Yoga in Times Square

photo-7Yesterday was the Summer Solstice and for the past 16 years someone has been leading yoga in Times Square.  The theme is “Mind Over Madness” and the challenge is to maintain your zen in the middle of one of the most distracting places in the world.  I have been seeing pictures of this for awhile and I always meant to try it.  This year I was on my game and signed up for the first class of the day, at 7:30 am.

I was pleased that I got there early enough to receive a free yoga mat from Athleta as well as a gift bag.  The best thing in the gift bag was a pack of coupons for free yoga classes around the city.  This may be where my excitement ended, however.  We spread our mats on the street on Broadway between 43rd and 44th streets.  I had been assigned to a group far behind the large group where the actual instructor was.  Although the instructor was on one of the televisions in Times Square, we faced the opposite way, so we couldn’t even see her.  For five solid minutes at the beginning of the practice the sound system screamed and blared things that weren’t for the yoga practice.  This got so bad that they had to unplug the speakers entirely and the poor model had to yell poses for us to try (which didn’t match with what the instructor was doing).  After about fifteen minutes they fixed our sound and we re-joined the rest of the class.  All throughout protesters would wander into the area and start screaming about the workers in Bangladesh who died.  If anyone in that group found their zen, I would like to meet them.

It was cool to lay on the street in Times Square and look up at all the screens and advertisements.  It gave me a new perspective on my city.  In the future though, I will skip the first class of the day at Summer Solstice yoga and sign up for one once things start running smoothly.

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