Summer solstice was on Monday, complete with a beautiful strawberry full moon (something I was informed of after the fact and apparently this strawberry stuff only happens once every 70 years!).
Solstices and equinoxes are important to me because they signify a change in season. Just as Mother Nature changes throughout the seasons, so do human beings. Now is a good time to contemplate how your routines, practices, and needs are changing as we officially enter summer.
Since we’re moving into a time of heat, it’s important that we prioritize cooling practices — remember opposites heal. Staying balanced is the best way to keep centered.
Many of us naturally stay cool, what with air conditioning and all, but also by taking breaks (vacations) from our day-to-day responsibilities. I myself just got back from a great week-long vacation. Although I spent most of my days baking in the hot sun, I also kept my mind cool by refusing to be attached to my phone and email and other work responsibilities. And I jumped in the pool every so often to cool off the body.
It’s common in the yoga world to see sun salutation practices promoted during the solstice, which is great in the winter when we are ending the cycle of darkness and moving back toward the light. But in the summer, we celebrate the longest day of the year and recognize that now we are gradually moving back into the darkness. Each day there is a little less light.
The darkness is just as beautiful and full of potential as the light. It can be uncomfortable to be with the darkness though. That’s why in our asana practice we want to keep things light, cool, smooth, and soft.
Restorative practices with maybe a little bit of yin thrown in are great for summer time fun. My advice is to pull back a bit on the heated vinyasa. Give your body the time and space it wants to cool down to keep a cool mind. Taking this space now will keep you balanced so that when fall comes around you have the energy to jump in to the busyness that ensues around the holidays.
Today I’m sharing a short summer solstice yoga practice with you, a yin/slow flow/restorative blended practice that you can use as a go-to practice this summer every time you need to cool down.
Welcome to summer 🙂
My cool yoga pants in this video were graciously provided by Yogaletics.