Bring a Yoga Retreat to Your Event

Beat meeting fatigue with de-stressing poses and stretches

It’s no secret that meetings can be stressful. Attending a meeting from sunup to sundown can leave attendees feeling drained, as can the simple fact of having their routine disrupted—no early-morning run, no late-night meditation session. Plus, meetings that are focused on work can make it difficult for attendees to shake the mental and physical stresses of the workplace that might tag along.

One way to prioritize decompressing at your event: yoga. Nearly 21 million Americans use yoga for mind and body relaxation—it relieves stress, increases strength and flexibility, and stimulates blood flow. Beyond its health benefits, yoga can boost your meeting, too: Give guests a moment to wind down, and they’ll feel recharged and refreshed for whatever comes next.

So, how can you bring a mini yoga retreat to your event? Here are three ways:

Create a Calm Atmosphere

Meditation and deep breathing are frequent components to yoga stretches—but that blissful nirvana can’t be reached if your setup doesn’t allow for relaxing moments. Consider the venue and purpose of the meeting and how it might, or might not, lend itself to relaxation. For example, if the room is filled with extravagant décor, will your attendees be able to move around and stretch? Or will their senses be inundated with stimuli? If so, they might not be able to focus.

If possible, find a spot outside to set up with all the yoga essentials: yoga mats, foam blocks, towels and water bottles. If the event space doesn’t allow for that, bring your mini yoga retreat indoors with stretches that can be done sitting, such as seated crescent moon, where you raise your arms overhead and lean to the side, or poses that can be done in tight standing quarters, such as standing thigh stretch, where you bend your leg at the knee and bring your heel to your buttocks to stretch your quadriceps and hip flexors.

If the meeting space is large enough, plan to have the yoga instructor on a stage or platform so attendees can clearly see how the move should be performed.

The Breakout Relaxation Session

Breakout sessions can be a great way to divide the day and allow guests a few moments of peace. Instead of playing games or another overdone icebreaker, plan a yoga sequence in between sessions or other meeting activities. Letting attendees get up and move will help relieve the tension buildup from sitting all day while also refocusing their minds, which will leave them ready to jump back into the meeting.

Make Yoga a Team-Building Exercise

Fitness is often a great opportunity to get people working together, competitively or not. Yoga is no exception, as certain poses require a partner to keep balance or really stretch out the body.

For example, challenge attendees to stand up and move through a standing sequence without the use of their arms. To complete the task, they’ll have to work with someone else as a unit, which means they’ll need to strategize, talk it out and then act together—all elements of team building that inspire a sense of collaboration that will bleed into your meeting.

It’s not always easy to get people energized throughout a daylong event, but yoga can help refresh guests’ minds and bodies while also revitalizing the energy level in your meeting. Your attendees will appreciate the focus on their wellness, and in turn, will be able to better focus on your event, too.