Celebrate the Sun!
by Cali Bowman
Yoga in sanskrit is defined as “union”. The beginning of our practice is understanding this union through the connections of the body and breath; of meditation and clearing the mind; in health and happiness.
Look deeper for this unification in everything and allow your gaze to lift to the sky. All cultures, creatures, mountains and seasons on earth share this same larger connection- The Sun! The sun shines upon all things… stimulating growth and power wherever it’s strong energy is absorbed.
Like everything in our ancient yogic tradition, this is old knowledge…Stonehenge and certain Egyptian pyramids were built to face the Summer Solstice setting sun. Ancient Chinese cultures revered the Summer Solstice in loud and ecstatic celebrations. Listen outside and you’ll hear the Mountain Chickadees singing louder and the Douglass Squirrels chittering in praise of the longest day of the year.
During Summer we have a chance to maximize our connection with the powerful sun. To build some awareness to the natural changes that occur with more sunshine try to….
- Be more aware of the surge of solar energy and cultivate it to achieve great things physically and emotionally. More sun means more power!
- Considered the most “yang” season, mirror the increased heat in your life and feel your heartbeat loudly, sing louder and express yourself to your fullest.
- Fears naturally dissolve when we are full of the sun’s positive energy and we can literally see more clearly. Accept challenges!
- Laugh often! In Chinese tradition summer and laughter go hand in hand, so to laugh is to honor the sun. *Note that sun helps the body release Serotonin, a mood enhancer.
- Allow Spring’s plans to come into the fruition during Summer. Mirror the plants surrounding you.
- Eat vitamin D rich foods which are more easily synthesized by sunlight. Vitamin D helps to maintain and enrich the immune and nervous systems.
- Blood vessels dilate under UV rays which can help lower blood pressure naturally. Go out and feel how your circulatory system is reacting differently to the sun.
- Face South for a moment of reverence to the sun each day. Meditate or practice Sun Salutations to the South.
- Wear the color red and enjoy fire!
- Honor the Solar Plexus of the body located in the belly. Take time to strengthen the stomach, eat clean & easily digestible foods and let your belly bathe in the sun!
- Balance all this new solar energy by jumping in cold water = Lake time!
Let the sun guide us through our yoga practice and life’s journey, connecting us all along the way!
Join me in celebration of the Sun on June 23 from 12-2pm at Tahoe Yoga Shala.
In this workshop we honor the sun through stomach strengthening exercises and work to open this energy to the world through progressive back bending while meditating on the Solar Plexus.
Our course will culminate with the creation of a Sun Mandala Mind Map while enjoying a cleansing tonic. Finally a quick jaunt to the river for a cleansing dip to re-balance the inner fire. Bring a bathing suit and hope to see you there!