My kids are so excited that school ends this week. Bring on the long, lazy summer days. Do you remember that awesome feeling? I think it is the sense of freedom that makes it so irresistibly delicious. No classes or homework. Summer jobs without the adult responsibility. Bonfires, fireflies and entire days spent roaming around on bikes. Blissfully carefree!
The summer solstice, on June 21st, marks the beginning of this sweet season. It is one of two times in the year when the sun is at the greatest distance from the celestial equator.
Solstice comes from the Latin words “sol” for sun and “sistere” for stand still. It occurs when the Earth’s axis is most tilted toward the sun. The sun’s relative position in the sky at noon doesn’t seem to change throughout the day during the solstice. It appears to stand still.
Potentiality and Renewal
Summer solstice is a time of renewal and great potential. The sun is in the sky longer than any other day.
The sun is warming, light giving – a creative energy. This is a time of passion and sensuality. The sun’s energies heat us and fuel our passions.
Fire is the element associated with summer solstice. Fire symbolizes passion, rebirth, renewal and action.
Alignment with your True Self
The summer solstice is a time to embrace and to walk in alignment with your beliefs and values. Take a look at the big picture that is your life. Notice things that are out of alignment. Take action. This might mean choosing to let some things go. Find the courage to make changes and move forward. Embrace strength and step into your power.
This transition between seasons was once thought to be a time when witches and supernatural beings caused mischief. Take this opportunity to laugh and be a little crazy. Find that summer kid feeling again! That joy is a real part of who you are.
Yoga Practices to Honour the Summer Solstice
You have probably done many sun salutations over the course of your practice! However, the summer solstice is a particularly auspicious time to practice this sequence. You can do a Yoga Mala, which is 108 Sun Salutations (intense!) Or keep it simple and do a few. Here’s a Sun Salutation sequence (Surya Namaskara A) to download and print as a guide. Another option is to do some Sun Breaths or half Sun Salutations:
Since the sun rises in the East, you may want to position yourself facing in that direction. If you are practicing in the early hours, you can salute the sun as it comes into your part of the world. Or pick a location that holds some sort of special significance for you related to the sun. Perhaps you have a favourite spot for watching the sun rise or set.
Focus on Manipura Chakra
Manipura chakra is located just above your solar plexus. It is associated with fire, heat and transformation. Bring your awareness to this energetic center as you practice. If you would like to try something new, check out this 20 minute manipura chakra flow from yogadownload.com.
Whatever you choose to do, keep in mind that you are honouring something greater than yourself. You are saluting the light that supports you in moving towards your dreams. Reflect on how far you have come in this journey and revel in the adventures that lie ahead.
I don’t know if it’s a thing to say, but Happy Summer Solstice! And please share your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you.
Image courtesy of hdeb89