Power into Solstice. Yield into Rest.
Wherever you are in the world I hope you are beginning to feel the rising of the Summer energies. June 21st is Summer Solstice which means that our home planet is tilted the closest to the sun than it has been up until now and for the rest of the year. We have been tilting on the earth’s axis toward increasing amounts of warmth and light, which has certainly been felt in the last couple of weeks while the UK has been soaking up a tropical heatwave-yes, Brighton was hotter than Jamaica last week! I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling greater light beaming into earth since the beginning of this year and solstice is sure to bring in more of this luminosity. This rise in warmth and light is no surprise because the Summer Solstice ushers in powerful, outward facing energy which may manifest with us feeling more social or a hunger in the body to be outdoors, whether it be on our home balcony or in an expansive field or ocean.
We are not all the same though, some of us respond to Summer differently. I realise that Summer can occur as a pressurised time, where it looks like everybody else if off living their bloody hashtag best life and perhaps we don’t feel like due to the body’s fluctuating energy reserves. It’s OK not to having the best summer ever, you can still mark this solstice in a way that suits your needs.
Our ancestors have been worshipping the sun’s masculine energies for millenia, and without having to plaster it all over social media may I add. From celebrating the mythical British Green Man to the Egyptian sun god Ra, humans traditionally lean toward the building light energy which Summer Solstice delivers. Worldwide festivals mark the mid point of the year as either midsummer or the beginning of Summer and gratitude is offered to the feminine and masculine energies which form this lush planet. I’m not naïve though, not everybody’s experience of nature of late has been one of gratitude, floods, fires and drought wreak havoc, yet prayers are still offered to Mother Earth and Father Sky for our protection while the earth writhes and moans through her cycles.
What does midsummer mean for our self care practices? Anybody who his recovering from life challenges such as general stress, grief or chronic depression to shock trauma, will know that nature is a balm. I’m pretty sure that includes all humans at some stage of our lives. The earth’s cycles and high days of the year offer extra depth to our self-nourishment practices in which we can allow the medicine of the natural world a little closer to us to soothe our overloaded over stimulated body systems. I invite you to take your eyes off the screens as much as you can over the coming few days to connect with nature’s mysteries which are all around us. Feast your eyes on wildflowers in the pavement cracks, walk barefoot on any grass you can plant your feet on! Reclaiming our ancestral connection to our lands, bodies and skies is a healing counterpoint to the rise of convenience and technology which in my opinion feel way too close for comfort.
Here are some Summer Solstice Suggestions:
Watch the sun rise and set over the next couple of days.
Take your yoga practice outdoors (to somewhere your feel safe). Try this yoga practice I’ve recorded for solstice.
Meditate seated on the bare earth from 3 minutes to 3 hours and reflect on any benefits you feel.
Breathe in energy, breathe out peace. Repeat.
Combine any intense yoga poses like inversions (where the head is lower than your heart) with restorative ones such as supported bridge or supported savasana against cushions. Remember that intense is subjective, do what feels right for you.
Eat seasonal fruit and veg.
Have a Reiki treatment to encourage the body’s healing response and soothe the energies of the previous six months.
Journal or doodle on what you have learned so far this year.
Roll around in some grass (hay fever permitting).
Chat with friends in real life about what you want for the coming six months.
Take advantage of any extra energy you may be feeling. If this solstice falls on the your period though, follow your own energy and don’t forget to rest because your body needs it regardless of what the sun is up to!
All of this being said too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. With my yoga teacher hat on, this reminds me of the three Gunas which are said to be the energy states of all things: Rajas- active, warming, go go go, outward and yang
Tamas- restful,cooling, stillness, softer, yin
Sattva-balance, calm, wholeness
Too much yang without yin and vice versa is no good for anyone, so balance your summer activities with rest so that society’s do more, be more, get more mindset does not infiltrate this sacred time of year.
Enjoy this solstice and all it reveals for you. X