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PHOTOS: Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

Last updated on: June 22, 2011 14:44 IST

Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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In a unique initiative to celebrate the summer solstice (the longest day of the year), nearly 2000 yoga enthusiasts descended on Times Square, the famous New York landmark, on Tuesday, June 21.

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Image: Naty Horev (L) and other enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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Led by yoga instructors -- Nicole Nichols (Narayani) Jivamukti Yoga School, Patrick Lynch of the Bikram Yoga NYC and Summer Solstice event co-creator Douglass Stewart -- the crowd practiced the yogaasanas on the traffic island as the manic New York traffic swirled past.


Image: Naty Horev (C) and other enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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The event that was born in 2003, when Tim Tompkins, a yoga enthusiast and president of the Times Square Alliance and Douglas Stewart, a leading yoga instructor, organised a yoga session at the intersection of the city's Seventh Avenue and Broadway, has grown considerably over the years


Photographs: SnapsIndia
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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At the intersection of Broadway & 7th Avenues between 46th & 47th Streets, yogis sun saluted in honour of the solstice

Summer solstice comes from the Latin meaning the 'sun stands still' and is the day when the sun appears to stop moving north - and starts heading south again


Photographs: SnapsIndia
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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The dawn-till-dusk event, organised by the Times Square Alliance, invited people from across the country to participate in the 'search for tranquility and transcendence at the centre of New York's most frenetic and commercial space.'


Photographs: SnapsIndia
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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Jennifer Lobo, from organisers Times Square Alliance, was quoted by Daily Mail newspaper as saying that it was an amazing sight as peace descended on one of the busiest places on the planet. 


Image: People gather to practice yoga on the morning of the summer solstice in New York's Times Square
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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Lobo said: 'If you could create tranquility in the most crazy, high energy place in the world that is a really great oxymoron, or a great opposite. New York City is known for being a city that never sleeps. With taxi horns, construction and every other imaginable source of noise, it is often hard to find a quiet corner anywhere outdoors.'


Image: Yoga participants take part in the 'Summer Solstice in Times Square Yoga-thon'
Photographs: Brendan McDermid/Reuters
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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The first yoga session of the day was held under the guidance of Nicole Nichols (Narayani), who has been teaching yoga in New York City and abroad since 1995

Narayani is an Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher, and is known for her chanting, humour, choreographic sequencing, and knowledge of the subtle body.

Widely considered a "teacher's teacher," her classes are inspired by devotional scripture and music, and her training in classical dance. The experience becomes a full-body moving prayer using mantra, asana, breath, and inner meditation to arrive at a transformed state of mind through which to view and serve the world.


Image: Enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square during an event marking the summer solstice
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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The second yoga session of the day was held under the guidance of Patrick Lynch, who has been practicing Bikram Yoga for 8 years and has been teaching since December 2005. Bikram Yoga classes run for exactly 90 minutes and consist of a set series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises.


Image: Enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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Bikram Yoga claims to increase circulation to all organs in the body, and claims this helps in the prevention of heart disease and organ failure.


Image: Enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Yogis take to Times Square on longest day

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The last session of the day was held under the guidance of Douglass Stewart, who has been teaching yoga for over 10 years

The event organisers had also streamed it live on their website for the people who could not attend the yoga session.


Image: Munzin Chowdhury (C) and other enthusiasts perform yoga in Times Square
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance said: "We're trying to create a little ocean or perhaps just a little lake or just a drop of serenity in the midst of all this madness.It's an attempt, on the longest day of the year, when the sun is shining brightest, to tap into that energy and have it help carry us through the rest of the year."


Image: Munzin Chowdhury (C) and other enthusiasts perform yoga
Photographs: Mario Tama/Getty Images
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