What's yoga?

Yoga is a practice born in India which spread alongside traditional medicine. Around 2000 years ago, the spiritual Indian wise man Patanjali, summarised the philosophy and practice of Yoga into a book called the Yoga Sutras. He introduced techniques to liberate ourselves from the sufferings created by the fluctuations of the mind and unify the body and the mind through physical exercises and meditation.

Today there are many different styles of Yoga. It is often difficult for most people to get their head around it! The oldest type is Hatha Yoga, this method inspired YOGIST,  and is composed for a large part of physical exercises (asanas) and breathing. It is therapeutic and designed to improve general health, fitness, strength and flexibility to allow the body to remain static for long periods of concentration….just like when we work on a computer! By reducing pain, strengthening the body, and  breathing more consciously, the yoga practice helps to be more present and to quieten the mind in order to be more focused, calm, creative and efficient…

What about chair yoga?

Chair yoga is a new technique that consists in adapting postures from Hatha yoga (traditional yoga practiced on a mat) so that they can be practiced simply seating down on a chair or standing up, something with the support of a table or desk. Its particularity: no need for material, dedicated space or sports clothes, this can be practiced at the office desk, in a meeting room or in a conference room…The postures learnt can then be repeated whenever needed (when stress is putting pressure on areas of our body or mind, when pain arises in a certain area, before speaking in public…), wherever needed (at the desk, in meeting, in public transport, in a car, at home!) YOGIST is the first company to develop a method of chair yoga that’s dedicated to the office environment to help business executives and employees to feel WELL AT WORK.

I want to offer yoga to the employees of the company I manage : what should I do?

Contact Yogist to discuss the best way to introduce yoga in your company. We can organise an introduction workshop, or a test session. We can help select the right space in your office, discuss the best way to communicate this approach to your employees and plan the practical and financial elements around this project. Let’s have a chat!

Is yoga, the same as meditation or mindfulness ? Do you offer meditation or mindfulness sessions?

Meditation and mindfulness (which is a type of meditation, it is often used as an equivalent and more trendy word for meditation) are a key part of the Yoga practice. It is in fact one of the 8 limbs of Yoga as described by Patanjali in its Yoga Sutras.

Our YOGIST method includes meditation and mindfulness specific exercises but also go beyond it. These exercises are part of a broader sequence that focuses on both the body and the mind. The aim is both to release tensions in the body and reduce noises in the mind.

What are the differences between yoga and fitness?

1° Breathing! Yoga in its most dynamic form allows to work out the body harmoniously, to sweat and burn energy, to strengthen muscles deeply like any sport but the main difference with gym workout or other sport is the focus on breathing. Each movement in Yoga is synchronised to the breath in order to relax the body and mind, to avoid injuries and oxygenate the muscles.

2° Gentle and low impact ! Yoga can be adapted to any body, age and fitness level. It can be practiced at any age, with disabilities or serious injuries. It can also be used therapeutically and help heal injuries created in other sports (for example issues with broken knees from intense running).  Yoga postures don’t create shock for the joints and are not dangerous as long as they are practiced with enough awareness of the body and a conscious breathing.  Stretching postures and the exercising of all joints are designed to maintain the body in good condition for as long as possible.

How can yoga relieve stress?

Stress is a reaction of the body adapting to a physical, psychological or emotional aggression triggered by the sympathetic nervous system. This is a normal response from our body that is facing an obstacle, danger or emergency. It only becomes a problem when it’s repeated too frequently and therefore doesn’t allow the parasympathetic nervous system to restore calm and balance. In that case, our body always on alert, tries to constantly adapt and ends up exhausted. Yoga brings balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. It stimulates the latter through physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation techniques for a healthier and more relaxed life at work.

How about meditation?

Yoga offers very simple exercises of meditation that calms the mind and improve concentration. More accessible than certain visualisation techniques from other east asian traditions, the meditation within yoga is based on breathing: counting inhalations and exhalations, focusing on the sensation of the breath going through the body and learning how to observe thoughts going to through the mind without getting caught into a story. These are techniques easy to learn and replicate on your own when needed: at your desk, during a meeting, before a speaking in public, when facing a difficult task, before a night of work!

I would like to encourage my company to organise yoga classes, how should I go about it?

Share our introduction video and our website yogist.co.uk with your HR department, or to the people responsible for internal communications and events. Suggest them to meet us to discuss the best way to introduce yoga into your company and implement a well-being programme in your workplace.

