Archive for Aetna CEO

March 2015 – Yoga and Meditation Profoundly Improve Aetna CEO’s Health, Influence His Business Decisions, and Enhance Worker Satisfaction

Spring is right around the corner, we “spring forward” with the clocks next weekend, and before we know it the flowers will be in bloom, and cafes returning to the NYC sidewalks.  I think after this doozy of a Winter, we should celebrate together with an outdoor yoga gathering and picnic in Central Park!  Let’s organize one!  The Spring Equinox is on Friday, March 20 (that could be a possible date, if not still too chilly, or we could do it in April or May). If you are interested, please let me know and we can plan a “Spring Yoga Celebration” together!

In case you did not see this fascinating New York Times article about Aetna’s CEO, and his personal and professional transformation due to yoga and mindfulness practices, here’s the link:

I highly recommend reading this article to learn how yoga and meditation were able to help him recover from a terrible skiing accident, in ways that traditional medicine could not post-surgeries.  Additionally, the spiritual practices have so profoundly affected him that he began offering yoga and meditation classes to his company’s employees (he runs one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S.), conducted a yoga effects study at Aetna, and increased employees’ wages beyond what was required by minimum wage laws.  As one who practices yoga would expect, employees reported less stress, less pain, and better sleep, and were found to be more effective at their jobs.  One might have thought that the company would have suffered financially as a result of the higher wages, but instead the stock was recently at a record high – perhaps in part because Aetna’s health care costs for their employees dropped after the yoga and meditation (and other health-oriented initiatives) were introduced.  How wonderful would it be if all companies began following this model!  And why stop there – how about bringing this approach to government agencies and, where it seems especially needed, to Congress!