Thousands of New Yorkers converged at the popular and crowded Times Square here in sweltering heat to celebrate the summer solstice,the longest day of the year,by rolling out their yoga mats and performing the ancient Indian art for over 12 hours.
The Times Square Alliance hosted the 10th edition of the ‘Solstice in Times Square’ yesterday,holding free ‘Mind Over Madness’ yoga classes and transforming the one of the world’s most popular tourist and commercial destinations into a yoga village to celebrate the arrival of summer.
“New Yorkers and visiting yoga enthusiasts shared a collective ‘Om’ during the Solstice as they tried to find their centre at the Crossroads of the World,” Times Square Alliance president and co-founder of the event Tim Tompkins
Another event co-founder Douglass Stewart said with all its distractions,Times Square is not the first place one would think of to find inner calm,and yet “Times Square has become the most marvellous place to cultivate the inner seed
Four free yoga classes from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm (local time) were organised for New Yorkers who braved record temperature levels of about 33 degree Celsius yesterday to find their “inner peace and tranquillity.”
The day started with morning yoga by veteran instructor and acupuncturist Drisana Carey,followed by Bikram yoga by Rajashree Choudhury,who is the five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championship and wife of Bikram Choudhury.
The Bikram Yoga,founded by Choudhury,is among the most renowned forms of the art with participants performing yoga postures in rooms heated to 40.6 °C.
Free yoga mats were provided to the first 1,500 people who checked-in for each class.
The event also included one-on-one yoga instructions and free giveaways for participants. The event was broadcast on some of the giant LED screens that are a characteristic feature at Times Square.
The extremely warm weather prompted Times Square officials to take extra precautions. Umbrellas,water and tents were kept handy for those who needed a break during the day.
An emergency management team was also on site. “This truly amazing event exemplifies the ability to be inspired by those around us and to find peace even in the
middle of one of the most frenetic and exciting places on earth,” a sponsor of the event Tess Roering said. The event was streamed live online for “yogis” across the country and the world to join.
Founded in 1992,the Times Square Alliance keeps the neighbourhood clean and safe,promotes local businesses,manages area improvements and produces major annual events.