Solstice in Times Square: Athleta Mind Over Madness

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(All my fellow Times Square yogis)

Can you believe it’s already summer? Where has the time gone? It feels like I just moved to the city a few weeks ago, not months ago. Ahhh! I kicked off my the first day of my (first!) summer in the Big Apple by taking off of work early and heading to Times Square to do some yoga. In the middle of Times Square. Yep, you read that right. In the middle of the mayhem, part of the hectic, tourist-invaded Times Square. Mind over Madness, right?

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(My sweet new yoga mat from Athleta)

Athleta teamed up with the Times Square Alliance to provide free yoga classes led by master yoga instructors throughout the day, in honor of the first and longest day of summer – the summer solstice. The first 1200 people received a free yoga mat and an Athleta goodie bag (hence me leaving work early). The yoga areas were sectioned off so that tourists couldn’t walk all over us while we were doing our savasanas, but that didn’t stop them from taking pictures – I can only imagine how many random Facebook albums I’m going to be in doing a Warrior pose!

But once the session started, the tourists were forgotten about, and my mind started to take over the madness. During my session, I was lucky enough to have Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee leading the yoga class. They were great teachers and complemented each other in a very harmonious way. And since we were in the middle of Times Square, their voices had to be projected via jumbo-trons, which almost reminded me of the Hunger Games (don’t ask), but in a good, peaceful, meditative-Hunger Games kind of way. I guess a better way of describing it would be that the sky was telling me to breathe in and out as I flowed through the poses. Still weird? Oh well, you get the drift.

At one point, Colleen said, “You have to be grounded in order to fly,” and this definitely resonated with me. How many times in dance class have I been told to be more grounded? Too many to count. And I feel like, in life, everyone could benefit tremendously from being more grounded.

All in all, it was an amazing experience, leaving me rejuvenated as I battled my way out of Times Square.

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(Mind over Madness)

How did YOU spend the first day of summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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Recap of Last Week: Michigan Comes to New York!

The lack of posts last week can be attributed to the fact that some of my greatest friends from back home came to visit me in the big city. They made a 12-hour trek to get here, and boy am I thankful for that green dragon that got them here. As amazing and exciting as the city is, it is very very easy to feel a little lonely and homesick sometimes. Thankfully, my friends came here before the homesickness settled in too much.

I think one of the biggest worries (for me especially) of moving away is the fear that people will forget about you – that the friendships and relationships you built will dissolve, and you’ll be replaced with someone new. Luckily for me, my friends have smashed that fear and thrown it far, far away – farther than the distance that separates us. Even before I left, my friends threw a surprise graduation/birthday/going-away party for me – a grand feat orchestrated by my boyfriend and two of my wonderful girlfriends. It was

then that I realized that these friendships will continue, they won’t even be paused or slowed down, they’ll push on full-force.

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Yes, we’re goofy…and yes, we’re all wearing I ❤ NY t-shirts. And yes, I miss every single one of them.

So when 3 of those amazing people showed up in New York, I was the happiest girl in New York City. And on a mission to make sure they had the best time in the Big Apple. A great thing about friends visiting you is that you get to act like a tourist and fall in love with the city all over again. We went everywhere, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Union Square, from Times Square to Central Park. And ate so much food – I developed an inverse relationship with my wallet and my waistline – you can guess in which direction.

Some of my favorite grub spots included:

Grey Dog, which had an extensive list of Michigan sandwiches on the menu (more than enough to win us over). This is probably one of my new favorite brunch spots – the service, atmosphere, and foods were all spectacular. I got the Veggie Press, which had spinach, herb goat cheese, roasted artichoke, and roasted red pepper, and a Raspberry Lemonade. Yum!

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Cheesing now that we are one step closer to having food in our bellies…

And yes those are cheesy fries on our table …I never said I had a healthy week, did I?

Crumbs Bake Shop – Where a delicious Cannoli Cupcake was split between Chase and I.

Madman Espresso – We headed over here on a rainy/snowy day for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Pretty good choice, if you ask me.

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A cortado beats a latte any day.  Don’t believe me? Try one and you too will become a believer.

Bagelsmith – After hours of dancing at The Woods in Williamsburg, a night is not complete without a visit to Bagelsmith for their tasty bagels. My favorite? Everything bagel with Sundried tomato cream cheese. My friends agreed….and we came back the next day. That good.

So yes, I ate alot of good food with very good friends. We walked until our legs/feet hurt and had a grand ole’ time. Let’s hope they liked it enough to come back soon!