The Google Mindbody Awareness Program launched in March 2010 was conceirved and created by Sita Mani and still runs in Google offices nationwide today. The program started out as simple guided 20-30 minute body-mind practices for Google employees in the New York office.
The sessions were based in ancient movement and breathing traditions such as Qi Gong, Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation as well as more contemporary neuromuscular re-education methods such as Feldenkrais.The sessions are offered by Google Therapists with eclecticbackgrounds in bodywork, movement study and practice.
The objective of these sessions:
1.To help the body release tension and regain energetic equilibrium,to allow the mind to quiet, re-center itself and assimilate the days experience, resulting in smoother transitions into the workday, back to a desk, or out of the workday.
2.To offer employees tools for self regulation. To give them their own time manageable 10-15 minute bodymind regimens to use as needed.
The program has expanded on to offer Team Building Sessions, Video Conference Talks and classes,and to gather data supporting the effect of these sessions on employee productivity and well being has extended through field offices across the country.
Google Mindbody Awareness Program
Mindbody Awareness Program Interview
Google Health And Performance Team
By Lorina Mendoza, Google Massage Therapist, MTV
July 16, 2014
Would you like to inspire lasting changes? Do you have an inclination to be a MindBody Awareness teacher? Maybe you are already a MBA teacher and could use some insight on how to be more successful. If so, this article is for you.
I interviewed Sita Mani from our New York office hoping to tap into her wisdom as a successful MBA facilitator. Sita began practicing massage in 1997 and joined Google in 2006. In addition to traditional massage, Sita practices Feldenkrais Method, aka Functional Integration.
For Sita, the Feldenkrais Method “is the most Non-violent, scientific, intelligent, effective and long lasting modality I have found to relieve pain and discomfort and create actually pattern changes from within in a sustainable way."
I was delighted and enlightened by the pearls of wisdom she had to offer.
Sita proposed and began the first MBA class back in 2009, and when I asked her what was most fulfilling about being an MBA facilitator she said, “I love being part of their discovery that they have the power to create on going positive change for themselves without always needing a therapist or doctor or degree in anatomy.”
If your really want to make an impact and want some tips to be a successful MBA facilitator here are some more jewels:
1) Get clear on what you have to offer and how that matches what individuals identify they need. Identify the problems and challenges that people face and how what you have to offer meets their needs. This sets the foundation for class content and how you chose your words in conversations, talks and fliers.
2) People in work environments of today like clear, concrete series more than open ended and on-going classes. Sita originally conceived of a drop-in, de-stress class. It turned out that the themed and short series workshops (6-10 weeks) did better when it came to attendance. It helps to be clear about the goals, benefits and what they can expect. For example, her TMJ series did really well.
3) Listen, offer, listen, adjust and repeat. Sita asks, “what are they bringing into the room?” In essence, she is listening for what is needed to inspire what she offers. When it comes to improving upon a class, it’s important to invite feedback. Surveys, evaluations and asking questions will help you make welcomed adjustments like changing the times of classes and what themes to focus on.
4) Promotion matters. There are many ways to promote an MBA class. Finding a way that works for you is important. Sita has conversations with clients. She is mindful to not come from a selling mentality rather more of a service orientation. She has also invited guest speakers to feature the program with tech talks. Partnering with other programs can also help spread the word.
If you want to have a greater impact, have an inner MBA teacher stirring and/or want a be a successful one at that, I hope you take time to integrate these well earned lessons from Sita Mani.
* words of advice from Lorina