Wow! What an event! And it was free!! 14,000 yoga lovers flowing in and out of Times Square NYC to honor the Sun! It was literally the hottest day of the year in NYC with temps reaching 95 degrees! We were dripping with sweat before we even started! The event was divided into 4 sessions of yoga classes, taught by four different teachers. When I saw that Dana Flynn was teaching, I quickly pre-registered for her session and recruited a friend to join me. Dana Flynn is the co-founder of the Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, she’s been recognized nationally for her teaching and style of yoga, which she calls Lotus Flow Yoga, and is an absolutely inspirational, energetic, brilliant, and visionary source of yogicness. I feel so blessed to have been in her presence (well…sort of in her presence).
So…imagine Times Square…loud, smelly, flashy, strobe lighty, crowded. Now, imagine Times Square with 14,000 yogis chanting OM, saluting the Sun and laying in Savasana. It was amazing! I was breathless and almost crying 5 minutes in. The power of that many people coming together as a family to find peace and celebrate yoga and LOVE in such a chaotic place was moving. The event was organized so well that you didn’t even realize there were that many people being packed in. And we even got tons of free stuff (food, water, yoga mat, reusable bag, key chain) thanks to some amazing sponsors. The main stage where Dana and two Laughing Lotus demonstrators taught from was visible to all of Broadway on one of those jumbo screens used for advertisements. The only glitch was when the audio cut off about 1/3 of the way through the class. When it came back on, it was very difficult to hear her and her awesome playlist. But, it didn’t matter. The crowd followed along as best they could and if they couldn’t hear something, they looked up and had thousands of others to follow. It was a lot easier then I expected to drown out the “noise” of the city. I honestly had no idea if cars were passing by, if tourists were taking pictures of me, or if I was standing on a dirty street or my yoga mat. I just moved.
The theme of class was LOVE. We chanted OM and Lokah Samastah Suhkino Bhavantu (May all beings everywhere be happy and free)…thousands of us…chanting in Times Square! If you know a little but about Dana Flynn, you know that she uses music creatively to support the theme of class- no matter if the songs are considered “yoga music” or not. Her whole playlist were songs you can hear on any urban radio station today. We were boogieing from the front of the mat to the back.
She said so many amazing things to us during the 1 1/2 hour class that I would love to share, but I can’t possibly remember them all now…
Here are my top five:
Yoga means CHANGE
Yoga will introduce you to someone you may never have met…YOURSELF
Do you know how BEAUTIFUL you are?
People may forget what you said or what you did…but they will never forget how you made them FEEL (quoting Maya Angelou)
Thank you Athleta for such a genius event and thank you Dana Flynn for the experience of a lifetime!
Yoga + NYC =