How do people “do life” without Yoga and Meditation?
Yoga and meditation brought the three of us together in a friendship that has felt more like sisterhood. We witnessed how each of our lives were profoundly supported through these tools for creating well-being amidst raising children, navigating marriages, paying the mortgage, and managing work demands. When one of our parents would get sick, when one of us had a kid going through a tough time, when one of us was injured, when work stress seemed overwhelming we often-times would look at each other and ask “how do people do life without yoga and meditation?”
In 2005, we took a collective leap and started Three Trees Yoga & Healing Arts Center as a way to share these tools for mental and physical health with others. One of our core beliefs has been that these practices are for everybody. Not just bendy people, not those who are calm and seem to have it all figured out. Life can be hard and messy and anxiety provoking. Learning tools for working with stress, loss, and illness, as well as how to enjoy life more should not be reserved for a select few.
Neuroscientist and meditation researcher Richard Davidson said, “Well-being is a learned skill. It is trainable.” We decided this would be our work. It wasn’t long before requests for on-site classes to help stressed out employees came rolling in. HR managers have been forced to look for solutions for preventing burn out and creating resilience in their workforce. As the awareness of mindfulness and its benefits increased so did the demand for corporate classes. Other Wellness Directors added classes as an employee perk to attract new talent and retain existing staff.
We hear regularly how our participants experience less anxiety: are more engaged with their families; sleep better; notice and change self-defeating behaviors; take in more pleasant moments; feel a greater sense of well-being; and experience less tension in their body and more. Hearing comments like these and witnessing how classes were positively impacting the lives of the participants were the greatest drivers for the birth of Work Well NW. This work continues to bring us great joy and purpose.
In 2007, we launched a teacher training school. We developed a yearlong program designed to train yoga teachers with an emphasis on ensuring safety; maintaining healthy alignment; modifying poses for various conditions; and working in a corporate environment. This ensures that WWNW teachers have the best training available.
In 2013, we were invited to serve on an advisory board for Physicians Insurance in Seattle, to weigh in on solutions to clinician burnout. By the following year, we had developed the Mindfulness Based Resiliency Training curriculum for clinicians and began working with local hospital systems to support their staff.
We enjoy learning about the unique culture of each company we partner with and the creativity of customizing a plan to meet their specific goals. And we love the rewarding work of changing lives for the better.
We look forward to the opportunity to hear about your company!