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Find Your Calm in the Middle of Times Square

Written on June 16, 2014 at 10:01 am , by

Written by Anna Hecht, editorial intern

Honking cars, a sea of people, lit-up billboards and a naked cowboy serenading tourists. It sounds like a place of chaos (and trust us, it is most days), rather than a serene place to practice yoga. This Saturday and Sunday, however, the Athleta “Mind Over Madness” two-day yoga event is back again, taking over the heart of Times Square and challenging NYC-based yogis to restore the body, mind and spirit in the midst of city life.

So why would you want to submit yourself to a crowd of half-naked people getting bendy, when you can do it in the comfort of your own home (or just a clean studio)? Besides the fact that it’s a crazy fun and challenging way to celebrate the summer solstice, the money raised by MINDBODY Connect will benefit Bent on Learning, a nonprofit organization committed to teaching yoga to NYC public school children, and Urban Zen, an integrative therapy program.

And just in case you forgot what the summer solstice is (hey, we’ve all been there), it’s the one day of the year, usually around June 21st, that signals the official start of summer. In addition to it commencing the blissful time of year for flip flops, days at the beach and all things warm and wonderful, it is also the one day when the sun reaches its greatest height, shines longer and sets later, meaning more time for all sorts of outdoor fun (and calorie burning, obvs).  

Although day one is already sold out, day two on Sunday, June 22, is still open for registration, with the first class starting at 8 a.m. and the final class beginning at 2:30 p.m. Classes run for 1.5 hours, cost $20 and are taught by master instructors, including renowned yoga teacher Rodney Yee and meditation guru Alan Finger.

So go on and register for an altogether unique experience to find peace of mind amidst a crazy-busy schedule. And don’t forget to tag us (@FitnessMagazine) and use #SolsticeTsq in the swoon-worthy Instagram shots we know you’ll take—after all, you’ll get to tell all your friends (thus making them jealous) that you did yoga in Times freaking Square. How cool is that?!

Photo courtesy of Derek Goodwin

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Find Your Center: Celebrate Yoga All Month Long

Written on September 3, 2013 at 2:07 pm , by

Stretch and lengthen your thighs, groin, chest and shoulders with one of our favorites, tree pose. (Photo courtesy of Chris Fanning)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

With summer coming to an end and a post-vacation workload piling up on your desk, National Yoga Month could not have arrived at a better time! In 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services dedicated the month of September to raising awareness of yoga’s benefits—improving strength, flexibility, posture, breathing and stress management—so what better way to celebrate than hitting the mat? Studios, teachers and brands nationwide filled these 30 days with a variety of events to help newcomers and experienced yogis alike strike a pose in fun, budget-friendly ways. Take advantage of these special classes, programs and even an app to balance both your mind and body.

  • New York City’s Pure Yoga studios are offering a selection of free yoga classes between Monday, September 9 and Friday, September 13 for first-time visitors and longstanding members. Be sure to sign up for these zen sessions soon – spots will go fast!
  • Athleta and YogaGlo teamed up to create a series of free online yoga classes available throughout September. The videos are separated into three practice levels to meet every yogi’s needs. If group fitness is more your style, Athleta storefronts are also hosting special events all month long. Visit their website to find one near you.
  • For the yogis with limited free time, DailyBurn.com is offering a free, 30-day trial of their online yoga program YogaFlow. This video progression caters to practitioners of all levels by integrating different styles such as mobility, meditation and strength recovery yoga.
  • Internationally acclaimed yoga expert and teacher Christine Martitz developed Dive Into Yoga, a mobile app for iPhone and Andriod that helps you take your practice virtually anywhere! The 26 professional videos demonstrate each posture with far more detail than other apps that rely on still images alone.

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Find Calm in the Busiest City: Summer Solstice in Times Square This Friday

Written on June 19, 2013 at 9:47 am , by

Slow down, city hustle and bustle! Focus on your breath with Tao Porchon-Lynch, Drisana Carey and more this Friday. (Photo courtesy of Athleta)

Pigeons in Times Square are nothing new, but releasing tension in your hips and glutes with pigeon pose? Well, now we’re talking. For those in the New York area, be sure to kick off your summer with Athleta’s “Mind Over Madness” Friday yoga fest in celebration of the longest day of the year. From 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., thousands of yogis of all ages and skill levels will gather for Solstice in Time Square to salute the sun for free. Om, what!? As the president of Times Square Alliance and co-founder of the event Tom Tompkins said, “Solstice is an experiment in balance: The sun standing still in the sky on the longest day of the year, and thousands of yogis standing still, and being still, in the middle of  the world’s busiest crossroad. It’s a metaphor for calming the mind amidst the madness of modern life.”

Sign up now (seriously, spots fill up fast) to end your week peacefully and restored in one of the five outdoor classes on Broadway Plazas. The first 1,200 pre-registered participants to arrive for each class will receive Athleta goodies and a chance to win giveaways in the yoga village. Good news for you non-New Yorkers, too: 40 store locations nationwide will also be commemorating, offering classes free of cost. Regardless, be sure to follow @Athleta on Instagram – and us at @FitnessMagazine -  to participate in their “Seize the Solstice” contest and tag your photos with #SeizetheSolstice and #SolsticeTSq for prize packages. We’ll be there bright and early and hope to see you, too! To grab a mat and learn more, check out the Times Square Alliance website.

Celebrate National Yoga Month with Free Classes at Athleta

Written on September 1, 2012 at 7:42 am , by

There's no better way to celebrate National Yoga Month than with free classes! (Photo by Chris Fanning)

Written by Deanna Cioppa, editorial intern

No matter your occupation, lifestyle or fitness level, we could all use time to connect with ourselves. Trouble is, it’s not so easy to come by. Well, it will be a whole lot easier this September to find some quality me-time (and get a step closer to our strength and flexibility goals) with National Yoga Month and Athleta stores.

All month long, Athleta will be hosting FREE Saturday yoga classes in-store. And that’s not all! Starting on September 1, check your local Athleta store or Athleta.com/yogamonth for a schedule of other events, tips and giveaways, including the chance to win a private yoga session and shopping party at Athleta. Now that’s a pretty good reason to team up with the community for some sun salutations, don’t you think?

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Unleash Your Inner Yogi in Times Square!

Written on June 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm , by

Advance your moves and ease your mind in the heart of NYC! (Photo by Karen Pearson)

Written by Laura Cofsky, editorial intern

When times get tough and days are busy, we often turn to workouts to blow off some steam. While a heart-pumping kickboxing class or treadmill speed session can be just what you need, sometimes an hour of peace helps boost your mood and re-center your mind.

On Wednesday, June 20, calm your mind for the annual Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind over Madness event. There will be free classes throughout the day in the hub of New York City, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. Don’t worry about fighting your way through the train with a yoga mat either—the first 1,500 participants of each class will receive a mat. That’s 13 hours of Om-tastic fun, not to mention Athleta fashion shows and giveaways sprinkled in for good measure.

The yoga village will also provide one-on-one yoga instruction, and a chance to participate in Athleta’s live streaming video and meet Athleta brand ambassadors.

So if you find yourself in the Big Apple during the Summer Solstice, consider this a free, one-day pass to tranquility. Pre-register for the session that best suits you, and let the age-old practice prove that meditative breathing, fluid movements and internal quiet can overcome external noise.

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