A Day of Sun for Yoga

5 simple ways you can make the most out of International Day of Yoga

 

Each year around June 20-21, the Sun puts on a grand show – an illusion really. On this day in the Northern Hemisphere, known as Summer Solstice, the Sun seems to stand still and offers us the most amount of light making it the longest day of the year. After Summer Solstice, the Sun reverses its direction causing each day after to be shorter and shorter leading up to Winter Solstice (the shortest/darkest day of the year). The year is split in half by the two solstices (Latin solstitium meaning ‘sun stands still’). And here, we have another example of the Universe teaching us the important lessons of gratitude and balance. So it’s not surprising that June 21st is also now known as International Day of Yoga.

 

"Yoga is an invaluable gift of India's ancient tradition. This tradition is 5000 years old. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day." — Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly (via Wikipedia)

 

You don’t have to be a “yogi” to celebrate this special day. Instead, it’s about practicing consciousness to achieve a healthier wellbeing. This wellbeing is a result of connecting your body to the mind, connecting to nature, and connecting to your community. After all, that is the essence of Yoga – to unite or yoke.

 

Not sure how to celebrate? We offer these 5 simple ways you can make the most out of International Day of Yoga (IDY):

 

  1. Let your body rise and rest with the Sun. Yes, it’s going to be an early wake up; set your alarm for 5:30am. Then wind down your day as the Sun sets at approximately 8:30pm. That’s 15 hours to appreciate the Sun and the light it provides!
  2. Face east and flow through 108 Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar). This flow sequence is designed to connect the breath with each movement making this series a powerful moving meditation. Also, the number 108 is considered sacred. While there are several reasons for it’s significance it is phenomenal to note that 108 “connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters.” (via Yoga Journal)
  3. Give thanks. By being grateful for the big and small gifts Life provides, you elevate your consciousness, and soon you will realize more gifts appear. On a day with plentiful light it is easy to see how much there is to be grateful for -your body, health, laughter, the Sun’s warmth, nourishing foods… the list goes on.
  4. Practice Surya Bhedana pranayama (Single Nostril Breath) to harmonize the body’s solar and lunar energies on the day of the solstice. This breathing exercise is calming and balancing.
  5. Set an intention. The Sun is a symbol of joy and on this day where there is so much of it – it’s time to also celebrate abundance. Repeat this mantra throughout the day: I am joy. I am abundant.

 

The Sun print symbolizes the mantra " I am joy. I am abundant"

 

As the light reflects on the water, let this day mark your day of significant reflection. Similarly to how we set New Year’s resolutions, IDY can be a powerful reset. Reflect on the past 6 months. What are your goals for the next 6 months? Set your intention and let it shine!

 

Don’t miss out on the culmination of light without offering your body and mind a dose of (literal and figurative) sunshine.

 

 



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