It's a fair question. YouTube is free - and there are millions of yoga classes to access FOC. Giving your people access to a weekly live class is more costly, yes. Here's why it offers great VOI, with a few snippets of feedback from happy clients.
"Wonderful. Restorative. Relaxing."
1. Accountability works.
Committing to a 'real-life' teacher and class at a set time on a particular day has huge power. People are more likely to show up, rather than the online video that slips off the to-do list when they've run out of time or are too tired at the end of the day.
"It got me active at a time I would otherwise be sat in front of a PC."
2. Expert personalised advice comes as standard.
A pre-recorded video won't take into account any injuries, conditions, levels of flexibility, strength or mobility. For corporate classes, though, everyone has to complete a health questionnaire beforehand so I can speak to people directly to give personalised advice around injuries, conditions, illnesses and such like. Sore knee? Lower back pain? I can direct on what to avoid and which yoga poses can help.
"Good pace to the poses and plenty of explanation & tips on how to improve the pose or adjust to your own ability."
3. Reassurance for those nervous to try yoga.
The added bonus of this level of support is that we're more likely to get those onto the mat who might have otherwise avoided it, but are possibly those that need yoga the most.
"Yoga is new for me and it was a relaxing experience that I hope to continue with. Easy to follow instructions and a calm nature."
Yoga isn't one size fits all, so each live class is different depending on who's there. I adapt the class, giving modifications for beginners and variations for those who've got a more regular yoga practice. Everyone is catered for.
"I really liked the modified poses that I’ve struggled with in other yoga classes."
4. Connecting in a non-work environment.
Organisations around the world are scratching their heads about how to connect people virtually without more 'enforced fun' [shudders]. Yoga is great for this because it creates a sense of community and builds team morale - everyone is there because they've chosen to be there. It also helps create a connection between colleagues and the teacher - me! I'm there when everyone arrives for a chat beforehand and I hang around afterwards to answer questions - it all helps towards accountability.
"A lovely atmosphere - thank you!"
The connection continues off the mat. With a lot of my clients, we have a dedicated Teams channel or similar where I can share pointers, take requests, people can ask for advice - through these subtle prompts, colleagues are more likely to come to classes.
5. It sends out the right message.
A yoga class first thing in the morning or at lunchtime does wonders for people's energy and productivity levels and demonstrates that your organisation is proactively encouraging people to prioritise their wellbeing.
"Having some time to concentrate on relaxing, and doing some very lovely stretches."
6. Leadership can model the right behaviours.
The more leaders show up, the more the rest of the employee population will too. This is especially the case with ambitious high performers - they will copy leaders' behaviour. Leaders need to practice what they preach when it comes to prioritising their wellbeing - live yoga classes are a great place to do this.
7. You can have the best of both worlds.
Of course, meetings, annual leave and deadlines can all get in the way. As part of my corporate yoga packages, I set up a private online yoga library for each organisation so colleagues can catch up on a class they've missed. As part of my corporate yoga packages, I also include some shorter pre-recorded yoga practices and meditations for when time's short, the aim being to help people get into a regular yoga routine that fits around their schedule.
"Professional, varied & great choice of postures"
8. I'm here to help promote the classes.
What if not many turn up? I hear about this concern a lot. The good news here is that I've worked in communications and employee engagement for many years, so we can create a mini comms plan to promote the classes that fits in with your wider IC plan. All too often I've seen yoga classes and wellbeing initiatives gathering dust on the intranet - let's change that.
"The teacher knew her yoga which was excellent and made the class well worth attending."
Have I convinced you about the power of live yoga classes? I'll run two classes for your organisation FOC so we can test the appetite for yoga.
And if I haven't? I also offer yoga packages for smaller budgets, which combine the personalised support and advice with pre-recorded classes for employees to follow in their own time.
Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can have a quick call to discuss your options.
"Calming, inclusive, enjoyable."