Summer has finally arrived in the Northern Hemisphere and we are grateful for the heat and warmth she has provided. In our Friday restorative Yoga class at the Caldwell YMCA, we celebrate the summer solstice with slow and sultry Sun Salutations to honor the sun and the light within. These traditional “Surya Namaskar") were carefully interspersed with short guided meditations and readings on the ancient rituals that our ancestors celebrated as well as ways to awaken and cultivate the light and radiance of our own consciousness. I had so much fun putting together this very different way of celebrating the Solstice. The candle “bonfire” in the middle of our room contained a large basket of fresh picked lavender and tons of tiny tea lights that each participants received and then again returned that light to the bonfire as a symbol of our unity. We focused on our own tiny light at the end of our mats as we moved and connected with the physical body ,and then exchanged them for sprigs of lavender when we talked about the ancient ritual bonfires that celebrated the sun and throwing herbs on the their bonfires for luck and fertility as well as good health in the coming months. We ended the celebration with lots of sweet treats that remind me of summertime…. Most especially the sun shaped yellow sugar cookies… Yum.
Midsummer is a turning point, a doorway to the second half of the year, as the days begin to shorten and the promise of winter’s return, allows us to slow down and draw within and nurture our path toward the Winter Solstice in 6 months. We connected with our third Chakra, (The Manipura) or “Solar Plexus” where the sun’s light enters and then spreads through our entire system. The Manipura chakra is all about understanding our personal power and transforming it into something proactive, being self disciplined and confident and knowing the power and freedom we have in taking control of our own lives. It was truly a celebration of midsummer, contentment and bringing balance back into our bodies & minds.
We look forward to a relaxing summer, making lots of memories with family and friends and another “un-wined” with Yoga Series….(a wine and yoga event at Hells Canyon Winery) in July. This time, the focus will be on total relaxation…enjoying a Friday evening restorative class, outside at the winery, in the evening, after work… visualization from cloud watching and then celebratory wine for everyone. Stay tuned for more information… check my web site after the 4th of July to see the date/time and cost of this event…. You won’t want to miss it. I promise you will feel love and contentment and summer bliss like never before……