For Gita Mahanti, there’s no better way of giving back to the community than teaching yoga and mindfulness at Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center.
“Yoga and mindfulness are very much a part of who I am,” Mahanti says. “I believe in giving back to the community in some form, and there could be no better way of doing this than being able to support individuals in their cancer recovery journey by guiding them through these practices.”
Mahanti has been practicing yoga, breathing techniques and Buddhist meditation since she was a teenager and says she has personally benefitted from these practices.
“They have helped me cultivate moment-to-moment awareness of living life in the here and now,” she says.
Mahanti recognizes the benefits of yoga as a holistic intervention for healing the mind, body and spirit and believes it is important for Waterford Place participants.
“Yoga not only improves strength, balance and flexibility in the body, it also promotes relaxation and improves psychological well-being,” she says. “Several studies have demonstrated that yoga can combat fatigue and improve strength and range of motion for patients undergoing cancer treatment.”
A licensed clinical social worker, Mahanti works as a mental health practitioner. She primarily treats adolescents and adults from diverse backgrounds who struggle with mood disorders, anxiety, depression, trauma, stress and other mental health issues. In her clinical practice, she uses mindfulness-based interventions and traditional talk therapy. She says these practices have helped her clients to manage stress, regulate difficult emotions and increase positive emotions.
Mahanti feels blessed to be part of the Waterford Place community and is eager to get to know participants to help them heal. Because of the pandemic, she has taught online classes.
“I look forward to meeting the participants in person and forging a deeper connection with them,” she says. “I feel very honored in being able to serve the participants at Waterford Place.”
Gita Mahanti teaches Mindful Yoga Flow at Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center.