Assam girl plays Good Samaritan, imparts free yoga classes among COVID patients

Smita has also imparted offline classes through home visits when the pandemic situation had improved late last year
From Our Correspondent


Yoga has been her passion since she was a child.

A decade later, 24-year-old Smita Parashar, from Pathsala in Bajali district of lower Assam, is not only doing what she loves most and does best but also playing the Good Samaritan, taking her experience and aptitude to a new, meaningful level.

It’s been almost a year now since she has been imparting the ancient-Indian “mental-physical-spiritual therapy” through free online classes among people, including COVID-19 patients, across two waves of the virus and during a series of lockdown-curfew periods.

As it is, Smita is formally qualified at her art, having completed Bachelor in Physical Education (Specialisation in Yoga) from Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education at Sonapur and currently pursuing M.A. in Yogic Science and Naturopathy from Mahapurusha Srimanta Sankaradeva Viswavidyalaya at Rupnagar here.

“I take free yoga online classes for four hours (four sessions) every day on my Android phone atop a tripod stand, through platforms such as Zoom, Facebook and Youtube. So far, I have imparted sessions among over 100 people, from 15-year-old youths to persons in their late fifties, with clients from outside Assam as well,” she informed this correspondent from her Pathsala residence, about 100km from here, on Friday.

Her sessions comprise prayers, warm-up yoga asanas, Om chanting, surya namaskar, pranayama, anulom vilom, and basically a range of exercises that enhance breathing capacity and keep the respiratory system strong.

“Then there is nadi shodhana pranayama, which is very beneficial for COVID patients as it infuses oxygen, clears and releases toxins, reduces stress and anxiety,” she said.

Yoga, Smita says, improves immunity, spreads positive vibes and reduces mental/physical stress, especially during a pandemic period such as we are in, when monotony and boredom can easily infuse negativity, enhance anxiety because of the uncertainty around, and even depression.

There is a method followed by her as well.

Smita performs an asana

“I have different asanas listed for specific age groups and people with comorbid conditions such as high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, et al,” she says, adding, “I also suggest specific diets to specific people so as to balance such activity with healthy food habits.”

“The feedback from my clients has been very encouraging as well. Among them are COVID patients who have said that the yoga sessions have helped them recover faster, keeping complications at bay. Others have responded by saying that it has kept them not only healthy, both physically and mentally, but engaged and connected,” she said.

Smita has also imparted offline classes through home visits when the pandemic situation had improved late last year.

About her future plans, she says, “So far, I have been able to live my passion, which is extremely satisfying. After completing my masters, I intend to take up yoga teaching professionally, perhaps even open a training centre someday.”

(Edited by Aparmita Das)

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