Above are, “figures from a data set published in July by the Chicago Department of Public Health, based on deaths from 2004 through 2008. In the five poorest neighborhoods, between 40 and 61 percent of the households were in poverty, according to Census Bureau estimates for 2006-2010.”
Bogira, Steve. “The Chicago Reader.” Chicago Reader. N.p., 22 Aug. 2012. Web. 08 Oct. 2012. <http://www.chicagoreader.com/>.
At Yoga Gardens, we focus on vacant lots located in poverty stricken Chicago neighborhoods which consequently are areas where people suffer most from stress and stress related illness. Data has shown that the leading cause of death in Chicago’s poor neighborhoods are in fact not from homicides but are caused from cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
This is why pairing yoga practice and healthy foods makes a big impact in these communities. Yoga Gardens teaches residents who are not normally exposed to healthy foods, how to grow food. Residents are also able to take organic non gmo produce home daily, free of cost. Being able to incorporate fresh whole foods into daily meals changes a persons health and mood dramatically. Yoga Gardens goes further and teaches peace,meditation and yoga in-order to deepen a persons sense of well being and confidence.
Residents who live near the Lexington Lots Yoga Garden are so enthusiastic about yoga that our classes are packed full. Children and adults alike express such a liking to yoga that they now practicing yoga at home and outside of the Garden. People in this community who had previously never been exposed to foods like strawberry’s and tomato’s now know how to grow them.
Our hope is that by providing healthy foods to communities in need, providing them with the tools they need to grow their own food and teaching yoga; we can ultimately lower crime rates and reduce stress in our at risk communities.