NiteTalk: Flavorpill's Sascha Lewis Dishes on Hosting the World's Biggest Yoga Event

Cutting-edge culture-hunters Flavorpill have always been all about throwing their own events, from dance parties in museums to an upcoming showcase at this month's Northside Music Festival. But last night's 10,000-strong yoga class on Central Park's Great Lawn (hosted by Conan O'Brien's very own warm up comic Reggie Watts) really takes the cake as their most ambitious get-together to date. As the final details were being put into place and the last mats rolled out, Niteside spoke with Flavorpill cofounder and yoga fan Sascha Lewis about what to expect.

We tend to regard Flavorpill staffers as night owls, but are there a lot of Yoga enthusiasts in the office? Actually, yes. About half of our offices practice yoga regularly.  It's a great way to balance out the nightlife portion of our collective lifestyle. 

How did the idea for such a massive event come about? Flavorpill has always been about getting people away from their computers, off the couch and participating with the vibrant culture of all our cities. We hosted a few Yoga at MoMA events over the last 18 months and received a terrific response from our community. From there, we started brainstorming about large-scale, free yoga events in NYC and beyond.  As we talked about it more and more it became apparent that this idea was bigger than all of us and needed to happen.  And here we are hosting 10,000 people doing yoga and celebrating life at the Great Lawn! 

What were the challenges of hosting the world's biggest yoga class in Central Park of all places? Getting over our fears and securing sponsorship -- in that order. 

How has the reception been? We know there were 10,000 slots available, but did you have to turn people down? The response has been overwhelming. We've received so much support from the local yoga and wellness community -- over 100 partners who have helped promote the event to their communities -- as well as over 100 press mentions before the event itself.  We have indeed reached capacity and now have a waiting list for those who still want to come to the event.  The crowd will be a true reflection of the people of New York -- a multi-culti mix of shapes, sizes and ages, old-school yogis and people who have never practiced before.  

Is this the first of many Flavorpill yoga events? If so, what are some dream locations?  Yes. This is just the beginning for large-scale yoga programs for Flavorpill.  The response for Yoga at the Great Lawn has been so overwhelmingly positive we know that this is something we must continue.  Some dream locations include the White House Lawn, the Louvre in Paris and the Great Lawn in 2011.  

How did Reggie Watts get involved? Is he flexible? We met Reggie at a friends birthday party where he performed in their basement music studio and made everyone laugh and smile like we've never seen a performer do before. We exchanged cards and two weeks later he confirmed hosting Y@GL. Reggie has such flow and grace on stage we can only image what he's capable of on a yoga mat.  Think magic carpet ride! 

Was it hard to get the Park's Department to sign off on such a whacky idea?  Easiest thing we've ever done. The Parks Department loved the idea from the beginning as they understood the nature of the event was something positive for NYC, so they we on board early.  

Are you guys new-age hipsters now? What's the term for that demographic? Do you listen to Enya in the office? Call us what you want. We're just all about enjoying life and celebrating culture! And you know what, there are millions of us out there. In fact, I think you might be one too!  Enya is soooooo early two thousands!

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