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Yes, yoga is taking over the world (Madison Square Garden edition)


Photo: James Farrington
Photo: James Farrington
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We’ve done yoga in Times Square, at CitiField, and of course, Central Park. And Monday night, it was Madison Square Garden’s turn. For the first time the sports mecca—where the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Finals, and even Wrestlemania have been held—was filled with chanting yogis (and we’re not talking the Bronx cheer variety).

From center court, “Ong namo guru dev namo, ong namo guru dev namo” echoed up to the Garden’s rafters during the Garden’s inaugural yoga event, a fundraiser for Rebuild Globally (a charity focused on ending poverty and creating jobs in Haiti) featuring a class led by model-turned-Kundalini teacher Angela Lindvall.

“Rebuild Globally’s work to create jobs goes hand in hand with the concept of wellness, which manifests itself through the yoga component,” says model and activist Heide Lindgren, host committee chair for the event.

“When people have jobs in developing communities, or really anywhere, it provides them with the opportunity to then focus on their own wellness, their family’s wellness, and the wellness of their community.”

Lindvall, who admitted she usually teaches classes of six to eight people, led the crowd of about 175 (spread across the court, below baskets and shot clocks) through their Kundalini paces under the bright lights of the basketball court, with fire breath exercises, spine warm-ups, and chanting. In a venue built for thousands of screaming fans, the Sanskrit sounds got lost in the lofty heights somehow. But the focus was on the internal, anyway.

“We’re building our auric bodies,” Lindvall told the crowd. Not a bad idea for the Knicks to consider this season. At 26-38, a little namaste couldn’t hurt.

Scroll down for scenes from the first-ever yoga class at Madison Square Garden.

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 Photo: James Farrington
Photo: James Farrington

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Photo: James Farrington
Photo: James Farrington

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 Photo: James Farrington
Photo: James Farrington

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 Photo: James Farrington
Photo: James Farrington

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Photo: Erin Hanafy for Well+Good
Photo: Erin Hanafy for Well+Good

Yoga can happen in the most surprising places. Check out Colleen Saidman Yee’s early-morning bed asanas, or, if you’re really adventurous, there’s always that bouncy castle yoga class.