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Beautiful “Peace Offering” Yoga, the video. Love, NYC

in Because It’s…, Public Display of Yoga, YD News

Where’s the love? It’s right here. Enjoy this beautiful video of NY yogis, young and old, big and small practicing together – the heart and prana of NYC.

“Yogis gather together in NYC with the collective intention of creating more peace and happiness in the world. May it inspire everyone to try yoga. Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu.” via the creative mind of yogi Molly Lehman, produced by ReveryMedia.

music by Trevor Hall “Where’s the Love”



42 comments… add one
  • OK, I know I will be the buzzkill here, but the gumby backbends and the guy busting into a handstand in the subway don’t really inspire people to yoga, at least where I live — “May it inspire everyone to try yoga.” Have had the discussion before with my students that photos of super-flexible people did not bring them to yoga, the acrobatics in fact make them feel like that they will never do that.

    and only one woman who looks to be over 50 in the entire video, meditating and doing a side stretch? really? and no African-Americans? or maybe I missed them?

  • admin

    haha, you’re right Linda, it’s not exactly the united nations of yoga.

    I think we can still appreciate the beauty of it, and there are some different sized and gendered yogis participating in a less than ‘watch my awesome backbend’ way.

    I’m also partial because that’s Carl Shurz Park near my hood, and 96th street. SpaHa represent.

  • oh, I absolutely agree with you on the beauty of the form of it, without a doubt. and about feeling the love and peace — I did not name my yoga business what I did for no good reason.

    but as a way to get more people into yoga? not so much, sorry. just emphasizes again what yoga is all about in America — for the young, white, skinny, and uber-bendy.

  • Yogini#

    More hype and more sideshows. Way to do this to my home city, my city that I love and live in. Waiting for the Broadway show now. Probably named “Big Apple Big Top Yoga”.

  • Sarah

    Yoga, to me, is about being balanced (mentally/emotionally) whether or not your hamstrings are too tight for you to reach your feet OR you can backbend in a split. It’s about staying steady, maybe cracking a smile, regardless. It’s unfortunate that the gumby-yogi’s out there intimidate others (unintentionally). The yogi’s in this video certainly worked their butts off to look as strong, beautiful, and coordinated as they did in this end product. The real yoga of this lies behind the scenes. It is not in the fancy finished video but rather the process. To clarify, I do NOT meant the video shoot or editing that clearly took place. I mean each yogi’s practice that brought them there.

    That’s not to say that when you see somebody throw a handstand+lotus in a subway station you don’t go “Are you kidding me?!??” and immediately feel inadequate in your own yog-abilities. BUT can you come to terms with your own expression of each posture as beautiful while appreciating and respecting somebody else’s (no matter how crazy strong/flexible)?

  • Yogini#

    Yes. But I have been told that beauty has nothing to do with it. Anyway, I am in too deep already; and these unsung possible wannabe Cirque du Soleil performers, gymnasts and dancers have no impact for or against the strength of my meditation and yoga practice. Just for one brief moment, could one young person trying to teach me yoga creep into my mind and acknowledge how I can feel the pose even more than they do, who look so beautiful bending into tomorrow and looking like something worthy of a food vendor’s cart … ?

  • Are you Kidding Me

    Did it ever occur to any of you that this was meant to be just what it is…. A beautiful artistic piece that promotes peace. It was not made to promote your business! You can’t have it both ways. First you say that watching super bendy people will not inspire new people to yoga, then you disparage the over 50 woman for doing a side stretch. (apparently not bendy enough for you) That woman, Linda Sama is actually in her 80’s and the fact that she does yoga is fantastic, whatever her level….. Namaste

  • Yogini#

    Yeah, I forgot to mention 3 things:

    (1) Where are the blocks and straps? Not even the pregnant lady is using anything …
    (2) Why are only the children getting adjusted?
    (3) @Are You Kidding Me? Is yoga the next new dance art performance medium?
    I had not gotten that memo back in 1991.

    • Are you Kidding Me

      Hey Yogini# THIS IS ART, not a yoga instructional video. Stop being a hater!

      • Yogini#

        Then, please spare me, and don’t call it “yoga”. I call it as I see it.

        • Are you Kidding Me

          I guess you are the one who decides what yoga is or is not. Thank you for letting me know… I thought that it was my practice… Now I realize that you are the higher autority.

  • yoga the bear

    wow, for a bunch of yoga folks, you all are sure judgy and grumpy. way to go, ms. lehman! beautiful video with a beautiful intention, cuz that is what yoga is all about…
    PS your bendiness inspires me!

  • abbylou

    What’s SpaHa? Just curious. Morningside Heights used to be my hood. There was no SpaHa when I lived there.

