I spent the better part of last Thursday in my car, delivering promotional materials to agencies throughout the eastern part of the state. Spending the day sitting down and gripping my steering wheel, stuck in traffic, I was not doing myself any favors in terms of ergonomics, physical activity, or stress reduction. Thankfully, part of my day also included a pit stop to the DPH State Lab in Jamaica Plain, where Wellness Champion Jacki Dooley invited me to join in on the yoga class her site hosts every Thursday at lunchtime.
Jacki organizes the 16-week class, for which around 20 employees pay a nominal fee, taught by yoga instructor extraordinaire Paige Briber. Paige has a calm, gentle demeanor, which allows her to expertly instruct all levels of yogis – even relative novices like myself. Paige’s class is conducted in the dark, with only two small lamps to help participants see, creating a relaxed and welcoming environment. Each week, she leads the group through a slightly different set of poses and movements, including back bends, core strengtheners, and deep breathing exercises. She also includes modifications for each pose, so everyone is able to participate at their own comfort and skill level. Coming from only experiencing yoga through DVDs at home, I was hesitant about joining in on a class, but Paige made me feel at ease and confident the entire time. I left the class feeling relaxed, stretched out (in the best possible way), and ready to sign up for a yoga class near me!
If space and other logistics allow, I would highly recommend looking into holding yoga or another group exercise class during lunchtime at your site. An onsite lunchtime class is accessible, since employees don’t have to travel far; builds camaraderie; and is a great way to fit in exercise during the workday. If you would like help in starting up a lunchtime class, send me an email. And if your site offers classes similar to those at the State Lab, I’d love to hear about them and share them on the blog.