Tuesday, June 22, 2010
A Yoga Kind of Solstice
They say you haven't meditated until you've meditated or practiced yoga in the middle of Times Square. Being on the top of a mountain, feeling the gentle breeze with the blue clear sky all around you, just being there is like meditation. You don't even have to do anything! One of the announcers said it right when she talked about her experience with a 10 day meditation retreat in the desert. Her guide said if you really want to meditate, go to Times Square. And now I can say that I have! Solstice Yoga in Times Square with the Times Square Alliance was probably one of the coolest things I've been a part of. They originally first started out with 15 people a few years back, and now, yesterday they were upwards of 500 yogis all getting together to practice and meditate. When we arrived we got into a line, checked in and picked a spot on the street (technically its a greenspace now in Times Square where no driving is allowed) and layed down our mat. Yogi's walked around and placed a pretty red jewel on our third eye (place between the eyes, in Chinese Medicine its a point called Yin Tang). The introduction speaker welcomed us and spoke about how during this special time the sun is still and then will move along its journey, whatever that may be and how life is beautiful and we all have beautiful lives and to have courage in moving along our journeys. It was beautiful and touching especially to hear while sitting Indian Style in the middle of the street with people and buildings surrounding us. I was alittle worried about the smog from cars but they blocked most of the traffic off and when I looked up I could only see sky and a huge tv playing ocean waves at the time (I think it was an ad for a clothing line, but it went well with yoga!) We all brought our hands to our hearts and inhaled and on our exhale chanted "aaaa----uuuuuu----mmmmmm". It was amazing to be in the middle of hearing so many voices chanting aum. It was beautiful really. All the sounds of honking, of trucks far off, of people talking, of subway rumbles faded in the background and it was as if we were encased in an invisible bubble of quiet. Sounds literally faded. Like I said amazing. We closed our eyes and just breathed as she spoke more of the sun and life and starting new. The next speaker started the yoga session and my friend and I felt the heat outside. I was definetly sweating! The yoga was much like what we do in our little classes here at our office. I did crow and even a headstand! I'll have all of these pictures for you in a picture post tomorrow as they are in her camera and she's promised me she'll email them tonight! They are great photos and I can't wait to show you!! At the end of the class we layed in shavasna, closed our eyes, relaxed our palms open and our feet open. They played a chant on the stereo that went "om mani padme hum" which means compassion and hail the jewel in the lotus. The speaker was saying how we hail the jewel in ourselves and in others and so to have compassion. Laying in the middle of the street listening to the mantra and meditation I calmed my mind in the middle of Times Square and saw only the blue of the sky as the birds swooped down passed us. Many pics to come! :)
It was a great time, and free and I definetly recommend it if you are around next year for Summer Solstice!