Community Gem: Beavercreek woman helps others deal with stress during pandemic

Uma Mullapudi leads a group into meditation at the Heartfulness Lounge at the Fairfield Commons Mall. CONTRIBUTED
Uma Mullapudi leads a group into meditation at the Heartfulness Lounge at the Fairfield Commons Mall. CONTRIBUTED

BEAVERCREEK —Uma Mullapudi has helped hundreds of people in the area work through stress caused by the coronavirus pandemic by bringing a sense of healing and calm to those who need it.

Mullapudi is a Beavercreek resident works for the Heartfulness Center, a volunteer group that offered free meditation, yoga and other practices during the pandemic.

Mullapudi said her goal is to help people learn that to take care of their bodies that they need a stable mind.

“We are living stressful lives filled with fear and uncertainty. Meditation helps you to clear your mind,” Mullapudi said. “When the mind is clear, when you think better, you act better.”

Libby Ballengee of Dayton nominated Mullapudi as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem.

“She is just one of those people in the community who humbly, quietly does good,” Ballengee said. “She’s really special.”

Heartfulness is a practice of meditation that seeks to connect practitioners with their spiritual heart. The Heartfulness Center is part of a world-wide network of facilities to teach and promote the practice, and in the Dayton area holds classes in Beavercreek, Yellow Springs and downtown Dayton.

Before the pandemic, Mullapudi drove all over the Miami Valley offering meditation classes and teaching others — like teachers or police officers — how to lead meditation sessions.

She helped open the Heartfulness meditation center in Beavercreek. She also headed the effort to open a satellite branch inside the Fairfield Mall, so it would be easier and more accessible to take a mental health break.

ExploreCOMMUNITY GEMS: Nominate someone who’s doing something great for your community

Every day throughout the pandemic, Mullapudi hosted a lunchtime meditation session on Facebook.

“We haven’t stopped a day since COVID started,” Mullapudi said. “Even while meditating online, people are able to feel calmer.”

Mullapudi described meditation as regulating one’s mind. When a pebble is thrown into a pond, there are ripples, but after a while the water calms down and is still like glass. That is the state of mind Mullapudi aims for people in her classes to reach.

“She has quiet dedication and other people can see that and it spreads,” Ballengee said.