Yoga Journal Blog: Samadhi & the City

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New York: Top 5 Ways to Stay Balanced in NYC

blossomnyc.pngLast night, over an AMAZING meal at Pure Food & Wine (vegan, raw, fancy, and deliriously delicious restaurant on Irving Place), some fellow Yoga Journalites (and non-NY-ers) asked me what I do to stay balanced in this crazy city of ours. It got me thinking.

Top 5 Quick Ways to Stay Balanced in NYC
1) Grab Nature When You Can: When walking, route yourself through parks, down the leafiest streets, near the biggest trees. And take in the smells, sights and sounds of plants and critters and the soft respite they offer.

2) Go for Softness: Someone once told me each city's energy is affected by the type of stone beneath it. NYC's granite is some hard-ass rock energy. Too much can rattle our nerves and ability to feel compassion. I do things like: take a restorative yoga class, duck into a Tui Na massage, get a facial, carry bottles of lavender and rescue remedy in my bag.

3) Eat Well: It's not hard to find delicious food here. But I usually feel better when it's of the non-pizza variety (though sometimes a drippy slice is just thing). When you feel off, go for the plants: stop into Bonobo's, Souen, City Bakery (past those cookies to the local veggies), Angelica's, Liquiteria (the green pressed juice is mana), Blossom. And Organique on 23rd is a great lunch spot for organic meats and veggies, when animal protein is what you need.

4) Take in Beauty: Depending on your perspective, NYC can look like Law & Order or Woody Allen's Manhattan. To make sure you catch the latter, get yourself to the water (it's easy to forget we're surrounded), preferably at sunset. Notice gargoyles. Go to Top of the Rock. Walk by Barney's windows. Stop by Alice in Wonderland. Have tea at the Morgan Library.

5) Get Out: You don't have to have a manse in the Hamptons to escape. Every sane NY-er knows she needs to leave at least once a month. Grab a train to Cold Spring and hike, take a ferry ride, day trip to Fire Island, walk on the Long Beach boardwalk, even spend a local, peaceful day at the New York Botanical Garden.

What's on your list? How do you stay sane and happy here?


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I love to soak up the shakti at the many yoga studios in the city. I find that GoldenBridce and Jivamukti have a strong vibration as well as IYI. Kirtans can be really good balancers of energy and peace, too. Sometimes just finding a quiet place and breathing works for me.

When Amma comes to NYC in July, thats the time to feel the maha shakti and also the deepest inner stillness. Peace to all my brothers and sisters in the city and in the world.

I have a smiling practice. First, soon after waking up, I meditate with an inner smile. Then, as often as I can, and especially when I notice myself getting overwhelmed by the frenetic pace of the city, I remember to smile as I walk. Sometimes people even smile back.

for more information on Cold Spring New York visit

When I'm in New York I love to take the subway to Fort Tyron Park to see the Cloisters. The Medieval French architecture, the tapestries, stained glass and gardens transport you to another time and place. And the beautiful lawn is the perfect place to sit quietly.

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