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Lotus notes Featured

7:55am EDT April 30, 2002
Susie Bradley is stimulating the employees at her graphic design firm with a four-letter word: yoga.

"I'm always looking for ways to energize my staff," says Bradley, president of graphic design firm Bradley Brown Design Group in Carnegie.

Providing a creative atmosphere is imperative in the graphic design business, says Bradley. Yoga, she contends, is one way to foster such a climate.

"Despite the pressures, the creative juices have to flow and we have to work as a team," says Bradley. "Yoga helps stimulate the creative process."

Bradley, who says she has used other exercise regimens, including aerobics and fitness machines, has been taking yoga classes for about a year-and-a-half. She decided last September to invite her employees and those of one of her clients to join her on Mondays at midday at the Yoga Sadhana Studio in the South Side.

She mentioned the classes to Don Trone, CEO of investmgt., a Web-based community for investment fiduciaries. Trone, who has an interest in providing his employees with opportunities for physical activity --investmgt. has an on-site rowing machine and shower facilities at its offices -- suggested to Bradley that the two companies offer the class to both of their employees.

"We tend to work at desks and behind computer screens all day," says Trone. "There is a connection between physical fitness and mental attitude. The yoga classes establish a sense of camaraderie and help us to open our minds. The resulting productivity is clearly a companywide benefit."

While Bradley concedes it's difficult to quantify the benefits of offering a yoga class to employees, she says her own anecdotal experience leads her to believe that it helps reduce stress and that her employees look forward to the weekly sessions.

Says Bradley: "It's been my observation that they seem so much calmer."

Taking the class as a group, adds Bradley, creates a bond among employees and helps them work as a team. Bradley picks up the tab for the classes.

"It definitely gives me much more balance and peace. In order to run a business, you need to have a good balance of head and heart," she says. How to reach: Bradley Brown Design Group, www.bradleybrowndesign.com; investmgt., www.investmgt.com