Before yoga became a ‘buzzword’, a progressive Hamilton business was well ahead of the game by introducing it as an option to staff. We catch up with the team from Livestock Improvement Limited (LIC) for an update and discover that more than 100 staff has tried yoga there since classes began.
Ten years ago, yoga classes started at the LIC headquarters at Newstead, on the outskirts of Hamilton. Today the classes are still going strong. The hour-long lunchtime sessions are led by Cornelia Regnier, a qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher with more than 30 years’ experience.
After two years of weekly classes, several of the regular students were feeling the benefits, but realised they needed more than one class a week to accelerate progress. The result was an extra “advanced” class on Fridays. Cornelia recently mentioned that this is the hardest working and most receptive of all the classes she teaches, including those at her studio in Hamilton East (www.yogahamilton.co.nz), Raglan, and other workplaces.
As for the original “general” class, every 12 weeks a new course starts and beginners are encouraged to sign up, as Cornelia takes everyone back to basics for the first few weeks. Approximately one hundred staff has tried yoga over the years.
The benefits to the yoga students at LIC are the obvious ones of increased flexibility, less injuries from other sports, better posture and a myriad of other health improvements. As a company, LIC benefits from healthier and more motivated staff, who truly appreciate the opportunity to practise yoga at work, at a time which fits into busy lifestyles.
In late 2003 Cornelia started teaching a group of raw beginners at the National Institute of Water and Air (NIWA). So began a journey in yoga, expertly guided and encouraged by Cornelia using the Iyengar method and her many years of experience teaching all levels.
Staff and students from nearby Landcare and Waikato University have also regularly attended, as well as visiting scientists from overseas.