It’s finally May, the days are long and the sun is shining, which means it’s very, very close to the annual Summer Solstice Yoga in Times Square event. We’re here to report registration is now open, so grab your sunscreen, your tough outer kosha, and your camera-ready smile, it’s time to put your “mind over madness,” as the tagline goes.
Yep, Sunday June 21st thousands of yogis (potentially 15,000+) will gather at the center of the known universe (the intersection of Broadway and 7th Avenue between 42nd & 47th Streets) for the yearly solstice celebration. The event, heavily sponsored by Athleta (and toilet paper brand Cottonelle?), is quite a to-do, bringing together various styles of yoga under the twinkling lights and towering shadows of Manhattan’s midtown skyline. And it’s all free!
Says Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance (the producer of the event, now in its 13th year, which is just wild), the idea behind the event is to bring some calm to our crazy lives in one of the craziest places on earth.
“Back in 2003, we thought that there might be something to the idea of drawing on the energy of the sun to re-energize ourselves through stillness,” says Tompkins. “As a producer of the other solstice celebration (aka New Year’s Eve), the Times Square Alliance thought this could be a calm, quiet and sunny counterpoint to that boisterous event. Now, thousands of people are making a different kind of pilgrimage to Times Square, and under the bright light of the longest day of the year, they are bringing just a little bit of stillness, and a little bit of santosa, to this intense and crazy city that we love,” he said via the Times Square website.
This year is a bit different in that June 21st, as you may recall, is now officially the International Day of Yoga (did you see the logo?). According to the press release, New York City and Times Square will be “playing central roles, in part because of our 13-year tradition of having a Solstice yoga event here at the Crossroads of the World.” Also, “Times Square is the leading official public site in New York City for the International Day of Yoga, and dignitaries from the UN and the Government of India are scheduled to attend.”
As with previous years, several yoga non-profit organizations will be highlighted. And they are Bent on Learning (bringing yoga to at-risk youth and inner city schools) Exhale to Inhale (brining yoga to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors) and Urban Zen (bringing yoga to cancer patients and survivors). When you register for the event there’s an opportunity to make a donation. We hope Athleta will be making one, too.
And your Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga lineup? It includes some Solstice staples as well as some interesting additions, like Rajashree Choudhury for the Bikram portion.
Drum roll please….
9:00 am – 10:00 am
11:15 am – 12:30 pm
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Bikram with Rajashree Choudhury, Donna Rubin, and Jennifer Lobo
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Mary Dana Abbott
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Rodney Yee and Colleen Saidman Yee
Stay tuned, we guess, for the 4:30 slot. Also, we’re not sure why they’re starting so late this year. Previously, they’ve begun at 5:30am for a sunrise class. We’ll keep you posted on any additions or changes to the schedule.
Another highlight for this year: accessible restrooms. Here’s an actual sentence from the press release:
For the first time, the event will host on-site bathrooms, provided by the Cottonelle brand, and allow participants a chance to experience Cottonelle CleanRipple texture firsthand.
As always, if you can’t make it to NYC to attend, or can’t bear to face Times Square, you can of course, spend the entire day watching it online with the live feed which we will have posted on YD for your viewing/practicing pleasure.
Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness Yoga
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Registration is now open.