Why Should You Make Yoga & Wellness Part of Your Company Team Build or Retreat?
When I graduated college in 2007 with degrees in marketing and communication, I knew I was destined to climb that corporate ladder all the way to the top. Just 8 years later, I totally abandoned that ladder and started over.
Before I did my yoga teacher training in India and started Namaste in Nature here in Asheville, North Carolina, I was super focused on my career and living that corporate life. I worked at an advertising agency in Miami where many people worked long hours, regularly ordered greasy pizza and take out food and our company team build was a bar crawl to Key West.
The lifestyle and culture improved a bit when I started working for Whole Foods Market corporate. My whole marketing team was vegetarian or vegan and ate pretty healthy but our team was regularly understaffed and we still worked some crazy hours - especially during new store openings. (I survived 7 of these).
All this is to say, I know first hand how important health and wellness are when you’re working for big companies and brands.
-Miranda, Owner/Founder of Namaste in Nature
Why Company Health & Wellness Matters
According to the APA, 61% of Americans say work is a significant source of stress. Common symptoms of chronic stress include irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, high blood pressure, low immune system and insomnia.
According to the EPA, Americans, on average, spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, where the concentrations of some pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.
I have a blog post listing 108 health benefits of yoga, hiking and meditation but the number one benefit of my activity is stress reduction. Not only is the experience itself relaxing but we will share tools (meditation and yoga techniques) that guests can take with them to do at home, including these FREE yoga and meditation videos.
People need to disconnect from their devices and email and social media and not worry about their to-do lists for a little while. They want an accessible, safe space where they can connect with friends, family or in this case, co-workers.
And, the Asheville area has been a wellness destination for hundreds of years. It’s been an especially popular escape from hotter coastal areas in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina & Virginia and close enough to drive from nearby states including Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. If you have a company based in Greenville, SC, Charlotte, NC, Atlanta, GA, Nashville, TN, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Columbia, SC, Tampa, FL, Orlando, FL, Miami, FL or Fort Lauderdale, FL you should totally consider Asheville, NC for your company retreat.
Contact us and we’re happy to help you incorporate health and wellness into your next corporate or company retreat in Western North Carolina. Your body & mind will both feel better after this uniquely Asheville experience! We are mindful of their time and have a customized 2 hours experience that includes hiking, meditation and yoga that does not requires mats. Their groups can do the whole experience before lunchtime! Your team will enjoy an easy - moderate guided hike with incredible waterfall or mountain views paired with a relaxing meditation and yoga practice for every body including beginners (no mats needed).
Sustainability is super important to me so I donate part of the proceeds to 501c-3 onetreeplanted.org. Planting trees helps offset carbon emissions of driving to and from the trailhead and helps clean and cool the air wherever they are planted. So you’ll be helping your co-workers and helping the planet at the same time!
You can even bring yoga and mindfulness into your workplace by finding a local yoga teacher like Lindsay the Yoga Nut here in Asheville or using an app like YoDesk that gives you simple yoga movements you can do at your desk.
Benefits of Yoga:
Yoga is designed around slow, deep breaths and deliberate movements, both of which help to reduce stressors such as muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Yoga reduces inflammation by training the body to maintain a parasympathetic (relaxation) response is reduced stress hormones such as cortisol. Developing a stronger parasympathetic response also reduces symptoms of anxiety. Yoga provides relief from excess stimulation and the stressors and hectic nature of modern life like social media, email and smartphones.
Yoga Encourages Greater Self-Love/Ability to Self-Soothe/Resilience: Greater gratitude, less reactivity to stress, more love for self and others are all attributes of a yoga practice.
Benefits of Hiking/Spending Time Outdoors:
Earthing is process of absorbing the earth’s free flowing (-) electrons through the soles of one’s feet or hands through natural grass, dirt, stone or water. Earthing can help reduce inflammation & stress hormones, help you sleep better and reduce pain.
Being outside boosts the Immune System. When we breathe fresh, forest air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that have antibacterial and antifungal qualities which plants give off to protect themselves from insects and fight disease. When people breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK.
Hiking Helps with Depression: Research shows that using hiking as an additional therapy can help people with severe depression feel less hopeless, less depressed, less suicidal and could to lead them towards a more active lifestyle. Public Health Officials in Finland now recommend that citizens get 5 hours a month, minimum, in the woods, in order to stave off depression.
Nature Helps You Focus: Spending time in nature, looking at plants, water, birds and other aspects of nature gives the cognitive portion of our brain a break, allowing us to focus better and renew our ability to be patient. Boosts Creativity: Research has shown that spending time outdoors can increase your attention span and creative problem-solving skills by as much as 50%.
Relieve Stress & Boost Energy: Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in natural environments like mountains and waterfalls. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.
Longevity: While they can’t prove causation, many studies have shown a strong correlation between access to nature and longer, healthier lives. Some factors researchers noted include "recovery from stress and attention fatigue, encouragement of physical activity, facilitation of social contact and better air quality" as well as nature's positive effect on mental health which boosts overall health and longevity.
Benefits of Meditation:
Reduces Stress: Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try meditation.
Helps Control Anxiety: Meditation involves slow, steady breaths which help to reduce anxiety be decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones.
Promotes Greater Emotional Health: Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation helps with developing resilience to depression and helps to create a more positive outlook on life.
Increases Awareness of the Unconscious Mind: Some forms of meditation help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.
Increases Attention: Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
Improves Sleep: Becoming skilled at meditation disciplines the mind and helps better control racing or “runaway” thoughts that can keep you up at night. Additionally it can help you relax the body, releasing tension that prevents restive states.