3 Ways To Slow Down This Summer Solstice
This weekend in the northern hemisphere on Saturday the 20th June it will be the Summer Solstice. The Solstice is the longest period of daylight of the year where the Sun is highest in the sky due to the Earth’s axis being at its peak tilt toward the Sun.
The word solstice is derived from two Latin words sol, which means sun, and sistere, which means to be still. For many years the Solstice has been celebrated as a day to relax since it falls between the planting and harvesting seasons.
In honour of this natural day of rest, I have put together 3 ways that you can slow down this Summer Solstice.
1) Rise Early and Salute the Sun
As the Solstice is a day all about worshipping the Sun, it seems only natural to celebrate by rising in time for sunrise and doing several rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations). Many yogis will already worship the sun regularly by incorporating Surya Namaskar into their practice and these practitioners may wish to try 108 rounds to mark the Solstice. However, if you are new to Surya Namaskar start by doing a few rounds – 3 or 4 can be sufficient for a vitalising effect on the body.
2) Try a Grounding Practice
The Sun carries dynamic life-giving energy. However this active energy can be overwhelming for some people, especially those with a sensitive nervous system or who are more anxious. For this reason it is also important to practice grounding. This can be as simple as walking barefoot outside on the grass, taking a short walk concentrating on your steps (my Mindful Walking Meditation is perfect for this) or picking up natural objects and noting its properties (is it soft or hard? Is it warm or cool?). Alternatively, a fun way of doing this could be to combine step 1 with step 2 by practising your Sun Salutations outside.
3) Watch the Sunset with Loved Ones
If you missed sunrise, don’t panic! Watching the sunset can be just as beautiful. Get your loved ones together, a few drinks, maybe a blanket and see the sun settle down as you reflect on all the things you are grateful for. Sunset will be at 21:20 (BST) on the 20th June, and you might also want to stay once the sun is set to star-gaze as well!
Whatever you plan to do this Summer Solstice, enjoy this special day of light that gives us renewed hope and focus for the next half of the year. Check in with those intentions you set at the start of the year, and celebrate the positive journeys and lessons learnt so far.
Let me know what your plans are for Summer Solstice in the comments below.
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