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Summer Solstice

20-23 June in the Northern Hemisphere

20-23 December in the Southern Hemisphere


Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras 3.26



 

“One learns from the perfect discipline of the sun and solar system.” 

The summer solstice is the marking point halfway through the year, the height of summer and the earth's longest day and shortest night.


The Sun bows Down to the Moon at the Summer Solstice


The Summer Solstice is an entrance into the second half of the year. It is a flaming, fertile, energetic, passionate time when the earth’s beauty just goes on and on. Energy wise the Summer Solstice is like the full moon; it is charged with possibility. At the Solstice the sun appears to stand still before it changes direction. We too stand still, stop, and have time to reflect. We have travelled to the top of a mountain and paused to take in the view. We look back over the journey we have taken since the Winter Solstice and look ahead to the path that leads us into the darker half of the year.  It is natural to want summer to go on forever: many of us feel pangs of remorse that it won’t. Although summer isn’t over yet, there are warm, sunny days ahead; yet at the same time the year has turned, and gradually the days will shorten, and the nights get longer. At the Winter Solstice in December, we committedly honour the return of the Sun and the rebirth of the light; however, at the Summer Solstice, we may feel more hesitant about welcoming back the waxing cycle of the darkness. We balance this by remembering that the dark half of the year gives us the opportunity, to take stock, to plan, and conceptualise ideas; ready to be released out into the world during next spring and summer’s growing season.  

 

Release

The sun is a star at the centre of the solar system, All the planets revolve around it. At the Summer Solstice, the sun reaches the height of its powers, before the energy shifts and the days begin to gradually shorten again.

 

When you are practising expansive poses such as Trikonasana (triangle)Ardha Chandrasana (half moon pose), or Virabhadrasana (warrior) fire up your poses by imagining a radiant sun at your centre. Re-charge and energise your system by picturing this sun brightening and expanding as you inhale. As you exhale imagine warm rays of sunlight radiating throughout your body.

 

Also, as you practice Surya Namaskar, Salute to the Sun, keep in your mind's eye an image of the sun. Feel that warm glow!

 

Yoga and the Summer Solstice



The energy at the Summer Solstice is yang, expansive, and outward-looking. During this busy period of rampant growth, it is important to stay centred and grounded. At the start of your yoga practice stand in Tadasana, mountain pose, close your eyes and each time you exhale drop your awareness down, from your head to your hara, your belly, and your centre. Do this for a few breaths. Then try this: each time you inhale imagine that you are drawing pranachi, and vital energy up from deep down in the earth, up through the soles of your feet and your legs, to your hara. Each time you exhale imagine that you are storing this energy in your hara. As you do your yoga practice keep bringing your awareness back to your centre. This will help to induce a sense of calmness and spaciousness that you can carry with you into your everyday life.


Kay Dawson

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