Finding the OM in Yeomen
They say sitting all day is one of the worst things you could do for your health. After just one hour of sitting, “the production of enzymes that burn fat declines by as much as 90 percent.” Now combine sitting all day with work-related stress, which can lead to things like heart disease and depression. These two things can be a deadly combination in the long-term.
So what do we do about it?
Here at The Yeomen, we turned to a professional – Gabi Day at Present Tense Yoga. While Gabi does plenty of private and group yoga sessions, she also offers corporate yoga and meditation remotely. We work from all over the world, yet everyone at The Yeomen has the opportunity to tune in and enjoy a 30 minute session with Gabi.
Gabi offers 4 classes a week for our team. Each session is 30 minutes and is entirely up to the individual to attend. You don’t have to be a “yogi” to enjoy her classes either – she takes a scientific approach to yoga and the poses she offers do not require a mat or even changing your clothes. Nicole loves the accessibility of these classes. “It’s wonderful to have poses and meditations that I can do during my workday without even having to leave my seat. Gabi is responsive and fun!”
At the beginning of each session, Gabi asks us whether we prefer stillness or movement. Sometimes we do active stretches to release tension caused by sitting all day. We stretch shoulders, legs, and the lower back or anything else we feel we need that day. It’s a great way to relieve anxiety or that feeling that you just can’t sit still.
We don’t always stretch, though. Sometimes our sessions start by listening and talking, and end in silent meditation. Gabi meets you where you’re at and works from there.
Erica, one of our community members, knows first hand how Gabi can help turn a day around. “I was having a particularly stressful day a few weeks ago and jumped in a class with Gabi. I told her what was going on and she adjusted that session to focus on breathing and meditation for stress relief. Her techniques helped to make for a much smoother and productive day.”
“Sometimes I’m just a set of ears and a compassionate human for those who are having a bad day.” notes Gabi.
Every session ends with two minutes of seated meditation, a great way to clear your head and start fresh. “The attention that Gabi puts on guided meditation shows her deep understanding of the importance of dealing with stress on the workplace,” confirms Simone, a long time participant.
Everything we do can be done in a chair or standing up. Our yoga sessions provide a “seamless break” (as Gabi would say) to our work day. There’s no changing clothes or location, cooling down, showering, etc. that a midday workout would involve. It’s the perfect break in the day for movement, meditation, and release. “I’m so grateful to get to take some time each week for yoga,” said Yeomen team member Brianna. “Not only is it a relief from the hours I spend hunched over my desk, but Gabi has taught me great habits to incorporate into my daily routine!”
Gabi found yoga while studying for her Masters in Health Administration. She started physically practicing as a recovery method for her Lyme Disease and ended up loving it – so much so that she decided to go through yoga teacher training while also pursuing her Master’s Degree.
After landing a position as a Long Term Care Instructor, she found the culture to be “soul crushing”. There was so much potential to help people but the red tape was so thick there was no way of actually making a difference. She found her job stifling, boring, and all too restrictive.
That’s when Gabi turned to yoga full time – a culture where she could truly help people make positive change in their lives. The traditional yoga teacher model of schlepping across town to teach in any and every yoga studio was not for her, though. Gabi thought, how can I make yoga a sustainable career?
Enter corporate wellness. She held a Yoga for Work session that our founder, Jim Coe, attended and loved. Jim approached her afterwards and asked, “How can we make this work for The Yeomen?” Gabi’s corporate yoga program was born.
In addition to Corporate Yoga & Meditation, Gabi also offers private lessons, group classes, and integrated wellness coaching.
Yoga is an excellent way to relieve tight muscles, tension, and stress. It’s more than the physical practice we see, it’s about focusing on your breath and being mindful of your body. There is a ton of research on the benefits of yoga – especially for stress reduction. We can tell you firsthand that it’s made a huge impact on our team.
Also published on Medium.