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Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Taking Yoga To The Corporate 'Suits' In Hong Kong
Like other major financial centers such as London, Shanghai or New York, Hong Kong is home to legions of suited workers toiling long hours in vast, glass towers at breakneck speed.
But in this crowded, materialistic city, there's a man trying to build a business from de-stressing the workplace.
"The wellness of employees is the wellness of the company; the very strength of a company is its employees," said Dario Calvaruso, a yoga instructor who set up Holistic Wellness -- a company that offers a series of in-office programs to reduce stress.
He's on a mission to make yoga mats an essential fixture under every Hong Kong worker's desk.
The 39-year old spent 15 years living in India studying the ancient discipline, which seeks to relax those who practice it, through elongation, slow movement and controlled breathing.
When Calvaruso moved to Hong Kong in October 2011, opportunity knocked on his door. "Many of my friends were major company managers and approached me for private (yoga) classes," Calvaruso said. "After seeing its benefits they thought 'this should come to my company'."
Within this territory's constricted work spaces, practicing yoga requires relatively little room and minimal equipment -- a large ball and a mat are enough. As the instructor plays calm music, everyone stretches, breathes deeply and closes their eyes.
"All the team is present at the lessons and it's a great way to start our day," said Manuele Bosetti, general manager of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macao.
This organization has to deal with the day-to-day problems of its member companies and sometimes taking the time to listen can be a challenge, Bosetti told CNN. But performing yoga as a group has helped.
"We noticed that everyone at the office was more relaxed, and we managed to treat our business partners in a more kind way," Bosetti added. (MORE)