Yoga practitioners seek zen in Times Square

NEW YORK - JUNE 21:  LeTania Kirkland (C) and other yoga enthusiasts from across the country participate in the annual 'Summer Solstice in Times Square Yoga-thon' June 21, 2007 in New York City. The summer solstice is the first official day of summer and the longest day of the year.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK – JUNE 21: LeTania Kirkland (C) and other yoga enthusiasts from across the country participate in the annual ‘Summer Solstice in Times Square Yoga-thon’ June 21, 2007 in New York City. The summer solstice is the first official day of summer and the longest day of the year. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Some 16,000 people sought a little tranquility in the most unlikely of places on Friday, marking the solstice by doing yoga in Times Square.

“It’s a metaphor for calming the mind amidst the madness of modern life,” Tim Tompkins, president of Times Square Alliance, said in a statement.

The normal hustle and bustle of Times Square did indeed swirl around the yoga practitioners, who performed their sun salutations and Shavasanas on small pedestrian islands on Broadway between 48th Street and 43rd Street. The event, fittingly named Mind Over Madness, was hosted by Athleta and included five classes taught over the course of the day.

“Times Square in my experience is the most wildly amazing, distracting, entertaining place on earth,” yoga instructor Drisana Carey, told the The Huffington Post. “So, if you can find that sense of calmness and centeredness here in Times Square, you can find it anywhere.”

Follow Emily Johnson on Twitter @emilyjreports


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