Nicki HandstandWhen I started working as the Client Implementation Manager for the Watershed LRS side of Rustici Software, I would have never guessed I would be

spending an hour a week collectively demonstrating proper alignment for a Warrior I stance or coaching colleagues on how to do a chaturanga push­-up.

I am a self­-proclaimed hippie­ at­ heart, as well as a nerd by osmosis. While much of my time is spent amongst fellow yoga teachers, I also tend to surround myself with people far more technically savvy than I. I admire the passion to acquire knowledge, strategic thinking, and the simple raw intellect my colleagues possess.

But above their sheer smarts, I most admire their willingness to participate in something new, something they may not consider a strong suit, something out of their comfort zone: yoga.

For the past three months, I’ve been teaching a weekly yoga class here at the office for anyone who would like to participate. It started as a Quell event, and by request has become a regular thing. Now we have a stack of mats, a few yoga blocks, and use the wooden patio right outside our office as our “dedicated” yoga space.

It’s. Awesome.

There are few things in life that bring me more joy than hearing someone say that their hamstrings are more flexible, their arms feel stronger, their core tighter, or they just generally feel better since starting to practice yoga.

Even if it’s just once a week, the benefits can be noticeable! Even though our office is supportive of regular ping­-pong matches, spontaneous walks around the parking lot, and biking adventures to lunch, we still spend much of our time sitting. It’s easy to neglect our posture and ignore our breathing when we are focused on problem­-solving and staring at a computer screen. A weekly yoga class can serve as an awesome opportunity to get up and stretch, move, breathe, laugh, and find community with those we work with.

Yoga day x2

Many people who spend a lot of time sitting at work (like software developers!) suffer from similar things like tight hips and hamstrings, wrist, neck, shoulder and back pain, tension headaches…not to mention the common collection of past injuries from sports, or just general aches and soreness from inactivity. Many of my colleagues who have been participating regularly in our weekly class have remarked that they feel stronger, their balance is improving, they are noticing their breath more, and genuinely look forward to the time spent on their mats.

crow pose
It’s not just a chance for them to work on their Crow Pose; it’s an awesome time to create community outside of the office (something I must say Rustici Software is excellent at already). Plus, it’s an unexpected bonus when we can carry that sense of community and teamwork into a project together, so we are able to communicate more effectively!

I am so glad to work in an environment that has been not only tolerant to my personal passions as a yoga instructor, but actively supportive. We work hard. My brain often hurts by the end of the day because I am consistently being challenged and spurred on to improve and grow and solve problems. But I am grateful for the days when my arms are a little sore too, thanks to Wednesday “Nerd Yoga” as I have affectionately dubbed it.