“Notice where you are,” said venerated yoga instructor Colleen Saidman Yee as she led 600 New Yorkers all clad in white through peaceful yoga poses as part of Lole’s White Tour on Thursday night.
She could have been talking about our internal mindset — connecting with the inner self — but it was hard to deny the statement’s more obvious interpretation, since the class took over the ground floor of the Museum of Modern Art.
What’s it like doing yoga with more than 500 strangers?
This Newser found it a bit hard to get her bliss on — in the midst of an the event open to the media, and complete with cameras clicking, feet shuffling and phones beeping.
Still, the idea behind the gathering — which in two sessions brought over 1,000 people to the art museum — is admirable. The goal was to unite New Yorkers for a few moments of contemplation.
“Our hearts have this very fairly large electromagnetic field and when we put us all together and all those fields are coalescing in the same direction, the same turning inward, it is something so magical,” said Elena Brower, who taught alongside Yee and Yee’s husband, Rodney Yee (also a well-respected yogi).
This is the second stop on Canadian activewear brand Lole’s WHITE Tour, which began in 2012 in Montreal and concluded last year in Paris. After starting this year in Barcelona, it next heads to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton.
Bernard Mariette, the CEO of Lole, was inspired to develop the tour after seeing a similar yoga class in the MoMA in 2009.
“I thought, ‘wow, once I’ve got something figured out we will do it again,'” he said.
Kevin C. Downs Bernard Mariette, CEO of Lole, and Elena Brower, yoga instructor, pose before she leads a yoga class at the Museum of Modern Art. Kevin C. Downs Participants ended their practice with shavasana, or final relaxation. Kevin C. Downs The moves were gentle enough for beginners. Kevin C. Downs Participants were taking part in Lole’s WHITE Tour. Kevin C. Downs Hundreds of yoga participants, dressed in all white, were led by Elena Bower, Colleen Saidman Yee, and Rodney Yee at MoMA. Kevin C. Downs MoMA is the second stop on Canadian activewear brand Lole’s WHITE Tour.
He originally was set on holding class at the Guggenheim, however, the space proved too small. But there was never any doubt that it would be in a museum.
“Yoga is an art form,” Brower said. “When we’re moving our bodies and really paying attention to the alignment and the geometry, not only is it beautiful but you’re also creating space for the organs to actually function more optimally. When you look at a piece of art, what happens to your body? There’s an interesting energetic, interior opening that creates space for some other ideas to flow in.”
Coming together in a museum is better than those summer sweat sessions in Times Square, Mariette said.
“It’s noisy, it’s dirty — this one is just magic,” he said.