Something is in the water. Yoga is the new HR teambuilding activity.

I say this because I’ve been to several human resources meetings, this year, and leaders are forcing their colleagues and direct reports to wake up early and do yoga.

And I use the word “forcing” because attendance is mandatory. You wake up early, do yoga with your boss, have a shower, eat some breakfast, and attend your meetings.

One HR leader said to me, “This is good for them. Nobody is going to die.”

Another said to me, “It’s gentle yoga. They can do it.”

There’s a benefit to being a consultant. I said, “Have fun with that. I’m sleeping in.”

Yoga can be awesome and fun. It can change your life. I’ve incorporated yoga into my pilates and running routine, and my hips feel better. Yoga is also good for those who suffer from arthritis, anxiety, and even breast cancer.

But if you’re a human resources lady who sits more than she walks, yoga can be humbling and scary. And, just like any new exercise, you can get injured if you push too hard and too fast. As a side note, I had to ask myself what kind of slow-witted HR leader makes a work-sponsored physical activity compulsory? I’m not a lawyer, but it seems risky to force Judy from benefits into a pigeon pose without the option of saying no.

Yoga appears to be the new HR team building activity — and it might be something you try with your friends at a human resources conference. That seems cool. But it’s probably not something you want to force your employees to experience before they endure a full day of meetings.

If you want to do something fun and inclusive with your team, why don’t you give them a few options and have them pick one? Make people feel involved in team building activities, and you are one step closer to reinforcing healthy team dynamics.


  1. Laurie,

    I’m with you on this one. Why do people feel the need to “mandate” these types of team-building activities? In most cases, it does the exact opposite of building camaraderie.

    The only people who think Yoga with the Boss will be “fun” are those who look good in spandex. The rest are silently plotting their revenge . . .

  2. Congrats on the new blog, you’ve definitely brought a different voice to the table.

    I agree, forcing someone to do anything physical (not part of the essential functions) is a recipe for disaster.

  3. a friend of mine works for a company that does a 10:00am stretch. They all meet at 10:00am, take some deep breaths and stretch their arms over their head a few times…way better option if you ask me compared to seeing your CEO or co-workers straining to get in any sort of yoga pose!

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