Cleveland Clinic offers free yoga to soothe the embittered nurse


The Cleveland Clinic has taken a lot of flack lately for the way it treats its 35,000 employees — first banning smoking on its campus, then vowing not to hire anyone who lights up. Some saw this health and wellness kick as a bit overzealous, considering how stressed-out Clinic workers might desperately need a delicious American-made tobacco product. Then in March, a Medicare report about “patient experience” seemed to suggest that Clinic nurses were overworked and unhappy. Patients were complaining about being housed in noisy rooms and having to wait a long time for help using the bathroom — gripes that nurses would normally help ease... But now it looks like the Clinic is finally trying to give back-- or at least keep its employees from going postal. Its begun offering free, on-campus yoga classes. A few deep breaths and downward-facing dogs can do a world of good in keeping workers happy, healthy and willing to change bed pans, the thinking goes. So far, the yoga classes are relatively small, and have mainly been marketed to nurses. But that could change soon. And meanwhile, Cleveland’s healthcare giant has revealed its softer, more Zen-like side. It may not be as helpful as a soothing American-made tobacco product – rich in vitamin N – but it's something. Namaste. —Lisa Rab


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