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Yoga at the Great Lawn…OR NOT

Posted Jun 23 2010 8:28am 1 Comment

A few days ago Dori invited me to attend Yoga at the Great Lawn , an event sponsored by Flavorpill . She won a ticket and was able to invite 3 more people. This was supposed to be the world’s largest yoga event with over 10,000 people. Shortly after accepting her invite, I received an e-mail with some more details about the event:

WHEN: Tuesday, June 22 – 5:30pm check in
WHERE: The Great Lawn, 81st St and Central Park West or at 80th St and 5th Ave (Once you enter Central Park, signs and event staff will clearly direct you to the Great Lawn)

Upon check in you will receive a JetBlue yoga mat, a ChicoBag, made of 100% recycled plastic, and other complimentary goodies. Please do not bring your own yoga mat – everyone will receive a JetBlue mat made by Gaiam for the event and it’s yours to keep!

From 5:30pm on, you can enjoy live performances by Reggie Watts, 13 Hands, Buddy Wakefield, and Wah!. At 7:00pm Elena Brower will take the stage, accompanied by bassist Garth Stevenson, and will begin yoga class. The class is for all yoga levels. Following class, you are invited to enjoy live drumming by O’Nkosi Rhythm.

I was very excited about the yoga class, especially since my legs have been sore from my attempted run and spin class! I was also thrilled about the free yoga mats since mine is about 6 years old! I got even more excited when I saw that Exhale Spa would be there giving out free class passes! Yes please!

I went straight to the park after work yesterday. I arrived around 6:20 pm and called Dori to meet her. Turns out she was on the same subway as me so we found each other right away! We saw the extremely long line running miles out of Central Park.

“Do we really want to wait in this line?” 

We asked each other this question several times and decided we would wait 15 minutes to see if the line was moving at all. We decided that if the line did not move, we would go have a drink instead. 15 minutes went by and the line was moving little by little. We decided to wait a little longer. We both really wanted the free yoga mats! Next thing you know, 40 minutes go by and we are still in line. We had no idea how much longer the line was in front of us. We had already waited an hour so we just couldn’t get ourselves to leave. We decided that if it started to rain, we would leave.

The time was now 7:00. The event was supposed to start at 7:00. There were still thousands of people in front of us, and behind us! I started to tweet Mari and Jess to see if the yoga class had started yet. By 7:30, it still had not started. The people inside were getting angry because they had been waiting for hours to start some yoga.

The people in line were getting angry because we thought we were going to miss the entire yoga session. Dori and I were so annoyed that we decided we would just get our yoga mats and leave if we ever made it in. We needed some tequila. Here is the line around 7:30.

And then it started to rain. We were so close to the front. We waited for 2 hours…we couldn’t give up now! Luckily I had an umbrella. 10 minutes went by and it started to downpour. All of the sudden we hear the park security yelling that the event has been canceled. We all had to leave. Dori and I were almost at the front. We were NOT leaving without our free yoga mats!! The entire park turned into a frenzy. We made a run for it towards the Great Lawn and tried to find the mats. I heard one of the employees say, “There are no mats left, please exit the park!”

Me, “NO WAY. I did not just wait in line for 2 hours for nothing!!”

We searched and searched and could not find any mats. They were giving out tons of free Smart Water. It was teaming rain outside. The last thing I needed was free water! Dori and I were fuming.  We decided to just make our way out of the park and go home. Imagine 10,000 people trying to exit a park at once.  Peace, Love, Namaste? I don’t think so.

The rain was so bad that we had to hop on the first bus we saw. I took the subway home. At 9:30 pm, I made it home with nothing but a wet umbrella and a piece of chocolate cake from Otarian.

To top it off, I saw a guy with THREE yoga mats on my train!!

I saw another girl with 2 yoga mats. Flavorpill did not prepare for this event at all! The doors opened at 5:30 pm and the event was supposed to start at 7:00 pm. Did they really expect 10,000 people to make it into a park in an hour and a half? They should have opened the doors at 12:00 in the afternoon! They could have at least warned everyone to arrive early since the lines would be long! The event was also supposed to be rain or shine. I received this e-mail a few hours before the event:

SUBJECT: Yoga at the Great Lawn: Rain, shine, or rainbows… it’s on!


Yoga at the Great Lawn is happening!

We’re up here at the park and there are a few drops, but it’s moving over us.
The National Weather Service for Central Park says at 4:10pm on June 22 “Late Afternoon: A slight chance of precipitation,” and the Parks Dept tells us it’s a “light shower passing over and will soon be gone.”

By the time the event starts, we expect no rain.

The stage looks amazing and we’ll be starting up as the gates open at 5:30pm.
We’re expecting a capacity crowd so arrive early.

Remember, no mats, as we have you covered.

See you at the Lawn!


Rain or shine? I guess Flavorpill did not check with the park beforehand to see if the yoga could continue in the rain. Now they are supposed to announce a new rain date. I will not be attending. It was a waste of 3 hours and a huge disappointment. A planned night of relaxation and fun turned into a night of chaos and stress. I plan on taking a nice yoga class at my gym tomorrow morning instead. At least I know a yoga mat will be provided.

Comments (1)
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I'm so sorry about The Great Lawn Event - yoga shouldn't be stressful!  Has Dori told you about YogaVibes? Have you tried it?  No stress involved - just lots of great yoga right to your own computer!  Email me and I'll give you a free class to try it out -
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