As soon as the lift doors open on to the second level of the swanky building that houses the co-working space, The Hive, our ears are assailed with loud thumping music. Competing with this high decibel level is the voice of a trainer giving instructions to her students. We are at the fitness studio at The Hive in Whitefield, Bengaluru, where a high-intensity body pump workout is winding down. As a buff yet weary-looking bunch makes their way out, there’s a complete change of energy and atmosphere 5 minutes later as eight new people walk into the studio with their yoga mats. They are here for the evening yoga session and apart from the calm and steady voice of the trainer, there is no other sound.

From zumba and CrossFit to group cycling classes, the 5,000 sq. ft fitness studio at The Hive has been designed to accommodate such group activities rather than being littered with gym equipment. Ropes hanging down from the ceiling are meant for the CrossFit training class—another popular workout form with the millennial workforce. There is ample natural light which comes in through a large glass panelled wall on one side of the studio, while inspiring quotes adorn the other walls. There’s also a locker room and shower for the benefit of members.

“The genesis of The Hive is not just to provide work spaces but an integrated work ecosystem which involves not only flexible workspaces but also lifestyle amenities such as the fitness studio, a swimming pool, a rooftop bar, among other things," says Ankit Samdariya, CEO, The Hive.

Purvi Shekhar practises desk yoga. Courtesy: The Hive
Purvi Shekhar practises desk yoga. Courtesy: The Hive

Interestingly, there is also a 2,000 sq. ft yoga deck on the rooftop at The Hive where classes are held in the mornings. Covered with laminated wooden panels, the yoga deck is a few steps down from the 10,000 sq. ft Sky Deck which houses a swimming pool, a rooftop bar and a LED screening area. Currently, with the rainy weather playing spoilsport, classes have to be accommodated indoors but otherwise, the open-air yoga deck is, literally, a breath of fresh air for the community of co-workers. “The space can easily accommodate about 20-25 people and we have planted fragrant plants such as lemongrass to add to the ambience," Samdariya adds. Next to the yoga deck is a temperature-controlled swimming pool where aqua zumba classes are held every week—weather permitting.

Apart from the regular workout sessions at the fitness studio, The Hive also conducts wellness sessions for the co-working community. On the International Day of Yoga on 21 June, for instance, they had organized a session on desk yoga in collaboration with another health start-up that works out of The Hive. Instructors demonstrated a few simple stretching exercises that one could do while sitting at the desk. Deepika Das, who handles marketing for iD Fresh Food, and has been working out of The Hive for the last one-and-a-half years, doesn’t find much time to work out given her erratic time schedule. But the desk yoga session helped her deal with chronic back pain. “Now, even if I am on a long conference call, I can practise a few stretches while sitting on the chair. The instructors showed us a particular exercise wherein you have to hold a bottle of water in your hand and stretch. It really helps," says Das.

While special sessions such as the desk yoga workshop are conducted free of cost for members of The Hive, they charge a discounted fee for the group workout classes. Purvi Shekhar, who is part of the sales and business development team at The Hive, works out five to six days a week—two-three days of high-intensity workouts (strength training, group cycling and boxing) coupled with three days of yoga in between. As Shekhar points out, the convenience of having a space to exercise in the office helps her stick to her fitness goals: “I commute almost 18km, six days a week so it makes a difference having access to different kind of workout sessions with certified trainers once I get to office."

The Wellness Room is a series on how employers are creating designated areas in offices for employees to engage in wellness practices such as workouts, yoga, and meditation.

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