Monday was International Yoga Day, celebrating the benefits of practising yoga in everyday life. Here at Oakam we’ve celebrated the day a little late, and today we held a company-wide yoga class. We like finding ways to offer team-building and morale-boosting events that are not only fun, but that will truly benefit our staff, and yoga was perfect for this.
History of yoga
Yoga is thought to have originated thousands of years ago in India, and it was developed as a way of connecting the mind, body, and soul. It was thought to move the person practising the exercise closer to enlightenment. Gradually, the practice became popularised in the western world, and is now a firm favourite among a large portion of the world’s population.
Yoga does not, and has never adhered to any particular religion or belief system – anyone who practises yoga can experience its benefits, regardless of faith or culture. There are thought to have been four periods of innovation with regards to yoga, with our current practice embodying the modern period most closely.
Benefits of yoga
Yoga’s benefits are numerous and wide-reaching; they include improving flexibility, building muscle strength and bone strength, bettering your aerobic fitness, alleviating stress, and so much more.
While these are the tangible end results that often occur, they were never the primary goal of the practice. Instead, the goal was to harmonise the self with the wider universe, but these physical and mental by-products are undoubtedly great reasons to keep up the activity, while you continue to seek that eventual harmony.
Regardless of your skill level or experience, the act of practising yoga regularly is enough to ensure that you feel better, both in your mind and your body.
International Yoga Day at Oakam
At Oakam we love to celebrate days of significance throughout the year. It’s important to us that we celebrate all days of significance, that intersect many cultures and groups, to promote inclusivity and visibility for all. Some examples this year include an International Women’s Day talk, a St Patrick’s Day cocktail class, and recently a Zoom social to celebrate the Queen’s birthday!
For International Yoga Day, we grabbed our mats and put our lunch break to good use. We were taken through a guided flow, aimed at promoting relaxation and removing stress, to help us clear our minds and reset ahead of the afternoon. In the midst of Zoom quizzes and drinks socials, it was great to change things up and use this event to instead recharge both our bodies and our minds.
The official day might be over, but it’s not too late to celebrate International Yoga Day if you’d like to! Grab a mat or make some space on the floor, and get moving. There are countless follow-along yoga flows available for free on YouTube, so you’ll be sure to find one that’s suitable, whatever your ability. Your mind and body will thank you for taking this time out.