By Elana Safar
Shortly after Wellness Week® 2012 ended, SpaFinder created the Workplace Wellness Committee, in order to continue the path of wellness all year. From creating a Wellness Library, hosting lunch-n-learns for employees and having “wellness walks” through various famous New York City parks, SpaFinder is committed to enriching the lives of its employees through wellness. In April 2012, the Workplace Wellness Committee ventured out into the neighborhood to experience a unique fitness activity: AntiGravity® FUNdamentals, at the newly opened OM Factory in Union Square.
About 13 SpaFinder employees attended the innovative class, which is designed to allow participants to experience a wide range of benefits with the support of a personal hammock hung from the ceiling (it can hold up to 2,000 pounds!). With its assistance, participants can hold and balance challenging yoga poses, go upside down with ease, indulge in “assisted” stretches and gain better overall kinesthetic awareness.
This was everyone’s first exposure to AntiGravity yoga, and the response was overwhelmingly positive! SpaFinder’s marketing team surveyed the group to measure the effect of this experience with regard to overall anxiety, feelings about trying a “novel” activity and team bonding: About 50 percent of the participants admitted to feeling somewhat nervous about trying the class, and 80 percent felt “stressed” in general. After experiencing the class, all of the participants felt a decreased stress level when leaving the studio.
For some, the experience was more athletic: “I was surprised at how athletic the class turned out to be ─ I liked it much better than standard yoga, which I never really enjoyed.”
Another felt more challenged in a mental sense: “It was a psychological breakthrough for me because I tend to get scared of being off the ground. But I conquered that fear. Also, the ‘novelty’ of this activity stimulated my brain and made me feel like a child again.”
Moving forward, 60 percent said they would take another AntiGravity yoga class, and 100 percent reported a willingness to try a new or similarly atypical wellness activity in the future. As one employee noted, “Doing flips on a big swinging fabric is easier than it looks!”
Team Bonding: The entire group agreed this experience allowed one another to get to know co-workers in a capacity beyond the average work day!
“I thought it was a great experience, and I am glad I had the opportunity to try something I may not have tried on my own.” Summed up by another, “Awesome!”