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Holistic Life, Baltimore Nonprofit, Teaches Yoga To Inner-City Kids

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First Posted: 12/09/11 08:47 AM ET Updated: 12/09/11 02:23 PM ET

When brothers Ali and Atman Smith returned to their childhood home in Baltimore, Md., after college they were shocked by the violence, poverty and "lack of family" that had infiltrated their neighborhood, they wrote on their website .

"It wasn't what we left, when we left the neighborhood to go to college. So when we came back, we saw a need there," Atman told NBC.

To fight back against the violence, the Smiths joined up with their college friend Andres Gonzalez, to establish the Holistic Life Foundation nine years ago.

The nonprofit has taught yoga to more than 1,000 at-risk children -- for free -- and also provides vital after-school tutoring and mentorship reports NBC.

Though there is no scientific proof that yoga can assuage anxiety and anger, it's certainly changing the lives of the children at the foundation.

"When someone wants to fight me I start to do deep breathing," Janaisa Brown told NBC. "I start breathing and I can calm myself down."

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Filed by Anna Bahr  |