Human-Centered and to the Core: Rooftop Yoga Lunches

photo 2Q:  Why are Jen and Robin doing yoga on RSP’s rooftop?

  1. To emphasize Herman Miller/ Intereum’s renewed focus on wellness, balance and movement in the office.
  2. To illustrate the importance of quiet contemplation as shown in Herman Miller’s Modes of Work in The Living Office Presentation.
  3. Intereum’s A/D Rep (Jen) has a one-year-old and hasn’t been able to go to yoga class.
  4. RSP has a great view of the Minneapolis skyline.
  5. All of the above.

If you answered 5. All of the above – you are correct!  Rooftop Yoga Lunches are great ways to spurr discussions about many of the shifts happening in places of work today.  In the 1960’s, Action Office was born and was meant to be just that – a way to work that allowed for (and encouraged) movement, interactivity and collaboration.  What inadvertently happened was, well (in not so many words)…Dilbertville.
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In previous blogs, we have mentioned a new vision for workplaces called The Living Office.   The Living Office is made up of parts.  A few of those parts are Provocations and Modes of Work.  These two components comprise the theory behind this shift in design thinking.  One provocation is We Feel Before We Think, another is Living Beats Dying.  These are broad spectrum thoughts that drive our behavior.  Modes of Work are the essential behaviors that happen in the work place.  A few of these are: chat; warm up, cool down; and contemplate.  The challenge then becomes creating spaces that allow your people to perform essential behaviors. This vision creates an approach that looks at the person who uses the space, the behaviors that this person does at work and acknowledges that prosperity is about more than money.

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So, why yoga?  Besides the obvious modes (warm up, cool down), yoga gave us the opportunity to show people how this emphasis on wellness is essential to prosperity.  Yogi-turned-designer-turned-yogi (again),  Jessica Rosenberg, led the class with an approach that only a Yogi/Designer could.  She started by explaining that design and yoga have a commonality: they are both focused on building strong foundations.  Design is the planning of how people interact with space.  Yoga is the science of the mind-body connection.  This yoga class allowed people to have a moment to contemplate, breathe, relax and refocus.  By doing yoga on the rooftop, it allowed this group to look at things from a fresh perspective and better understand why spaces allocated to contemplation, chatting and warm up/cool down are essential to a prosperous office.

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Some of the responses after our Yoga Lunch were:
“Wow – that made our lunch break seem longer.”
“Why don’t we do this every week?”
“I feel great.”

So, in the spirit of Living Beats Dying, what can you do to promote wellness and prosperity in your office?  How can your space enable you to actually Live Better?

These are some questions that we will be exploring with Herman Miller’s new Living Office vision.

***Jessica Rosenberg, Yogi-turned-designer-turned-yogi (again), is the founder of Super Stretch Yoga iPhone App and Gorilla Yogis Troop Leader.  Gorilla Yogis is a charitable organization in Minneapolis where students of Yoga meet in architecturally interesting places in the city, donate money to a designated charity and practice yoga.

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