The Summer Solstice marks the time in the year when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. People all over the world come together to celebrate the occasion with various rituals and festivals. Solstice in Times Square: Mind over Madness Yoga can certainly be added to the list of inspiring events in New York City on that day, now celebrating our 10 year anniversary!
Every gardener enjoys the planting of the seeds as he/she conditions the earth to receive them and makes preparations for the seed to take root. The ancients understood that by following the path of the sun one knew exactly what seeds to plant and when to harvest them. It was through being in tune with the natural forces they were ensured prosperity and bounty for the community.
Yoga teaches us to respect the processes nature. When we are in a yoga pose, all the elements; earth, water, fire, air and space are present in the pose. When all the elements are aligned by the correct proportions of strength, flexibility and balance, the inner gardener recognizes this deep connection and a wonderful sense of contentment comes about.
Sometimes seeds grow in the unlikeliest of places. Times Square with all its many distractions, is probably not the first place one would think to find inner calm. And yet, Times Square has become the most marvelous place to cultivate the inner seed of peace.
As co-founder of Solstice in Times Square: Mind Over Madness Yoga, I am heartened by the fact that the seeds Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance and I planted 10 years ago have taken root and continue to inspire peace to thousands of people.
Co-founder, Solstice in Times Square: Mind over Madness Yoga
Life is thrilling, but it can be tough. Urban life can be even tougher. The flip side of the astonishing array of choices, activities and aspirations that we have in a place like New York is how hard it is to stay centered, focused and present. Nowhere is that more true than in Times Square, one of the most intense and frenetic places on the planet. In a place that fuels our desires and offers distractions galore, achieving santosa (the Sanskrit word for contentment) can be a challenge.
Ten years ago, we thought that there might be something to the idea of drawing on the energy of the sun to re-energize ourselves through stillness. 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.
President, Times Square Alliance