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Namaste: Thursday means Yoga Time

Researchers, students and administrative staff gather each Thursday to practice yoga at the Department of Digitalization. The idea comes all the way from Oxford, England.

Film |   22. Jun 2017

Anne Thora Lykkegaard


On the fourth floor at Howitzvej 60, seven people from the Department of Digitalization are rolling out their yoga mats in a meeting room.

The yoga instructor, Stine Ruge, enters the room concluding that it’s going to be a hot yoga class, as the temperature outside has crawled up to about 23 degrees.

The people gathered are a mix of students, administrative staff and researchers from the department, and each Thursday they meet up in their yoga pants and t-shirts to inhale and exhale at a lower pace than usually.

The idea of having yoga classes at the department comes from PhD Fellow, Niels Buus Lassen. He went to Nuffield College in Oxford, England one year ago as part of his PhD, and there he got familiar with positions such as downward facing dog and the tree pose.

Niels Buus Lassen went back to Nuffield College around the end of May this year, and of course he participated in the yoga class. (Photo: Niels Buus Lassen)

Niels Buus Lassen liked the weekly yoga classes at Nuffield College so much that he introduced the idea to the Head of Department of Digitalization, Jan Damsgaard, when he came back from Nuffield.

And he loved it. Even though it would mean some of his colleagues would be out of reach for 45 minutes each Thursday.

“My role as Head of Department is to create a nice working environment in which people can fulfill their potential. I want get people out of their offices and away from the ‘Research Hotel’. By having yoga here, people get to talk to each other in a whole other way, and actually get to know each other and exchange good ideas,” says Jan Damsgaard.

A physical impact

The yoga classes have been going on since January and are continuing for the rest of the year as part of an experiment.

Niels Buus Lassen is convinced that when the HR-services are going to do their yearly survey among employees it will be visible in the statistics that some of the staff members from the department have been doing yoga on a weekly basis.

For instructor at CBS, John Gordon Smith it has had a huge impact.

“Yoga is amazing. I have lost weight, and I feel less stressed. Besides that I have become way more flexible, so I difinitely feel a difference everytime I go, but my body also reacts when I’m skipping a class because of meetings or whatever,” he says.

Niels Buus Lassen says to CBS WIRE that everybody who would be interested in coming to a yoga class is more than welcome after the summer holidays. And it doesn’t require any advanced skills in the fine arts of yoga.


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