For one hour every week, meeting and working in the Lessonly breakout space known as the Den is explicitly discouraged. Instead, mid-day Mondays are reserved for meditation and relaxation.
At that time, Brittany Davis of Practice Indie Yoga leads Lessonly yogis through different poses, breathing exercises, and meditations. There are about five employees Brittany calls the “core group,” but estimates around 10 to 15 people participate in Yoga Monday at Lessonly every week. She notes, “Attendance fluctuates depending on how busy [the week] is, but there’s usually a good turn out.”
The weekly ritual began with Dana McNulty, Lessonly Community Manager, wanting to find a way to try and make Mondays a little more palatable. “Women’s Empowerment Group had events where they went off site and did yoga,” Dana says. “I wanted to bring that experience in-house and give it a community aspect.” She heard of Practice Indie through her previous connections at Salesforce and decided to reach out.
Now, Yoga Mondays have become a key part of many Lessonly employee’s weeks. Catrina Cranfill, Creative Learning Manager, definitely feels the “bonding” that in-house yoga brings, “It’s the perfect way to get away from my desk and hang out with people I don’t get to see all the time.”
Practice Indie’s mission is to give people permission to be themselves by providing a platform that lets working people reset mentally, physically, and spiritually. Shannon Brasovan, CYO (Chief Yoga Officer) at Practice Indie does this often, “We teach at several corporate locations around town to help facilitate mindfulness, self-awareness, and a space to let go of the daily grind and just breathe.”
When Brittany and her crew take over, the tone in the room is very calm, but welcoming. “I like to keep it beginner friendly and inviting.” She wants everyone to be involved, so she focuses on poses that can scale in difficulty, depending on each participant’s level of comfort and experience. This approach also cuts down on the excuses that Lessonly employees can give for not participating; “Even if you forgot to bring a change of clothes, we can make it work in jeans,” she says with a smile.
“More focused, more calm, and ready to handle challenges with a level head,” are just some of the benefits that Shannon describes of mid-day yoga, and she hears those types of testimonials from many of her corporate clients. Steve Grossi, Senior Software Engineer, regularly attends and believes an hour of yoga pays for itself through better productivity over the rest of the week, “I love starting the week by flexing my body and mind like that.”
Feedback from the rest of the Lessonly team is similarly positive, with attaining a new level of focus as the common thread. Another Lessonly Software Engineer, Ross Reinhardt, elaborated on that, “Too much attention that is too scattered can bog down my progress. Yoga helps me focus on how to make the best use of right now,” he says. “And the stretching certainly feels amazing.”