The “Summer Solstice,” June 21, the longest day of the year, is approaching. This auspicious day and the weeks leading up to it, have been celebrated throughout time among yogis and in many cultures. On this day, we have 12 hours of sun in our area of the world. Furthermore, we are encouraged to meditate and focus on “light.” Ancient cultures recognized that the sun, which provided energy for our existence here on earth, was in fact Divine light, put there by a Higher Source, and thus much reverence is built around giving attention to the Sun. Yogis practice Sun Salutations, in Sanskrit, Surya Namaskar, at the summer solstice. In some lineages the idea is to use the auspicious number 108 and repeat a sun salute any increments of 3 or 9 repetitions, building up to 108 rounds. Remember that each round is actually one repetition with the right side leading followed with another repetition of the left side of the body leading. It is only good that we build up our practice of many repetitions, remembering “ahimsa,” doing no harm or nonviolence, so that we do not overdo while building tolerance, gradually increasing the number of repetitions we can do in a practice session. There are many variations on the Surya Namaskar and you can see/follow from the Morning and the Strengthening Sequences in our book and DVD, Essential Yoga Practice.
We recognize that our essence is light, its essence is energy, and furthermore, that which gives energy for life is the sun. From another perspective, our essence is our true nature, and learning to understand ourselves and our calling, our “dharma," is our life journey. Our inner light is our soul, and we need to attend to our soul, to ask the big questions, to delve deep. “How do I soulfully connect?” Spend time with your true self, meditating on these concepts, and you will find moments where you feel connected to everything. Over time, and practice (yoga asana, breath work, meditation,…) connecting to the rawness of your soul, provides healing as well as sheds the light on your true gifts, those gifts that are meant to meet the needs of this world, and which can only uniquely come from YOU!
This is the time to be courageous in where you really want to be proactive, the hurdles you want to overcome, the planning for yourself, your forward steps in the coming months. Where the sun goes is where the light goes, where the energy goes, where growth happens. Likewise, where your awareness goes is where you shine and attend to your personal and spiritual growth. Your inner talk, your inner belief system determines your confidence and the direction of your journey. This is also where your daily spiritual living practices arise. Want to deepen your practice? Whether you are new to yoga or a yoga teacher, we invite you to our practice circle. Every year we run our 2-week course, Essential Yoga Practice Sangha, two to three times. Mark your calendars for either August 5, and October 7, and join us! It is offered in two variations, the second one meant for yoga teachers, providing 10 Yoga Alliance CECs. Look HERE to learn more and sign up. As you radiate the essence of YOU in your practice, share your testimonials with us, connect to us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and inspire others. Om Shanti!