New Yoga City

212Access August 22, 2012 Comments Off on New Yoga City

New Yorkers must like to pay for silence because no matter which direction you look, you see people lugging yoga mats. Businessmen, college students, moms, everyone loves to talk about yoga. It’s like crack for New Yorkers. When these people breathe in this city, they do it in the downward dog position.

New Yorkers – of all people are busy, yet these yoga lovers somehow find the time to relax, breathe and think. Where else can you escape the city noise but in yoga class?

I always knew yoga was a big deal, but I didn’t expect it to be this prevalent in New York. I see more yoga studios than coffee shops in NYC. At “Yoga to the People” in Midtown, people start lining up for class almost an hour early. And if you’re 30 minutes early, you likely won’t get a spot.

This week I decided to see if New Yorkers were onto something with this yoga. I stopped by a free Yoga event in Bryant Park on Thursday nights. (

It was intimidating. There were probably 200 people, packed on the lawn, in various yoga positions.

It’s different when you’re exposed in a park rather than a closed studio. The idea of partaking in yoga outside, surrounded by New York’s skyline sounded adventurous, but I didn’t anticipate the anxiety that comes with being the center of attention. Tourists and gawkers surrounded the park, taking pictures of us in various yoga poses.

I don’t think I’d like being caught on film, mid-pose, thank you very much.

My other yoga experience was much different. I was supposed to meet my roommate and her friend at the yoga studio, but I somehow ended up at the wrong place. I decided to still take the class alone.

I must have looked particularly lost or confused though, because they decided to let me go to their next class for free. All I had to do was rent a yoga mat.

There were about six people in the class with me. The smaller class was great because we got individual attention from the instructor, but the smaller environment exposed my flawed yoga poses.

The two people next to me looked like professionals. They did head-stands and held their position without falling. I, on the other hand, flailed my legs about, pushing up from the ground as if that would magically give me the core strength I needed.


Ellen DeGeneres made fun of yoga, saying “we’re paying for silence. That’s what we’re doing with that time. We’re paying for silence.”

Perhaps, just don’t say that in class.