In one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, a small group is trying a new tactic to curb the violence: teaching yoga.
A nonprofit called I Grow Chicago is offering yoga classes on the street in Englewood, an area where residents are as familiar with the crackle of gunfire as the chime of an ice cream truck.
Teacher Tameka Lawson says yoga’s meditative focus could help cooler heads prevail the next time violence or vengeance looms.
The idea has also caught the attention of police. At least one officer has made Lawson’s class part of an anti-violence program for at-risk young people.
But threats are never far away. During the classes, a large man stands guard over the students, just in case any gang members should pass by.