With National Yoga Day (June 21st) and the Summer Solstice (June 20th) both happening in the same week, the yoga and mindful fitness community was all a buzz. I thought this TBT would be the perfect time to share the amazing experience I had participating in the 14th Annual “Mind over Madness- Solstice in Times Square” yoga classes. Yup, you read that right- a celebration of summer event that shuts down one of the busiest interesting in the country and offers free yoga classes to those willing to inhale and exhale together.
I had heard about this extraordinary event sense I moved to the city, but it never fit into my schedule until this year. Basically, check your schedule and tell your boss you need the morning off or that you will be leaving work early. Once you sign up for the information emails all you need to do is wait for the classes to open and register for the one you want! I am very lucky that 1. I work in yoga and have a relatively flexible schedule and 2. my boss wanted to take class too!!! So it was totally work related.
Normally I’m a New Yorker in that you practically have to pay me to go anywhere near Times Square, but I braved it for this once a year event. I was in for an early class on a weekday, so most of the tourists were still in bed when I got up and out to adventure to class.
Met up with my boss a few blocks away from the event and strategically entered from the East on 46th Street. Tickets in hand we lined up, chatted, selfies, and accepted the mat and goodie bag from GIAIM/Times Square Alliance/and other sponsors.
Sense we like to be early, when we got to set up for class, we were in the second row! Like right there in front of the teacher and the media!
We also caught up with one of the founders of this event- Douglas- who is also a teacher at Yogaworks. The family just kept growing and there were tons of members in the crowd for class too. It was fun to see and be seen out supporting the yoga community and representing our studio and teachers.
As we know, I appreciate yoga… but I’m not a big fan of the practice. That’s right, I work in “yoga” but really prefer “fitness”… but they go hand in hand so it’s just fine.
However, nothing could prepare me for nor make me forget the beauty, energy, and totally spectacular experience that was taking my yoga practice from the studio to the center of New York City.
We were surrounded by noises, people, buildings, traffic, smells, and dirt BUT when you looked up it was blue sky, when you breathed in it was (relatively) fresh air, when you silenced your mind it was a calm in the storm.
I think my favorite part was savanna, at the end of class when we all lay there still and it looks really easy (but it’s not). It’s not my favorite because I got to lay down, no it’s my favorite because I got to look up! Several minutes to be still, to be in the moment, and to gaze deeply into the blue sky of the morning were all mine. To take in all around me- the breeze, the light, the people, the cars, the energy- and to let it take me in. This you could not replace or replicate in any yoga studio.
Kinda thought it would be easier to explain in pictures! But even the best picture and caption would not be able to sum up this experience. Will I be participating next year, quite possibly. Will I recommend this to friends, of course. Will it be something I remember for a very long time, most definitely!
Where is the most extraordinary or unique place you have taken your practice? Comment below and share your stories!