A trainer helps many overseas experience the benefits of asanas to help overcome pandemic challenges
The importance of yoga in everyone’s life has increased many times over in these 16 months of the pandemic, and as the Union government has promoted it worldwide for the past seven years, the number of seekers has increased exponentially.
Bans around the world and the lack of proper information on the spread of COVID-19 have been an obstacle for yoga gurus to conduct their courses, which focus on learning by observing and correcting postures for the desired results. Things were changing quickly and the spread of the concept of “work from home” in all parts of society did not leave yoga classes unaffected.
The number of learners may have been going down for some time, but eventually the fatigue from staying home and the inability to access public places like stadiums and gyms have helped drive demand for online yoga classes or demonstrations , says Esapathi Suresh, who runs two personal yoga centers in Anantapur.
No other possibilities
“As a yoga seeker I have been on this path for 18 years and as a teacher I have been accompanying people for eight years. Personally, I wasn’t interested in teaching online. We thought COVID-19 won’t last long, but with the outbreak of the second wave, I developed a simple methodology for a group of five to ten learners with no choice, taking into account the benefit to ordinary people during the pandemic. Suresh tells The Hindu.
Before the pandemic, he took online sessions on Skype for people abroad upon request. “But in this way neither students nor teachers could convey the true experience of yoga, which means ‘union’,” he emphasizes.
Income dwindled for some time, but soon he was getting calls from Dubai, the UK, and the US, alongside some old Mumbai students approaching him for online sessions.
Yogalaya now conducts online sessions via Zoom and WhatsApp. “A very small number of enthusiasts attend offline sessions in our branches under strict COVID-19 protocols. By watching and listening to our teaching methodology on social media and getting feedback from learners, people are becoming aware of the benefits of yoga in overcoming the physical and psychological effects of COVID-19, ”he explains.
“Yoga techniques definitely help tackle the COVID-19 challenge as a preventative measure to quickly recover from infection and manage the effects of COVID-19,” notes Mr. Suresh.