Our MorFit initiative is focused on our colleagues’ physical, mental, social and financial needs. From fitness and yoga classes to pension workshops and holistic therapies, MorFit is our commitment to prioritising our people and self-care.
Maria Kelly’s yoga classes have been a staple of our wellbeing programme for over four years. From weekly in-person sessions at Morson Group head office and the Lighthouse, to Zoom-based sessions throughout the coronavirus lockdowns, her instruction has attracted many colleagues across the Group to either continue on their yoga journey or embark on it for the first time.
Maria began her own yoga journey in 1997 and it has been a huge part of her life ever since. She formally became an instructor in 2010. Based out of Lymm, Cheshire, she offers Vinyasa Flow, Restorative Yoga, Pre/Post Natal and Baby Yoga Classes. She also runs Tranquillite Yoga Retreats in Anglesey, Yorkshire and France.
Morson Group’s Chief Operating Officer and keen yoga practitioner Adrian Adair caught up with Maria after a session to talk about the important role that yoga can play in addressing work-related stress:
Maria: I used to work in call centres and offices, and I’ve been sat at a desk, and you don’t realise how much that affects you with your posture and lack of movement. With the breathing, everything’s been sort of compressed into that area where we should be really open and breathing into. That’s the sort of focus I like to bring in. We can change our posture and we can generally feel better, but also with the breathing, we can help our nervous system feel calmer and learn to self-regulate. We deal with stress with a computer screen coming at us and we don’t process it properly, so people’s stress levels go through the roof and that’s where yoga can really help.
Adrian: For me it was about people being able to stop and controlling yourself during difficult times, breathing’s a massive one and yoga and meditation can teach you that. Yoga’s an easy way to get into understanding your breath and what that can do to the body and the way it feels. That was one of the main reasons why I was keen to do yoga, how long ago has it been we’ve been doing it for?
Maria: It was a few years ago wasn’t it, a couple of years before lockdown I think, and then it was online for a while through lockdown. Now, it’s come back more recently.
Adrian: Obviously during the lockdown, we all hit maximum stress levels of all time really and I think it’s great that we carried on the classes, albeit online. I know I wasn’t very good at attending them! But I know it gave a lot of people help around our business. One thing I love about yoga is that it’s inclusive, the class we’ve just done, we’ve had graduates that have been here two minutes to myself in the class and it’s a great way to get everyone interacting. I think the online piece was really helpful.
Maria: You make better decisions when you’re coming from a calmer place and if you can get more people doing it then coming back to your workplace will be a better environment for everyone.
Adrian: I’m sure there are a number of our customers interested, how do they get in touch with you?
Maria: I’ve got a website – www.mariayoga.co.uk, the email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m on Instagram and Facebook. I also do retreats, if people want to immerse themselves in yoga and that’s https://www.tranquilliteretreats.co.uk. They’re in Anglesey, Yorkshire and France.