Staff at a Cumbrian animal hospital are now finding zen with in-house yoga classes led by their own colleague.

Linnaeus-owned Veterinary Vision is recognising the health benefits it can offer its team with these classes aimed to de-stress and bolster mental wellbeing.

Ophthalmologist and qualified yoga instructor, Evdokia Kritsiligkou, is facilitating these classes.

Evdokia said: “I was originally introduced to yoga about six years ago and never imagined what impact it would have on my overall wellbeing.

“Not only did I start noticing the physical benefits of yoga, but it also had a major effect on my mental health and personal growth.

“To deepen my knowledge and understanding I completed a 200-hour training course in Bali, in November 2022.

“When I returned to work after that, it was very clear what a profound difference that had made to my mental health.

“My colleagues were noticing my calm and positive attitude, my ability to manage stress, and as they knew about my teacher training, they expressed their interest in undertaking some classes.”

She started with a few classes at Veterinary Vision’s Sunderland branch before her recent relocation to the Penrith clinic, where she has also created a class.

Evdokia said: “The benefits of yoga are numerous. Some are physical, such as increased strength and flexibility, improved cardiovascular functioning and improved posture.

“But for me, the most important ones are the mental health ones. Yoga can help reduce anxiety, relieve stress and improve self-esteem.

“It's also a nice teamwork activity when practiced in the work setting so, although this is a new initiative for Veterinary Vision, I am hopeful that a regular yoga practice that incorporates breathing techniques, poses and meditation, will be a helpful tool for my colleagues.”

The initiative’s success has been celebrated by Veterinary Vision’s clinical director, Chris Dixon.

He said: “Evdokia's dedication to the physical and mental well-being of her colleagues reflects our commitment to a healthy and balanced work environment.

“The staff at Penrith has really embraced this unique opportunity to unwind and foster a sense of unity while exploring the holistic benefits of yoga.

“It’s another step toward providing the best possible care for our animal patients while nurturing a vibrant and harmonious team.”

Veterinary Vision hosts a team of 15 ophthalmologists offering a referral service to animal patients from across the UK, with clinics in Lancashire, Penrith, Sunderland and Glasgow.

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