On June 21st, Athleta was the headlining sponsor of Solstice in Times Square put on by Times Square Alliance for it's 13th year. This is the yearly event where yogis come together right smack in the middle of Times Square to celebrate the day the sun is at its highest position in the sky for the longest period of time. I was there front and center at 9am.
What sets this year's event apart from the last few, aside from the bearably cooler weather, was yoga-preneur Lauren Imparato leading the highly publicized morning class.
I've known Lauren since I founded Mizzfit.com. She was one of my first yoga studio reviews and continues to pioneer athletic style yoga. Her practice of I.AM.YOU. yoga is not easy. It's challenging, modern, music-oriented, and doesn't follow all the yoga rules you're used to. It's simply amazing, so I was thrilled to see her join what has become a yogi cult favorite summer event. Before Lauren jumped on stage to lead hundreds of yoga fans through her practice (with thousands of spectators hovering), it was announced by Time Square Alliance that June 21st had been officially declared the International Day of Yoga with this specific event playing a central role.
The excitement and good vibes from this news welcomed Lauren on stage and she rocked it!
I got to chat with Lauren a bit afterwards about how it felt to be up on the Solstice Stage in light of her own career transformation. Here's what she had to say...
"Bringing I.AM.YOU. to Times Square was a dream come true. I worked on the trading floor of Morgan Stanley on the north east corner of Times Square for 7 years. Walking through the mayhem was my daily commute. Every Summer Solstice I would see the yoga classes taking place, and never in a million years would have guessed that I would be coming to work in Times Square, to share my own yoga & wellness methodologies for thousands! I knew what I wanted to create when I quit MS - a 360 degree lens for wellness based on yoga, nourishment, mindset and music for the busy go-getter. Now 6 years after quitting I got asked to bring it all to Times Square, with my entire I.AM.YOU. team, and preempting the launch of my first book, RETOX. Watching everyone from the stage and in the webcast feed after on the jumbo tron was almost surreal. Hearing how much everyone loved the experience after was epic."
I asked Lauren why events like Solstice in Time Square are important, especially for yogis who are used to practicing indoors at studios.
"Its outside, In the middle of mayhem, underneath epic sky scrapers, next to people you don't know and likely will never see again that you find likely the most peace you have in a long time. That's the power of an I.AM.YOU. class combined with the Summer Solstice event and rockstar teams at the Times Square Alliance and Athleta that made it happen. There is nothing more unique or precious."
More on Lauren and her yoga offerings over at www.IAMYOUstudio.com. She has a book coming out, yoga videos online and even this very cool Detox to Retox sunglass line with Vira Sun (stay tuned for giveaway coming up soon on Mizzfit). In the meantime, how cool is this picture I took of everyone in shoulder stand?
I'll end this with a big THANK YOU to Athleta for bringing such a cool fit event, role model, their fitness fashion and values together all on one day. NAMASTE!