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Finding Zen in the Workplace: Boost Employee Wellbeing with Yoga

Finding Zen in the Workplace: Boost Employee Wellbeing with Yoga

In today's fast-paced corporate world, where stress and burnout are commonplace, organizations are starting to recognize the crucial importance of employee wellbeing in driving employee retention, productivity, and job satisfaction. As unlimited PTO and other generous paid time off become standard, what are companies like Help Scout doing to stand out from the crowd? Think: paid month-long sabbaticals, company-funded vacations, and a reimagining of what the corporate sales retreat looks like (hint: it’s not a golf trip).

Among the various methods that have gained popularity in recent years, onsite or virtual weekly yoga classes and yoga retreats stand out as powerful tools that can significantly impact employee health and overall work experience.


Benefits of Yoga on the Health, Productivity, and Job Satisfaction of Top Performers

Top performers at your company are driven, smart, and talented. Chances are good they’re also stressed and close to burnout, which the World Health Organization defines as an increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of energy depletion and negativism. In March 2023 42% of American workers reported feeling ‘burned out’. 

When an employer stands up and invests in the mental and physical health and wellness of their employees through programs like company yoga classes or yoga retreats, they equip them to better handle the challenges of the (largely sedentary) workplace. 

Yoga is not just a physical exercise. Yoga is a holistic practice that encompasses physical postures, breathing techniques, and mindfulness. Regular yoga practice has been proven to reduce stress levels, alleviate anxiety, and improve sleep quality. And the physical component of yoga can help improve flexibility, posture, and strength, which can combat the long-term effects of a sedentary desk job.

Veeva gym
The Veeva office in Columbus has an onsite fitness studio where employees can take a break from work and focus on physical health

In making space for the mental benefits of yoga, founders and company leadership create a positive workplace culture. Yoga cultivates mindfulness and self-awareness, enabling employees to better manage their emotions and reactions. This, in turn, enhances their interpersonal skills, making for more harmonious teamwork and improved job satisfaction. Companies that prioritize employee wellness through yoga programs often witness a boost in productivity and a decrease in absenteeism due to illness.


Trends around PTO and Employee Retention

As the work landscape evolves, so do employee expectations. Paid Time Off (PTO) policies have become a pivotal factor in talent acquisition and retention. Forward-thinking companies understand that employees need time to recharge, away from the demands of work. Offering flexible PTO policies, unlimited (or 4+ weeks) paid time off, parental leave and even long-term sabbaticals for tenured employees have all been linked to increased job satisfaction and reduced turnover rates.

Offering PTO and ensuring employees use it increases loyalty and retention. A study by EY reported that for every 40 hours of free time an employee takes, the time they stay with their current employer grows by 8 months. And, for every 10 hours of PTO an employee takes, the average performance review is 8% higher. Not only does PTO result in employees who stick around longer, but their work improves, too.


Establishing the What + Why of Yoga in the Workplace

Have you ever heard a colleague lament that they were more tired after their vacation than they were before their vacation? What if it didn’t have to be this way?

Yoga, an ancient practice originating from India, connects the mind, body, and spirit. It provides a holistic approach to wellbeing, encompassing physical, mental, and emotional dimensions. Incorporating yoga into the workplace brings these benefits to employees' daily routines, enhancing their overall quality of life.

yoga at work

Yoga retreats create an immersive experience that fosters self-discovery and transformation. Participants have time on retreat to delve into their yoga and mindfulness practice, away from the distractions of daily life. A serene setting, combined with dedicated time for self-care, makes yoga retreats rejuvenating.


Wondering Soul Yoga's Morocco Retreat

I care deeply about the benefits of yoga and mindfulness in the workplace because I have experienced the benefits of these practices firsthand. When I make time to do yoga and to meditate, guess what? I’m calmer, more focused, more productive, and generally more pleasant to be around!

As an experienced instructor with hundreds of hours of teaching experience, I started running 8-day, all-women yoga retreats in Morocco in 2022 to allow folks to unwind, recharge, and reconnect with themselves. On retreat I lead 1-2 yoga and meditation sessions per day and ensure participants eat lots of delicious Moroccan food. We discuss the important social and political issues in Morocco all while deepening our connection with each other and ourselves. My retreats are so much more than ‘just a vacation’!

I craft my retreats to reimagine what travel should look and feel like. On retreat, my participants immerse themselves in a new environment and deepen their appreciation for different cultures and traditions. When they combine yoga, mindfulness, and exploration, they rejuvenate and return to the office ready to tackle their responsibilities with new energy and direction.

morocco yoga retreat
Morocco Retreat, 2023. Image courtesy of Sarah Taylor

This past October (2023) I brought nine women from across the US to share in deep breathwork, self-exploration, daily journal prompts, and yoga – all in the context of three unique Morocco locales. During our eight days together, the hustle and bustle of Marrakech greeted us, the calm silence of the desert enveloped us, and the crashing sounds of the waves in Essaouira prompted us to stop and reflect. These women left more connected with themselves and with each other, reinvigorated to approach their lives back at home with new vigor and a new perspective.

Everyone should have time to fully restore and reset. But you don’t have to travel halfway across the world to reset! As companies seek innovative ways to enhance employee well-being, incorporating yoga into workplace wellness programs (onsite and online) and offering immersive retreats just makes sense. I fully believe that by offering yoga classes, yoga workshops, and offsite yoga retreats, companies benefit both individual employee health and the health of the organization as a whole. 

If you agree and you’re interested in incorporating yoga into your employee experience, please reach out to


About the Author

Sarah Taylor_headshot (1)
Sarah Taylor has practiced yoga since 2007 and has taught yoga since 2018. Sarah is deeply passionate about storytelling, marketing, and meaningful work. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her fiancé and two cats, Miso and Mochi. You can find her writing about yoga, travel, and wellness on her 


Blog cover image courtesy of Sarah Taylor


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