  • AYKM…..maybe you should learn how to read things a bit more carefully:
    “then you disparage the over 50 woman for doing a side stretch. (apparently not bendy enough for you) That woman….is actually in her 80′s and the fact that she does yoga is fantastic, whatever her level”


    because if you had read things a bit more carefully there was no disparagement in what I wrote: “and only one woman who looks to be over 50 in the entire video, meditating and doing a side stretch?” however, I realize how nuance is lost when one does not read mindfully.

    by the way, I am over 50 and uber-bendy. and I plan to keep teaching until I am 80 or beyond. thanks for asking.

    what I was actually saying had you read things mindfully was that there SHOULD have been more older people and more people of color in the vid.

    but of course in the yoga blogosphere anyone who doesn’t agree or has a different POV and expresses it is automatically called “judgmental” or a “hater” by the so-called “yogis.”

    that’s the pot calling the kettle black — but I guess only us oldsters over 50 would know what that phrase means.

    just sayin’


    • Are you Kidding Me

      I am also over 50. The difference between us is that you are judgemental and I can appreciate art. I say again this was obviously not intended to be an istructional video. My mother used to say… If you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing. This aptly applies here.

    • Yogini#

      “Whatever her level”

      Also, AYKM is very quick to judge herself, and ascribe arbitrary “levels” to older yogis.

      Yeah, I could never bend that far forward at any age …

      … Just let it roll off yer back, I tell myself. No yogi (no matter how much they stand on their head) remains 25 forever (or becomes immortal) …

  • Yogini#

    Thank you, Linda-Sama. New York City needs more here like you. Because I know of other NON-instructional ART videos featuring yoga-featuring them under 50’s, too … lol-where you could see blocks (even if just onstage background, used as theatrical props).

  • abbylou

    Not trying to be a hater, but, if you had not told me that this was a peace offering artistic video, I would have thought it was an advertisement for laundry detergent or a sports drink. If it is a performance piece, then I do not think that it does much to convey its message. How does a group of attractive bendy bodies signify and further World peace? Is it only because of the song that accompanies the video? Part of me feels like it is verysuperficial and arrogant to say that practicing asana furthers World peace.

    • Yogini#

      As well as contrived, in the same vein that real estate interests in NYC renamed Spanish Harlem SpaHa … okay.

      My answer to that is, as always: follow the money …

      • Are you Kidding Me

        FYI… I haven’t understood even one of your posts… Maybe a little less yoga for you and a few more english classes would be helpful. AND yes I am making a judgement here about your level of education.

        • Yogini#

          And, lalalalalalalalalalalalala, I can’t HEAR you …

          • Are you Kidding Me

            You keep proving my point….Looking at words is reading, not hearing.

  • Mollyyoga

    Hello yogis, Molly here. Thanks for watching my/our video, sorry if you didn’t enjoy it or were not inspired. I was not trying to imply that asana is any more important than meditation. In fact, quite the opposite. I found that once I finally became disciplined and devoted to my meditation that my asana practice deepened. I go to my mat, my meditation and went to making the video with the intention of realizing the interconnectedness of all beings, compassion and understanding towards others.

    I have been blessed with an amazing guru/teacher and yes, for a while now, a healthy body. Given where I began my yoga practice, I’ll take the Cirque du Soleil bit as a compliment.

    I was so lucky to have a generous group of yogis volunteer their time and efforts to making this film. You are right, it is not a random sampling of the world population, but a collection of souls that have touched my life. I too wish yoga had broader appeal – again my reason for making the video. Having a collective intention and passion for a project brought us together as a kula/community. That alone was enough reason to do it.

    The video makes me smile.
    Om Shanti

  • Yogini#

    Yoga can have broader appeal. I just noticed the prices for your studio New York Yoga. $25 a class. Ungenerous class pack expiration dates.

    YOU know what you have to do to have it have broader appeal, although your yogaglo-like effort (for streaming videos of your classes) is a GREAT start!!

  • 🙂 “The difference between us is that you are judgemental and I can appreciate art.”

    HA! and how do you know what my college major was? 😉

    “‘but of course in the yoga blogosphere anyone who doesn’t agree or has a different POV and expresses it is automatically called “judgmental” or a “hater” by the so-called “yogis.'”

    like I said.

    “New York City needs more here like you.”
    Thanks, Yogini# — I absolutely LOVE NYC! especially the art museums! 😀

    contrary to popular belief, I think it’s a nice video. but I stand by my comment, AYKM. so get over it and move on.