Isn't Yoga it a bit too "hippie" for a serious corporate environment?

When we mention yoga we may all have somewhere in mind the caricature of a hippie yogi with long hair talking about chakras and enlightenment … However in reality the practice and method as taught by YOGIST is focussing essentially on the physical and psychological benefits of a regular practice, leaving aside the esoteric and spiritual elements. The benefits of yoga have been scientifically proven by a wide corpus of scientific research.

I am not flexible enough to do yoga!

No need to be flexible to practice yoga, we practice yoga in order to become more flexible….So no excuses! Yoga can be all the more beneficial if you’re feeling stiff and ridden with pain.

And don’t worry, our YOGIST method does not include difficult contorsions or acrobatics, you won’t have to do a headstand! Corporate yoga is adapted to all and you will progress gradually and without pain if you practise it regularly.

What moment in the day should we practice yoga ?

Yoga can be practiced any time during the day except just after a meal. The practice is adapted according to the time in the day: a morning sequence is dedicated to energise you for the day, while an evening practice can focus more on calming the mind and relaxing the body for a deeper and more restorative sleep.

I need a more dynamic workout, yoga is too slow for me!

Yoga is a practice that strengthen your muscles deeply: we hold postures for long periods of time, with precision and a particular attention to our breathing . Surprisingly it is often more difficult than practicing quick and dynamic movements. Our Yogist Method won’t make you sweat but you are likely to feel muscle aches in the day following a session. Try and you will see!

I already tries yoga and I didn't like it…

There are as  many type of yoga as there are teachers. Maybe You might have tried a session that was very slow and gentle, one only focusing on breathing or on the contrary one that was too dynamic for you.r vous. Yogist select the best teachers for you, based on their experience in teaching but also for their teaching style and their ability to understand challenges and worries of people who work in office environments. When trying a sesion with our Yogist teachers, ask him questions and adjustements. They will be more than happy to tailor a session to your needs!

Yoga is for women!

Traditionally in India, yoga was reserved exclusively to men. This is a practice that often requires a lot of strength and precision. It’s a holistic and harmonious work out for the body with a focus on improving flexibility. Try and you will be surprised: some exercises are much harder than they look!

It is almost impossible for me to concentrate or stay still. I will never be able to do Yoga!

This is all the more important for you to take on yoga! You will learn how conscious breathing is the simplest and most accessible tool to calm your nervous system down.

I have an injury or a health issue that might prevent me from practicing yoga.

Ask advice to your GP and let the teacher know. You should always respect your limits and listen to your body’s feedback. You will learn to make the difference between stretch pain (which is normal) to a stinging pain.  Our Yogist founder started yoga after a very serious knee injury that prevented her to bend her leg over 90 degrees but she managed to practice yoga with some carefully variations…

In my company we don't have time for yoga!

Time used for yoga shouldn’t be considered as unproductive or wasted time. It is on the contrary a way to invest in your own productivity and well being. This could save you (and the company you work for) a lot of time by being more focused, more awake and not impaired by painful tensions in your body. 

What material do we need ?

For yoga on a mat, Yogist offers to provide mats as well as straps. These are used to keep the mats rolled-up but also to help on certain postures.

For chair yoga, you only need a chair but no other specific material is required.

How often do we need to practice it for it to be effective ?

You can’t expect all of your back pains to disappear or to become completely zen in only one session! However you will definitely be able to feel the positive on your body and your nervous system after the first session. In order to experience a long term impact you will need to practice as often as possible. One session a week is a good start to progress and release tensions in your body. Ultimately the objective is for you to replicate the exercises at your desk or at home as often as possible.  Subscribing to our e-learning programme is a great way to help you build your own practice outside of the sessions. 

What should I wear ?

For yoga on a mat you should be wearing some comfortable work out clothes (t-shirt and legging or sweatpants) or a sport outfit. You will practice yoga barefeet. Bring a jumper for the relaxation especially if your offices have strong A/C.

For chair yoga you won’t need to change at all. You can practice with your office clothes. For women we would only recommend to avoid wearing tight skirts. For men they might want to take off their blazer and loosen up their tie. That’s it !

Isn't it awkward to practice yoga with your colleagues?

Practising yoga at work is on the contraty a great way to bond with your colleagues and a great team-building practice. The Yogist Method avoids any posture that could be embarrassing in a work environment.

How much does it cost ?
To meet us, evaluate your needs and get a quote email contact@yogist.co.uk or call 07968716466 !