Yoga in Time Square (June 2010)

I have recently been living in the “Where’s Waldo” version on my life. In the past three months I have moved back to Boulder, travelled to seven states for both work and play, completed my first 200 hours of yoga certification, and visited with countless friends and family. It has been a true whirl-wind and it’s not over yet! Next week I head to the Colorado University’s Alumni Family Camp where I have the privilege to be both the massage therapist and yoga instructor- so my dream jobs continue! 

My travels have presented me with a variety of rich experiences, but there is one in particular that I want to share here: Solstice in Time Square. At this phenomenal event hundreds of people gather in Time Square, New York City to practice yoga, meditate, attend talks on yogic philosophy, and celebrate the longest day of the year in one of the arguably busiest places on the planet. The outcome: IT WAS AMAZING. 

I am an infant in my meditation practice (I only began a consistent seated practice in May) and like many people who choose to meditate I struggle on a daily basis to make time to sit and then to actually find some moment of quiet in my mind. Since it is a challenge for me to find my quiet mind alone in a calm space, I imagined that in Time Square it would be nearly impossible. Yoga challenged my preconceived ideas yet again and I was shown that anything is possible. As hundreds of us sat and then practiced asanas to beautiful live music and the competent guidance of Alanna Kaivalya the city dropped away. As I turned to the sky in Uttitha Parsvakonasana I was struck by the simplicity of my siteline. All I could see was my raised arm, a few skyscrapers, and a beautiful blue sky. The hum of the city became like the chanting at a Kirtan- a vibration that lends its energy to the practice and only helps you go deeper.  In the middle of New York City we were reminded “it is a blessing to touch your neighbor during your practice”- not the credence I expected in mid-town Manhattan. 

We closed the class with three resounding Om’s filling the area and creating a larger energy than I have ever experienced. Needless to say, passersby took a moment out of their day to stop and notice. Obviously our practice was effecting more than just those choosing to step onto their mats. For me, find quiet amidst all this rush was a beautiful practice to carry with me into the busy travels of my life.