  • Emily

    Look, I’ve been as critical of the overabundance of white, skinny superflexy yoga models in the media as anyone, but this was a beautiful video. And as a prenatal teacher, I’m gonna stick up for the right of pregnant women to NOT have to use props if they don’t want to, seeing as they’re not sick, just pregnant! Bravo to the creators of this video, showing how the state of mind created by yoga can help bring peace to our world. Namaste.

  • I like it (I do). I don’t think it’s ART because it’s not black and white and no one is nude (ha, ha…inside joke for some of us here) but $25 classes? Really?? Ouchy, ouchy…What crowd do you think this studio is catering to? Guess there is always Yoga to the People for us poor dawgs…

  • Pinch My Rasana

    This is a video of one yogi’s community.
    It’s portraying unity.
    A beautiful offering that is free to see.
    It’s not a target for criticism or bitter tendency.
    So no more of this negativity.
    Just a round of applause for yogaMolly.

    This video gets two Jai’s up.

    • Marty

      What is the sound of one hand clapping?

  • Yogini#

    This video could easily be a yogified version of a scene from this feature film, featuring the art form of the era:


    Maybe before your time. Not before YOURS, some of you …

  • abbylou

    This video and discussion have been on my brain. The video doesn’t bother me per se. It’s well choreographed and pleasing to the eye. However, I still don’t see how synchronized asana promotes peace. I have really, really thought about this. It seems kind of like a short cut — the people participating get to feel like they are doing something really great for the world, but are they? I know they aren’t doing anything bad, but maybe the ultimate effect is that they get to feel really good. I know I am biased. Living in the Bay Area, I see a lot of good intentions that seem more about making the people holding them feel blissful than really helping society at large. That part of yoga really pisses me off! Why does everybody act so effing blissful all the time? Maybe we could have an in-depth discussion about asana and how it does make the world better apart from just making the practitioners feel better.

    • Yogini#

      I don’t know about you or anyone else who loves the video, who thinks it’s art, who thinks it’s seriously promoting peace, etc.

      What it IS promoting is commercialization of an art form, including possible invitations to unfair upward comparisons, possibly to whet the appetite for/drive attendance to some Upper East Side studio that maybe 1% of the population could afford with cash payment; there’s not much spiritual going on there, no activism to speak of (which is an important part of yoga–just check the Gita), nothing shown about scriptures of any sort, plus it shows only one instance of a home practice.

      I began to get something out of doing yoga – primarily a home practice – only after years. It can engender compassion in the practitioner, but a practitioner – with that compassion – could give back to the community.

      I feel it has taken too long – years! – because …. I’ve primarily practiced alone at home (?)

      Anyway, my greatly preferred practice is all about slow flow … somehow, one of those kinds of upscale studios that I can’t afford anymore, influenced my home practice in that direction … where it stays …

      • Are you Kidding Me

        I am not sure you care because you are only interested in spouting moronic garbage… Molly does not own the studio you are citing, nor does she own any other studio, so she is not trying to drive up attendence. She does happen to be an incredible yoga instructor… You really do need to get an actual life!

  • Yogini#

    Sorry, I forgot to mention she probably is your private in$tructor, then, AKYM. They ALL give privates unless they have a day job … something I have as well … a day job … who’da thunk it …

    • Are you Kidding Me

      No she is NOT my personal instructor… I actually get out of my apartment and take classes because unlike you I play well with others. I am still wondering why you do not appear to have anything else more important to do than spend your time bashing someone elses work.

      • Yogini#

        The actual truth is I cannot afford lessons, privates, etc. to any great degree. That being said, however, you may be right.

  • YogiJenny

    Hello Fellow Yogis. I’ve never commented on a blog before, and for full disclosure I am a teacher from NY Yoga and a friend and student of Molly’s, the beautiful spirit behind the video. I found myself very saddened by the exchange above, mostly because of the judgments that were projected onto her and her intentions. In the end, if we’re going to influence the world in a positive way, we need to join TOGETHER as a community and support each other. Even though we may not always choose the same path, we should trust that we are all trying to live a more peaceful meaningful life and share that with the world. As the words in the song that accompany the video go, “what are we fighting for, why are we still at war? where’s the love”, let’s remember the teaching of Ahimsa and always choose non-violence, even to those we don’t understand or agree with. You are all clearly deep and dedicated practitioners, and we can make an impact on a world at war by being a community at peace.

    blessings and love,


  • Pam

    I think it’s great.

  • Inversions are great


    I think it is absolutely awesome!


  • Chris

    Molly — don’t worry; be happy… the h8ters who posted negative comments more than likely are unhappy with themselves and their own lives; and they need to be understood as such. Lets all send them warm thoughts to cure what ails their minds.


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