Atlanta, GA

Atlanta schools are helping children navigate stress from the COVID-19 pandemic

Gené Hunter
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

(ATLANTA, Ga.) It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down for many working adults, parents and professionals. From job loss to nationwide deaths and an economic crisis, the effects were felt daily.

Many things shifted and the normal we knew was no longer. Many jobs and schools transitioned to 100% virtual platforms and relied heavily on Zoom for communication (how many times did you hear the phrase “Let me share my screen?”)

As the pandemic took a toll on the mind, body and spirit of people worldwide, we saw adults adjust as best as they could. However, children were often left out of the narrative, but thanks to The Namaste Program, an Atlanta organization, meditation and yoga practices were brought to schools and youth throughout the city.

Normally held in person, the project made all of its programs digital to continue to provide emotional support to children during uncertain times.

“A mindfulness practice has been shown to help regulate emotions, improve interpersonal relationships, alleviate stress and anxiety and increase focus,” said Danielle Brunson, the co-founder and director of operations at The Namaste Project.

“We believe that by providing staff and students a safe space to meditate and/or practice yoga, the school climate will be positively impacted.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, The Namaste Project worked with schools to help eradicate behavioral referrals, suspensions and expulsion and increase test scores.

With the help of yoga philosophy, students are expected to flourish in and out of the classroom setting. Many of the techniques learned in the program work to reduce stress and depression caused by the pandemic and unexpected life shifts.

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