South Graham Elementary School helps kids de-stress with ‘Panda Yoga’

What's Right with Our Schools
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GRAHAM, N.C. — At South Graham Elementary School, they call it Panda Yoga.

It is slow and relaxing and a time when students can forget what may be troubling them.

Fourth grader Clarissa Gibson says it makes her day. 

“I do like doing it because if I am mad or something, then when it is time to come in here, I’ll come in here and all the stress is released,” she said.

School Social Worker Kerrie Ann Brown was searching for something that could help some of her students refocus some of their behavior, and yoga seems to work perfectly. 

“Yoga helps them be able to slow their minds down a little bit and concentrate on breathing,” Brown said. “We are really big on taking those deep breaths, because that’s something they can do when they have conflict with classmates or at home if things get chaotic. They’ve learned to stop and breathe, and it gives them time to think, and then they can respond instead of just a quick reaction which might be a bad decision.”

The class is held once a week and is a reward of sorts for good behavior and classroom performance.

It is so popular, she is adding a boy’s yoga session this month and will expand the girl’s program in the near future. 

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