Health and well-being are important to our team, both in and outside of work. Many of us find yoga is a great part of a healthy lifestyle. With our open workspace, we’re lucky to have room for the occasional office yoga session.

If you live in Vancouver and somehow don’t already practice yoga or your job isn’t specifically teaching yoga, you might wonder why it’s recommended for office workers. All physical activities have health benefits, it makes plenty of people think “why yoga over other kinds of exercise?”

Check out a few key reasons below:

Stress Reduction

It doesn’t matter how much you love your job, it can always be stressful at times. The Mayo Clinic cites several studies on how yoga can reduce stress and anxiety through a combination of improving fitness, breathing techniques and meditative elements.

Yoga Fridays at the office ✌🏻#namaste

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Improves mood

Psychology Today cites studies that yoga can produce GABA, a brain chemical that regulates your mood. They found this extra GABA production can result from a gentle yoga session, with regular practice showing stronger results. FYI the effects of GABA are mimicked by alcohol. So, instead of your next happy hour why not try a healthy yoga session instead?

Boosts brain functions

The University of Illinois conducted a study that showed a 20-minute yoga session is enough to improve participants’ working memory, reaction time and concentration. This session uses easy postures, ending with a meditation and deep breathing. They found that other forms of exercise, like a 20-minute jog, didn’t provide the same benefits.

Helps if you work at a desk

The negative effects of sitting at your desk have received a lot of media attention the last few years. They range from physical, such as back pain and bad posture, to psychological effects such as higher stress levels. If you’ve tried yoga or see any yoga poses, you can tell that most of them are the complete opposite of sitting at a desk. Except for ‘Awkward Pose’ which happens to look like you’re sitting at an invisible desk. Yoga can help alleviate back, joint and muscle pain, on top of its mental health benefits.

If you aren’t lucky enough for in-office yoga sessions, there are plenty of ways to have a quick yoga session yourself. Check out 5 office chair yoga poses and 7 office desk yoga poses.