Here is a step-by-step guide to doing team building yoga.
Team building yoga is a form of exercise and meditation for teams. For example, you could do Iron Yoga together, or a session of downward dogs. The purpose of this activity is to provide health benefits, such as decreased stress and increased flexibility. For teams, practicing yoga can lead to stronger relationships and improved communication.
This guide includes:
- how to do team building yoga at work
- the best venues
- vocabulary and pre-event skills to develop
Let’s get to it!
How to do Yoga Team Building Activities at Work
Doing yoga with your team isn’t complicated. You can follow a few simple steps to get started.
1. Choose a venue for your vinyasa
Location, location, location, is the golden rule for real estate, but also team yoga. You want your team members to be comfortable while performing the workout, which means you will need a semi-private location. Employees may feel self conscious stretching in the goldfish bowl conference room in full view of the whole company. You will also want to ensure that the space provides room to move, so it is best to avoid cluttered and cramped areas.
You can claim an unused and spacious meeting room for your workplace yoga, or you can leave the office altogether. A gym or yoga studio are the obvious choices for a yoga-based field trip, but you can also opt for more scenic settings.
Interesting yoga settings:
- Safe rooftop
- Aerial yoga studio
- Outside at sunset
- Brewery. While this may seem a strange choice, many breweries offer yoga events.
Coworkers may be most comfortable working out at home, so another option is to host a virtual yoga team building session via virtual conference software.
2. Find your guru
Unless you happen to be a certified yogi, you will probably want to find a professional to guide your group. You can invite a yoga instructor to visit your venue in person or online. Because many gyms are exploring digital exercise classes, your local establishment may already offer an option for booking virtual classes.
Inviting an expert to lead your team yoga class live is a nice touch, but not imperative. You can find plenty of great yoga routines to follow online. Yoga Norman is a favorite among the TeamBuilding staff.
You can discover many options for guided Yoga classes by searching YouTube. The Popsugar channel offers some dynamic yoga routines, besides a variety of other workouts. New York Magazine’s publication The Cut also released a great list of free online yoga classes perfect for teams.
3. Gather your supplies
At minimum you will need yoga mats for your team exercise. You can buy a decent mat for around ten dollars. If you plan to run yoga as a regular team activity, then you may want to consider investing in communal mats. Otherwise, you can instruct your teammates to bring mats to the session. If performing a virtual team yoga session, then teammates have the option of substituting a blanket or towel for a mat, but these materials are thinner than foam mats and harder on the knees.
Other supplies commonly used during yoga classes include yoga blocks, elastic bands, calming music, and aromatherapy oils.
Providing healthy snacks, such as vegetable chips, fruit, nuts, and granola bars is another nice touch.
You could also send the equipment and snacks as part of a team building kit.
4. Bend, twist, and breathe
Once you arrange your team yoga session, you can gather your teammates and find your collective flow by following the routine.
Yoga tends to be more popular with women than with men, but all genders benefit from the practice. You can, and should, invite all of your colleagues to team yoga sessions, too.
Yoga takes focus. Though teammates may not talk to each other much during the exercises, there is something profoundly uniting about all participants breathing in unison. You can also supplement your activity with conversation at the beginning and end of class. Perhaps you encourage your team to share gratitude or stress-management tips.
Basic yoga terms to know
Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago and has a rich history. The practice employs Indian language expression, so you may stumble across unfamiliar terms. Here are a few of the most basic yoga words and phrases.
Yogi = a yoga teacher
Vinyasa = a type of yoga relating to a certain series of moves
Asana = yoga poses and postures
Pranayama = breathing technique
Ujjayi = a deep breath through the nose
Downward facing dog = a pose where participants bend towards the ground in a V shape
Chataranga = a pose where participants lie on the mat and arch up towards the sky
Child’s Pose = a resting pose where participants kneel and extend the arms on the mat
Namaste = a word the teacher uses to end class, which translates roughly in this context to “you have divine power within you”
Despite the practice-specific terms, yoga is easy to learn. There are several styles, types, and levels of yoga. You are sure to find a routine that suits your team, whether your colleagues are pliable pros or bendy beginners.
Though yoga students perform moves individually, synchronizing poses and breaths and simultaneously searching for inner calm provides a team experience. Team building yoga teaches teamwork skills like stress management, patience, and adaptability. Not to mention, if teammates can contort into pretzel shapes in front of each other, then jotting off an email or asking a clarifying question will be a breeze.