Here's why this founder asks employees to meditate together every morning
Business Insider's Kevin Loria recently laid out the plethora of research-backed benefits that meditation offers, including its ability to help us deal with stress, improve memory, and even boost our immune systems.
Those are just a few reasons the 10-person team at Soma, a San Francisco-based company that produces an eco-friendly water filtration system, sits silently in a circle together every morning for 15 minutes.
"After a quick team huddle on our priorities, we meditate to relax our minds, get focused, and share in a communal activity," says Mike Del Ponte, cofounder and chief hydration officer of Soma. "Everyone is welcome to meditate however they like. Most focus on their breath and calming their minds."
Del Ponte says most of Soma's employees had never meditated before joining the company. "Coincidentally, they are usually the ones who enjoy it the most," he explains. "We create an environment that is comfortable and open. No one feels pressured or intimidated."
"Our daily meditation has had an impact on each teammate individually, as well as our culture as a whole," Del Ponte says. "For individuals, meditation increases focus, decreases stress, and helps us to be more creative. As a company, it sets the tone for the vibe we want to have in the office: relaxed, thoughtful, and focused on health."
Here are four tips for incorporating meditation into you workplace:
1. Make it a daily ritual, not something that's "nice to have."
"It's more important to do it briefly each day than to try and have long sessions," Del Ponte says. Ten to 15 minutes is short enough to be accessible to everyone, but long enough to have a meaningful effect.
2. Make it comfortable for everyone.
Let employees sit how they want and do whatever they choose with the available time. "If it seems too strict or weird, it will turn people off."
3. Make it fun.
"At the end of each session, we say 'Somaste' (instead of Namaste) to remind ourselves not to take things too seriously," he says. "We also have a Tibetan singing bell that sometimes sounds beautiful and sometimes sounds so awkward that we all laugh."
4. Ask someone to take the lead.
"There's usually one person in the company that is really passionate about meditation," Del Ponte explains. "Ask that person to be accountable for meditation happening every day."
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