Difference Makers: Teen offers free yoga for seniors to aid physical, mental health

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The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on everyone, particularly seniors who have been socially isolated from their loved ones. The outcome involves emotional stress and loneliness.

That’s why an East Bay high school student is offering free yoga classes to seniors as a way to help them ease their mental and physical health.

Lakshmi Sajith, a teen trainer at Downtown Yoga in Pleasanton, started expanding her sessions to local senior centers by offering live and recorded videos.

“I wanted to form some kind of community for them,” Sajith said. “Even though everyone was in different houses and rooms, we felt connected because we were all in this process together.”

Sajith is a student at Amador Valley High School in Pleasanton. She used to volunteer at the Dublin Senior Center where she helped with daily tasks and connected with older folks.

“I got to interact with them and I started realizing how much emotional stress some of them go through not being able to see their loved ones all the time,” she said.

She now serves over 100 students through her online yoga sessions where she shares a message of mindfulness.

“I just want them to take themselves away from whatever is going on in their lives. Stop worrying about what happened before class and what’s going to happen after class. Now is the time to stay in the present,” Sajith said.

She said yoga not only helps with core strengthening but also helps with restorative healing and overall energy.

“We’re able to be aware of our entire body. It really helps with our everyday lives,” she said.

If you know someone who is working to keep us safe during the coronavirus pandemic and would like to nominate them as a KCBS Radio Difference Maker, email differencemakers@kcbsradio.com.