“Seren-i-Tea in the Square” was hosted by Sokenbicha Tea, Japan’s leading tea brand that is exclusively sold at Whole Foods markets nationwide. On Saturday June 25th, over 300 people joined together in Union Square to meditate, practice yoga, and find serenity in the San Francisco sunshine.
I was lucky to be invited as a VIP guest to the event and was allowed to bring nine friends with me. When we got to the registration table, we received AWESOME VIP gift bags filled to the brim with goodies. Each navy tote contained: a yoga mat and carry bag, a designer scarf, all natural sunscreen and lotion, Sokenbicha tea, Pop Chip Samples, and a Whole Foods gift card for $50. Needless to say we had found our inner peace even BEFORE the event started! 😉
Our afternoon was kicked off to a GREAT start with strong tribal beats of Taiko Drummers. Guests rolled out their bright blue Sokenbicha yoga mats and settled into the sunshine to the drumming rhythm. Union Square quickly became a SEA of bright blue mats, spandex, and excited guests.
At 12:45, the drumming came to a stop and Mallika Chopra, founder of Intent.com and daughter of famed health guru Deepak Chopra, stepped onto the stage. Gracefully she sat down and began meditating without saying a world. This immediately signaled us all to shut up, sit down, take DEEP breaths, and experience.
300 people sitting in silence in the middle of Union Square. I could feel the sunlight on my face, a cool san francisco breeze, and the energy of a powerful moment shared among many . It was a memorable experience I’ll never let go. BEAUTIFUL.
At the end of 10 minutes Mallika guided us back into reality with soft words and slow breaths. She then gave an inspiring keynote speech on the purpose and power of meditation and on setting strong life INTENTIONS. Her talk reminded us all to celebrate the meaningful things in life. To live each day with mindfulness, gratitude, intention, and grace.
Mallika then introduced us to several elementary school students – all who were involved with “Headstand” and “Off the Mat, Into the World®”, the nonprofit partners who participated in the event. These two charities make a significant impact in San Francisco by educating people about the transformational and healing power of yoga. These innovative organizations bring stress reduction techniques and yoga to youth in economically disadvantaged communities. A few of the kids involved with the Headstand program got up on stage and talked about the impact yoga has had on their lives. Many named their favorite poses,
The coolest part was that for every attendee that afternoon, Sokenbicha donated $5 to Headstand and Off the Mat, Into the World®. It was nice to know our sunny, luxurious afternoon in the square also benefitted those that needed YOGA. ( Warm fuzzy feeling anyone?)
The children introduced our next event guest, Stephanie Snyder. Stephanie is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE San Francisco yoga instructors. Her teaching style is unique, challenging, and creative – filled with powerful words, philosophy, and heart-felt humor. She has the ability to teach hundreds – yet still touch every individual on a personal level. Stephanie is a truly exceptional talent, whom I wholeheartedly believe can turn anyone “on” to the power of yoga.
Stephanie led us through a brief sun salutation flow together in the square. It felt SO good to move in that space with everybody. Our practice ended with Shavasana in the warm sunshine…. now THATS what I call a GOOD time!
After working up a sweat from the yoga practice in the warm weather, we were invited to refresh ourselves with endless samples of Sokenbicha Tea and Pop Chips. I was excited to FINALLY try this tea after learning so much about it. I tried ALL five flavors of Sokenbicha…. I was a thirsty yogi!
- Revive (Wood), a crisp oolong tea blend infused with pomegranate and raspberry notes, black tea and rose hips
- Defend (Water), a mild oolong tea blend with guava leaves and ginseng
- Purify (Fire), an aromatic green tea blend with chamomile and aloe
- Shape (Earth), a bold barley tea blend with peach flower notes, pu’er and green teas
- Skin (Metal), a full-bodied barley tea blend with cinnamon and ginger
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the sunny square enjoying tea and taking pictures. It was blissful.
I feel so lucky to have had the chance to participate in such a wonderful event. SENDING A BIG THANK YOU to Sokenbicha, Mallika Chopra, and Stephanie Snyder for hosting us and providing such a unique and powerful experience. Hope someday we meet again to share yoga, tea, and PEACE in the sunshine!!
With Gratitude and love to ALL of you,