The Benefits of Yoga: "Helping People Age with Vitality and Positive Energy"
In keeping with Healthy Aging month, September is also National Yoga Awareness month! Brio Living Services’ Chief Financial Officer, Kim Hoppe, has been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years and shares her knowledge with our team members.
“Yoga and other physical activities, as well as other mindfulness activities, are so important, not just for our physical health, but also our emotional health and well-being,” says Kim. “The question really is, ‘how do we want to age?’ I would like to help people age with vitality and positive energy.”
Kim has offered yoga classes to approximately 50 Brio Living Services team members over the last two years as part of the organization’s Wellness Program. These have included virtual classes, as well as two one-day Workplace Zen retreats, which featured how to create sustainable leadership through the use of yoga and mindfulness practices.
“I provide tools that team members can use during their work day to manage stress and impact energy levels,” says Kim. “Yoga and mindfulness practices, such as meditation or breathing techniques, can have a very significant impact on our stress levels. I love being able to offer a few tools to our team members to help manage stress and life in general.”
Kim adds that yoga and mindfulness practices are easy tools we can implement as we work that can reduce stress levels and positively affect overall health and well-being. “When you are feeling your mind being hijacked by the demands of the day, focus on where you feel your breath the most. That might be in your abdomen, your chest, or maybe even just under your nose. As you bring your attention to your breath, start to extend your exhales longer than your inhales. Start with a one-count inhale to a two-count exhale and then begin to expand your exhales up to a one-count inhale to a five-count exhale. You may notice how your mind and body start to relax and soften. Try it!”
Karen Owen, Director of Donor & Campaign Operations for the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundations, says she is grateful for the opportunity to attend the Sustainable Leadership Workshop, where she could practice yoga and mindfulness. “Learning to energize and calm the body through body, breath, and mind work was invigorating,” says Karen. “I have already utilized some of the tools I learned in my everyday work and personal life. It is wonderful to work for an organization that invests in its team members by providing opportunities like this for growth and rejuvenation.”
Kim says, “Keeping our bodies, and our minds, active and engaged keeps us healthy, and we have the ability to live the life we want to. I have experienced the significant impact that just a few yoga poses can do in my life, and I’m happy to be able to share that with our team.”