Thousands of yoga practitioners hit Times Square to welcome summer

Yoga fans gather at New York's Times Square on Monday to mark the summer solstice. Photograph:( Getty )

AFP New York, United States Jun 21, 2016, 04.57 AM (IST)
Following a long-held tradition, thousands of yoga fans gathered in New York`s Times Square on Monday to mark the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

During the 14th edition of the annual event, yogis transformed the famous intersection in one of the world`s busiest cities into a huge outdoor yoga lesson surrounded by cars, construction and the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.

The first lesson began at 5:00 am (0900 GMT), and the last at 7:30 pm. All were free and open to yoga practitioners of all levels.
There was a heavy police presence.

Thousands of yoga mats were distributed for the get-together, covering crosswalks.

Last year, during the first international yoga day designated by the United Nations, some 17,000 people participated.