Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice

Happy First Day of Summer!!!! This morning when I woke up, I put my yoga pants and tank on underneath my work clothes. My plan: take the 5:57am bus and get to Times Square by 7am for class on the street with Douglas Stewart (ISHTA Yoga) and a couple hundred other yogis! What a great experience! After every vinyasa as we brought our hands to hearts center he asked, "Where are you? What is this?" And at first I giggled, because I was thinking, "Dude, we're in Times Square! Hellooo!? There's no getting around that!" I was distracted by the fact that there are way too many digital billboards that everytime I focused on one for balance, it would change to a new picture. I was distracted by the numerous (I think I counted 7) professional photographers snapping hundreds of pictures. I was distracted by the largest audience I've ever seen at a yoga class - tons of faces surrounding the perimeter - tourists looking on, people headed to work. I was distracted by the fact that I was literally on my mat in the gutter of Broadway between a pot hole and a puddle. I was definitely getting challenge on focusing! After maybe the 4th time he asked us, "Where are you? What is this?" I was able to go deeper and listen to what he was really asking.

Where are you?

Am I lost in the noise and the rush of the world around me? Am I able to shut out the things that don't matter - the things that really serve no purpose to my well being right now? Am I able to focus on the here and the now of where I actually am and what I am doing in this moment?

What is this?

THIS is what I want to be doing ALL the time. This flow of the practice is how I want to be handle the flow of life - easing up when it gets to be too much, pushing further when I know I can. This life giving practice is what I want to bring to other people, to children. THIS is what life is all about.

After I got to that point I was able to move slower, open up, and look past the buildings towards the endless blue skies. I was grateful for the distractions. It was such a great eye opener that I didn't shut my eyes in savasana this time. I simply looked up past it all and knew that everything would be okay, even amongst all that distracts.

To view the event page and more great pictures, click here: Times Square Alliance And thanks to Friendship Cottage Cheese for the swag bag!


  1. Thank you for sharing. What a powerful experience! I am a huge fan of Douglass Stewart. He is generous, intelligent, funny, and inspiring. (I did my 200 hr teacher training with ISHTA Yoga.) Happy Summer Solstice!

  2. Thanks, Maria! Douglass was great indeed!! Happy Solstice to you, too!

  3. Hi Karen - the class you attended in Time Square sounded great. I got to NYC just in time to see the 3:30 PM class but didn't get a ticket because I didn't think my plane would make it in time. Then the evening class was sold out - so I was sorry I didn't actually get to try a class amidst all that activity. But it still ended up being a profound experience for me to watch and for those attending. I'm sure those classes touched many people watching.