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Why you should go to Times Square just this once—with your yoga mat


Times Square Solstice Yoga Event

On Wednesday, June 20, the city’s most hectic thoroughfare turns into a giant yoga studio. That’s when an estimated 9,000 downward-dogging yogis will show up for the annual day-long Solstice event.

During four all-levels classes, you can focus your gaze at gleaming skyscrapers while throngs of tourists gaze back at you (and, for at least an hour, refrain from bumping into you). Sound intense? Think about the sound of Oms echoing down Theater Row, and drowning out all the honking taxis for a few precious minutes.

“It’s the ultimate test of serenity and quietude and seeking peace in the most excited place on the planet, says Douglass Stewart, a New York City yoga teacher who helped pioneer the event in 2003.

Now, practicing en masse in urban spaces like this one is on the fitness bucket list of many New Yorkers.

There’s still room to sign up, says an Athleta spokesperson. The fitness fashion brand, with two New York City stores, is sponsoring the event and supplying yogis with freebies: The first 1,500 people attending each class get an Athleta yoga mat, and there will be giveaways like branded headbands at the Athleta tent.

Classes are free, however, you must register in advance (and pick only one):

7:30 – 8:45 a.m.  Drisana Carey, California-based yoga instructor, Athleta ambassador, and sports model

12:30 2:00 p.m. Bikram with Rajashree Choudhury, instructor and wife of Bikram Choudhury

3:30 4:45 p.m. Douglass Stewart, senior teacher at Ishta and YogaWorks

7:00 – 8:30 p.m. – Dana Flynn, founder of Laughing Lotus