Hot time, yoga in the city: Thousands celebrate solstice in Times Square


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It's tricky finding your center in Times Square, but 14,000 people registered to do just that on June 20. Photo: msnbc.com

Ah, Times Square: the “Crossroads of the World.” I pass through it all the time on my way to the office. Usually, I have my head down and my eyes forward, while my legs are pumping, dodging and weaving through a mass of tourists and fellow commuters.

Today was different.

Today, I laid down (on a mat!), took off my shoes and peacefully welcomed the summer solstice with hundreds of fellow yogis during the “Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga” event. Veteran yoga instructor, acupuncturist and Athleta model athlete Drisana Carey led the free hour-long class.

“Yoga is the union of mind, body, spirit — and in this case, buses, trucks and traffic,” said Douglass Stewart, co-founder of Solstice in Times Square. “We’re all coming together in order to find the center or the core within ourselves. Is it possible? That’s the premise. Are we able to remain rooted and at the same time inspired to reach beyond even these perimeters to find expansion and extension in the true spirit of yoga?”

It was bizarre finding my center with the flashing digital display of the NASDAQ Tower overhead, but with the guidance of Carey I found it. I almost took a tumble seeing a gigantic Donald Trump pointing at me in a blinking advertisement as I gazed toward the heavens to welcome the summer, but I stayed rooted.

“Times Square with all its many distractions is probably not the first place one would think to find inner calm, and yet Times Square has become the most marvelous place to cultivate the inner seed of peace,” Stewart said in a release.

It’s true! I was amazed how much energy the crowd gave off, even as we lied still in Savasana. With more than 14,000 people registered for the event, good vibes will be left behind in Times Square for weeks to come.