there’s no better way to welcome the team back to office and encourage employee engagement, than to laugh together while playing with puppies! A great way to step away from the conference room and to develop professional relationships in a casual setting, spending some time bonding with a few fluffy friends and your favourite colleagues is sure to enhance team development and collaboration beyond the edges of the yoga mat.
2. Practicing mindfulness through yoga
The pressure to meet tight deadlines, reach high-performance targets, and having to put out fires left and right, makes it all too easy to be swept away by your work, and all that more difficult to carve out time to slow down and take a breath. Mindfulness is a state of being and a practice that urges you to live fully in the present and to be actively aware of the feelings and sensations experienced at one particular moment. The practices of yoga and mindfulness often flow in tandem, with yoga encouraging active breathing, increased bodily awareness, and engaged focus. Finding this hyper-awareness through meditation makes it easier to bring that sense of purpose into a dedicated career, avoid burnout and foster both mental and physical well-being. With puppies as teaching assistants going around giving cuddles and kisses, staying present and enjoying the moment will be easy even for those who are feeling restless and tense.
3. A reminder to take a much-needed stretch break
Even with the advanced ergonomic design of modern-day office chairs, it’s easy to get restless sitting at a desk and staring at a monitor for 8 hours of the day. With the nature of corporate jobs, the average office employee will only take 3000 of the recommended 10,000 steps per day. Yoga is the perfect activity to get up and get your body moving! Proven to increase blood flow, improve posture and protect against injury, the guided series of deep breaths and mindful movement will allow you to relax and recharge before your next meeting.
4. The uplifting effects of animal therapy
Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, it’s no secret that one of the best work-from-home perks was being able to spend all day with your pets. You (or your four-legged friend) might have even experienced some separation anxiety with the return to in-person work. After all, these furry companions are immediate mood boosters. Their happiness is contagious and can brighten up any day, with research proving that simply 10 minutes spent petting a dog can result in decreases of the stress hormone, cortisol. A session of puppy yoga will let you unwind given the puppy-uplifted morale, along with the calming effects of an expertly-guided yoga practice to provide a strong foundation to managing and combating work-related stressors.
5. It’s a litter of fun for everyone!
Puppy yoga is an engaging activity to care for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of both you and the pup! You leave all your worries at the door and live truly in the moment on your yoga mat. This chance to bond with colleagues, participate in a calming workout session in a room full of friendly and playful, four-legged friends will guarantee lots of laughs for everyone. The dogs will get the chance to socialize with humans, collect cuddles and get accustomed to friendly interaction in new environments, before matching with their new homes. At the end of the session, it’s hard to tell who leaves with more smiles, you, or the puppy.
A litter of affectionate and excited pups makes for the ideal welcoming committee for a return-to-office event. Yoga Kawa—a Canadian-based leader in corporate yoga services, can bring this unique, fun and immersive experience to you! With over 35 certified and experienced practitioners across six Canadian cities, Yoga Kawa has cultivated practices for Samsung, Tangerine, Cannon and Autodesk —amongst others, and they are committed to working concurrently with clients to develop the perfect program for each firm’s individual needs! So, kick off your shoes, unroll your mat and book a consultation with a certified instructor to get your company started on its puppy yoga journey.