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Thousands of yoga fans take over Times Square

A series of mass yoga classes are set on Times Square to celebrate the summer solstice, New York, June 21, 2013
Participants practice yoga as part of a series of mass yoga classes set on Times Square to celebrate the summer solstice, in New York, June 21, 2013.

Thousands of New Yorkers took some time off Friday to celebrate the first day of summer by taking part in mass outdoor yoga classes in Times Square, the Big Apple's busiest crossroads.

The summer solstice yoga festival -- for everyone from beginners to the most experienced practitioners -- started early in the morning and was expected to continue until sundown.

Free mats were handed out to the first 1,200 at each class, and pedestrian zones in Times Square were entirely covered with the colorful rectangles and the yoga enthusiasts, most of them women in exercise attire.

Participants carefully went through a series of yoga poses, following instructions from teachers, broadcast via loudspeakers. Organizers said the oldest yoga teacher was 94.

The spectacle, which delighted tourists and photographers alike, takes place each year to mark the summer solstice.

Those not wishing to take part could still watch the proceedings at the following website: www.TimesSquareNYC.org.

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