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“Slowly does it”… the Canberra duo putting a new spin on corporate yoga studio retreats

By James McPhillips 17 September 2018 0
here.'s Charlie and Andrea Murray

here.’s Charlie and Andrea Murray. Photo: Supplied.

As workplace stress continues to increase, demand for a different type of corporate retreat is on the rise, and forward-thinking companies like Cordelta are taking advantage of this trend. Business Architect and consultant James McPhillips reports on his experience at here. – an Inner North venture that’s anything but average.

There’s no denying that we’re more stressed than ever before. Even with the abundance of good information out there about stress, many of us are locked into habits and routines that limit our potential and hold us back from full enjoyment of our lives. I know I am guilty of some of these bad habits (device addiction, I’m looking at you!).

So, it’s good news for local businesses – and anyone who wants to build more productive, healthier teams – that a Canberra duo has stepped up to help solve these problems at work.

Enter Canberra yoga studio – here.

here. is a wellbeing studio founded on the principles of mindfulness and slow living. Founded by Charlie Murray and Dr Andrea Murray, here. is changing up the wellbeing space – at all times basing their approach on a solid scientific evidence-base, and their respective backgrounds in physiotherapy and clinical neuropsychology.

Located at Downer Shops, in a modern, minimalist space, the services on offer at here. include yoga, psychology, physiotherapy and pilates. However, it’s the way they integrate these into corporate wellbeing strategy that is of particular note.

I was fortunate enough to attend a corporate workshop with my colleagues in Cordelta’s Business Architecture (“BizArch”) unit.
here. workshopped a full suite of techniques with our team, from breathing and mindfulness practices, nutrition and physical wellbeing, through to productivity systems designed to optimise for peak performance, all while maintaining a focus on stress reduction.

It’s an innovative concept – to integrate such a range of approaches that collectively maximise a person’s physical and mental wellbeing – all under the one roof. And it’s one that our team responded extremely positively to.

 

Cordelta team deep in learning mode

Cordelta team deep in learning mode. Photo: Supplied.

The best ideas from many fields

This combination of ideas is inherent to here.’s inception – the brainchild of not just Charlie and Andrea’s fields of expertise, but two years spent living in Japan.

“Our time in Japan completely redefined our values and the way we live, so we started here. to share this knowledge and help others to slow down too,” Charlie says.

Andrea echoes Charlie’s sentiments.

“While I was finishing my post-doctoral studies, we spent two years living in Okinawa Japan, one of the world’s ‘blue zones’.

“This is a place where happiness and physical wellbeing levels are off the chart and life expectancy is among the highest anywhere on the planet. It was there that we learnt to live differently. To take control of the stress in our lives and simply, slow down,” she says.

Finding a mindful moment in a Flow Drawing class with local artist and Archibald prize finalist Dr Tony Curran

Finding a mindful moment in a Flow Drawing class with local artist and Archibald prize finalist Dr Tony Curran. Photo: Supplied.

Stress management makes good business sense

There are many benefits beyond just individual wellbeing and stress management. It also makes sense from a business perspective.

According to research conducted by the Sax Institute, every dollar invested in workplace health and wellbeing programs equals a return on investment of between three and six dollars.

Our GoSlow workbooks, full of great stress reduction and productivity enhancement educational material.

Our GoSlow workbooks, full of great stress reduction and productivity enhancement educational material. Photo: Supplied.

Similarly, when employee health and wellness is managed well, the percentage of engaged employees increases from 7 per cent to 55 per cent. Krishan Jogia, BizArch’s senior executive, recognised the value in here.’s unique approach.

“When I set out to plan a retreat day for the team, my intention was for us to connect as a tribe and to understand each other’s personal mission. As the tribe leader, it’s important for me to recognise that work is just one aspect in peoples’ lives that plays a role in fulfilling our personal mission. If I don’t take the time to understand what’s important to people beyond their work, or provide the tools and methods to help them think about this, how can I truly support their growth? At the end of the day, our business is just a way for us to advance on our journey to becoming better versions of ourselves – and our clients are beneficiaries of that along the way,” he says.

If you manage a team, and care about their wellbeing, I would highly recommend reaching out to the here. team. Charlie and Andrea really know their stuff, and it was an absolute pleasure to participate in the retreat.

My key takeaways were:

  • I need to take some time daily to document, reflect and reorient to my own vision, mission, and goals for life – personal, professional, family/community,
  • Structured and prioritised single-tasking is really the key to a productive working style,
  • The fight or flight “stress” response is mostly unnecessary in the modern world, but it has been hijacked by our devices, notifications and emails, and
  • The key to maintaining control over the stress response, lies in controlling the breath and practicing other mindfulness techniques.

Email hello@behere.co to book your retreat or visit their website for more details. Also check out here.’s corporate retreats.

Location: Shop 3, 2 Frencham Pl, Downer ACT 2602

Teams take home 'slowbags', filled with a beautifully curated selection of mindful (and delicious) gifts

Teams take home ‘slowbags’, filled with a beautifully curated selection of mindful (and delicious) gifts. Photo: Supplied.

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