Monday, July 1, 2013
Photos: More than 200 yogis posed at Cowboys Stadium for charity
The event was also an attempt to break a Texas record for largest yoga practice.
ARLINGTON Rarely do the worlds of yoga and football intermix, but on Saturday, Brook Cheatham, owner of Vibe Yoga studio in Allen, found a way to creatively combine the sports. She invited yogis from all over North Texas to the field at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington for a charity event that also attempted to break the record for largest yoga practice in Texas.
Cheatham previously organized two fundraising practices at Cowboys Stadium, in 2010 and 2011, but this was the first time she had the record — 428 attendees — in mind.
Although the record-breaking attempt was unsuccessful, about 230 yoga enthusiasts gathered beneath the giant screen to meditate in support of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which received 50 percent of the event proceeds.
Guest instructor Tommy Rosen flew in from his home studio in Los Angeles to teach the class. Rosen, who does work in addiction and recovery, was drawn to Texas by the cause behind the event.
“The work they do [at DCAC] is near and dear to my heart,” he said. “They work with the highest risk category of kids to develop addiction.”
Backed by live music from Fort Worth natives The Bhakti House Band, Rosen led the crowd through an hour-long practice in Vinyasa Flow and Kundalini yoga. Both children and adults of varying skill levels followed him through a series of sun salutations, each time catching a glare from the stadium skylight. Rosen also incorporated a handful of endurance-based exercises and breathing techniques to complete Saturday’s “wake up yoga” curriculum. (Practice was at 9 a.m., after all.)
Once class was over, the field was full of regular stadium tourists taking pictures on the 50-yard line star and gaping at the screen overhead. The Bhakti House Band then performed its own form of yoga called Nāda, or the yoga of sound. For 30 minutes, Cowboys Stadium echoed with the Middle Eastern sounds of the wooden flute, djembe, and spiritual chanting, seemingly weaving the essence of the yoga practice into the fabric of a tourist destination.
Shea Hicks, a yogi of four years from Allen, could feel that vibe. After class, she sat stoically on her mat watching The Bhakti House Band, impressed at how fluidly the yoga session progressed despite the number of attendees.
“This is my first time doing a really large class and I thought it would be overwhelming,” Hicks said. “But [the teacher] wasn’t too far away, it was close knit, and you could feel everyone’s energy. It was good.”Follow @tineywristwatch
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