NEW YORK — Several thousand New Yorkers calmly invaded Times Square Wednesday, transforming it into an immense outdoor yoga class to salute the arrival of summer.

Some 1,500 yoga mats were distributed free for the occasion, and pedestrian spaces in New York's most frenetic crossroads were completely covered.

All day, thousands of yogis, beginners and veterans alike, dutifully sweated in the heat, following directions broadcast over loudspeakers.

The first of the free short courses began at 7:30 am, and the last was scheduled for 8:30 pm, to the delight of tourists.

And those who wanted to could follow the annual event live, on the Times Square website,