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Release Date: Jun 07, 2012

The Times Square Alliance and Athleta Host Free Yoga Event to Celebrate the Longest Day of the Year

NEW YORK— The Times Square Alliance announced today that Solstice in Times Square, now in its 10th year, will take place on Wednesday, June 20. The Times Square Alliance and presenting sponsor Athleta, the women’s sports and active lifestyle apparel brand, will offer free “Mind Over Madness” yoga classes and a yoga village to celebrate the longest day of the year from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“Last year, thousands of yogis planted their tree pose in Times Square, and we expect this year’s free yoga-fest to draw even more participants,” said Douglass Stewart, co-founder of Solstice in Times Square. “Times Square with all its many distractions is probably not the first place one would think to find inner calm, and yet, Times Square has become the most marvelous place to cultivate the inner seed of peace.”

“We invite all New Yorkers and visiting yoga enthusiasts to share a collective ‘Om’ during the Solstice as they find their center at the Crossroads of the World,” said Tim Tompkins, president of Times Square Alliance and co-founder of the event.

Yogis of all skill levels have the chance to participate in four free yoga classes throughout the day and visit a yoga village with booths, giveaways, and activities. Situated on the Broadway Plazas in Times Square from 42nd to 47th Streets, the classes include:

  • Early morning yoga at 7:30 a.m. featuring veteran instructor, acupuncturist and Athleta model athlete Drisana Carey
  • Lunch time Bikram yoga at 12:30 p.m. taught by Rajashree Choudhury ­-- five-time winner of the All-India Yoga Championship and wife of Bikram Choudhury
  • Afternoon yoga at 3:30 p.m. taught by Douglass Stewart from YogaWorks and ISHTA Yoga Center
  • Sunset yoga at 7 p.m. led by Dana Flynn of Laughing Lotus

Athleta will provide free Athleta yoga mats to the first 1,500 people who check-in for each class, while supplies last. Event attendees will also have access to one-on-one yoga instruction, the chance to participate in the event’s live streaming video, and receive other fun giveaways taking place at the Athleta booth in the yoga village. Athleta will also host a yoga fashion show between classes where local New York customers and yoga instructors will hold yoga poses as they showcase the latest Athleta yoga apparel. Visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org to pre-register and for more details.

“Athleta is honored to be co-hosting the Summer Solstice event in Times Square and celebrating the collective power and beauty of yoga,” said Tess Roering, Athleta’s vice president of marketing. “This truly amazing event exemplifies the ability to be inspired by those around us and to find peace even in the middle of one of the most frenetic and exciting places on earth. We’re absolutely delighted to partner with Drisana Carey – a tremendous athlete and yogini who is regularly featured in our imagery - and bring her yoga practice to the event-goers.”

Event Extensions

The Times Square Alliance and Athleta will stream the event live on their websites at www.TimesSquareNYC.org and on www.athleta.com so that yogis across the country and the world can join the class. For those in Times Square, the event will also be broadcast on giant Times Square LED screens, including the Toshiba Vision Screens atop One Times Square and the TSQ Digitals/Orange Barrel Media screens located on 1515 Broadway, between 44th and 45th Streets in Times Square.  In preparation of the big event, the Toshiba Vision Screens will also post a “Yoga Tip of the Day” from June 17th – 19th.

New this year, Athleta stores will hold a free yoga class on June 20 led by a local instructor to honor the Summer Solstice and extend the peace and tranquility nationwide. Each store will give away one free Athleta yoga outfit and yoga mat at their event. For more information and to locate a store near you, visit www.athleta.com.

Also, yogis can share their experience on Instagram. Those unable to attend the event are encouraged to upload photos finding their center via yoga anywhere in the world and tag them #SolsticeTSq. The Solstice team will pick the best unique photo and send the lucky winner a Solstice Prize Pack totaling up to $350. For more details and official contest rules visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org.

To celebrate Solstice in Times Square, many Times Square area hotels are offering discounted rates and other specials to participants traveling to NYC for the event. The Alliance is partnering with Yoga Journal to reach yoga enthusiasts on and off the mat. Additional sponsors include Glaceau smartwater® & vitaminwater®, Mediterranean Baked Lentil Chips & Crackers, Tribe Origins Hummus, Stonyfield Farm, Solstice Sunglasses, In New York and Where Magazines.

Participants can share their yoga experience in Times Square on Facebook.com/TimesSquareNYC. Yogis are encouraged to use hashtag #SolsticeTSq to discuss the event and mention @TimesSquareNYC on Twitter.  They can also check-in to “Solstice in Times Square” on Foursquare and earn Swarm and Downward Facing Dog Badges.

About Times Square Alliance

The Times Square Alliance works to improve and promote Times Square - cultivating the creativity, energy and edge that have made the area an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life for over a century. Founded in 1992, the Alliance keeps the neighborhood clean and safe, promotes local businesses, manages area improvements and produces major annual events with partners including New Year's Eve, Solstice in Times Square and Taste of Times Square. As the custodians of Times Square, the Alliance works every day to improve the quality of life for the neighborhood residents and businesses while driving economic growth in New York City. www.TimesSquareNYC.org

About Athleta
Athleta was founded in 1998 with the mission of providing women athletes with apparel for different sports and fitness activities. The company has become one of the premier brands in the rapidly growing women’s sports and active apparel markets. Athleta offers high quality, stylish, and functional apparel, footwear and accessories, 90 percent of which is proprietary branded, across a wide variety of sports and fitness activities, including a high component of crossover apparel as well as casual wear. Athleta sells its products through catalogs, its website, www.athleta.com, and in retail locations across the country. Headquartered in Petaluma, CA, Athleta was acquired by Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) in September 2008 and is part of the Gap Inc. Direct division.  

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CONTACT:         Jocelyn Aframe | (212) 843-8285 | jaframe@rubenstein.com