Times Square Yoga Takeover!

Last Tuesday, Times Square in New York City was taken over by a gigantic crowd of yogis and yoginis, who performed yoga sets on mats laid out in the street in a massive demonstration of the popularity of yoga and the regard it is held in not only as a self-transforming process but also a world-transforming one. It’s like the reverse of a terrorist attack or something. Photo sets of the event depict an endless sea of toned bodies performing various complex yoga poses, from downward-facing dog to the cobra, and demonstrating their skills to the world.

An estimated 8,000 yoga enthusiasts participated in what has come to be part of New York’s eclectic culture, Yoga in Times Square, June 21. First organized nine years ago with merely two participants, the Times Square Yoga held on the first day of summer had 5,000 people from 31 countries pre-registering this year.

The Times Square Alliance and Local 802 FM celebrated the arrival of the summer on the first day of the season, with Solstice in Times Square, a dawn-till-dusk celebration of the Summer Solstice on the year’s longest day. The day featured free yoga in the heart of Times Square with small-scale musical performances by Local 802, the largest union of professional musicians in the world.

The day kicked off with “Mind Over Madness” yoga from 7am-8am on Military Island (intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets). Scores of yoga enthusiasts descended on Times Square, lead by Levitate Yoga owner Connie Chan and Summer Solstice event co-creator Douglass Stewart, in a search for tranquility and transcendence at the center of New York’s most frenetic and commercial space.

Participation was free and open to all, so passersby joined in the fun to watch this great Karmic battle between peace of mind and urban madness.

The celebration continued until 8pm with live musicians sponsored by Local 802 performing throughout the Times Square area.

What do you think—is this an encouraging sign of positivity? Does yoga truly have the potential to change the world from the inside out, and will displays like this one continue to aid in the popularity of yoga and its growth into a major American pastime and force for spiritual and social change?

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