Sample from the Fall 2003 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine
An Interview with Chandra Sgammato
IYM: What is Yoga at Work?
CS: Yoga at Work is a program developed by the Integral Yoga Institute of New York by Jayadeva Mandelkorn in the early 1990s as a way to bring Yoga and Sri Gurudev’s teachings into the business community. We’ve revived it in the past few years. Our strategy is simply to contact companies in Manhattan to let them know that this amazing form of stress relief is available for their employees. Now we have clients that range from banks to media companies to nonprofits; New York University is one of our big clients. Recently we’ve had inquiries from Donald Trump’s company.
IYM: How do you introduce this program to a company?
CS: We hope to intrigue the human resources director with the idea but, just as often, it’s one employee in a company who has either taken Yoga at Integral Yoga or heard about it, and wants to have the benefits of Yoga right in the office. I tell potential clients that with the Integral Yoga class they don’t need to worry about somebody getting hurt. They don’t need to worry about somebody feeling embarrassed or intimidated; there’s no competitiveness or pushing. Each class is taught in a light-handed, light-hearted, but profound way.
IYM: Do you tailor each program to the specific company?
CS: We spend a lot of time on the phone giving information to the decision makers in the company and answering their questions, and we do it in the spirit of Sri Gurudev. We explain that we will make the program as easeful, peaceful and useful as we can. We also listen to the company’s concerns. We are flexible in every way to accommodate the company, and we let them know that we’ll teach classes any time of day they want. We’ll do any length of class they want, although we do recommend at least an hour because we want employees to experience all the benefits of the Integral Yoga class.
IYM: Can any Integral Yoga teacher get involved in a Yoga at Work?
CS: We’re developing a program now-almost like franchising to other Integral Yoga teachers – So, if Integral Yoga Teachers are interested in bringing Yoga at Work to Chicago, for example, we want to work with those teachers and make an arrangement to have them do the program where they live. We would provide materials to them, and work out a financial arrangement that makes sense. I think it’s a great opportunity for all Integral Yoga teachers…
Read the rest of this article in the Fall 2003 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine.