Summer Solstice Sun Salute

Summer Solstice Sun Salute

Okay so the sun might not be shining right where I’m sitting, not outside at least, but there’s a smouldering flame in my heart as I start the morning celebrating the Summer Solstice.  Added to that, it’s International Yoga Day, so there’s a certain amount of energy in the air.  Perhaps all those yogis across the globe taking to their mats, harnessing their prana has me tuned in and all fired up!?

After an early start and many sun salutations later, I’m radiating from the inside out as I rest down into meditation, softening my gaze and turning inwards to reflect on the achievements and challenges that have arisen in the past few months where the darkness of the long nights has been replaced by the light of the long days.

And now, it’s time to take stock.  What seeds have I sown that have grown into fruition, good and bad?  For me it’s worth noting that being mindful is all important when it comes to wishing for things in your life as I firmly believe, you have to be careful what you wish for!  I ask myself what has worked well?  What is it that I would like for the coming months?  What can be burnt off and what can I invite into my life to nourish and nurture me, so that I can be of better service to those around me and play my albeit small part in making this world a better place?  Some of the answers were clear to me and others are part of my daily sadhana, that daily inquiry that leads me further from external desires and needs and closer to a place of truth that resides deep within.

So, here are some suggestions as to how you might like to celebrate and harness the amazing energy of the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day.

  1. Traditionally and even still today, many yogis celebrate the summer solstice with 108 sun salutations.  Give it a try, surprise yourself with your own strength and ride the challenge of the fluctuations of the mind as the body starts to tire and then gets reinvigorated by the breath.  Stay with it, enjoy the heat you build and embrace the quality of stillness of mind that comes at the end of the practice.
  2. Practice yoga nidra or a simple meditation in which you plant the seeds of what you would like to grow in the coming months that will bring you closer to your personal goals and true happiness.  Set time aside each day for the next few months to dedicate to this potent yet restorative practice.
  3. Get creative.  Allow some time to brainstorm your top 5 priorities for the coming year.  Where would you like to be in a year’s time from now?  Are you looking for a change of career, would you like to set up your own business, invite love into your life, start a family, or perhaps just start some hobbies that really sing to your soul?  Set the wheels in motion by creating your own mood board that reflects your life’s goals using cut outs from magazines, brochures and photographs.  Stick these images on a blank sheet of A3 paper to create your own collage of what you wish to invite into your life.  Dream big, plant the seeds and who knows what could grow as a result.
  4. Stay grounded.  With all this fiery energy circulating, it’s easy to feel unstable and as though the world is spinning all around you.  Whether walking, sitting or doing your yoga practice, you can always establish your connection to the ground by spreading your toes, (even in your shoes), and noticing where your feet make contact to the earth.  Think about inhaling the breath from the earth through your feet all the way up your body into your lungs and heart space and out again through the earth.  Repeat as many times as needed adding in a mantra such as “Breathing in peace, breathing out peace, I am grounded, I am safe.”  Work with a mantra that resonates with you or simply repeat, inhale, exhale silently in time with your breath.
  5. Seek out some summer solstice songs to set the scene or choose from a selection that I’ve created that are great for inviting light into your life.

Enjoy – Happy Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day everyone!