Summer Light & Solstice Reflection

Sunrise at Stonehenge on June 21, 2022. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

Summer Solstice marks a special time of year, one that is honored and celebrated by many traditions and cultures. This year’s solstice on June 21, 2022, gives us a chance to reflect upon the symbolism of the longest day of the year.

Many yoga practitioners observe the summer solstice as part of the natural flow of light and energy that regulates our human and cosmic cycles. This focus has a natural relationship to one of the most widely practiced yoga sequences: surya namaskar, the sun salutation. Surya namaskar is an expression of gratitude for the power of the sun and harnessing of its energy.

If Spring represents a time to sow seeds and Fall to harvest, Summer is the time to nurture growth and allow the process to unfold. The warmer temperatures of summer are both an invitation to commune outdoors and a reminder to slow down and absorb the beauty and rhythm of nature. Summer is also the time that the sun is highest and brightest in the sky, spreading light across the broadest area. Immediately following the summer solstice, the days begin to shorten.

In recent years, summer heat has become an indicator of our global climate crisis. Much of the Earth has seen temperatures rise to dangerous levels, reminding us of the power of fire represented in this season. We can harness fire and use it to enhance our lives — such as when we cook food or speak passionately on behalf of a good cause — or fire can become harmful like a destructive wildfire or a fit of violent rage.

Taking time to reflect and nurture ourselves in the spirit of the season can be as simple as taking a long walk, joining a yoga or meditation class, practicing gratitude, or journaling about your desired goals.

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Mary Jacobson

Mary Jacobson is Content Creator for INlighten Community. She has been a certified yoga and meditation teacher since 2009 with an emphasis on trauma-informed Accessible Yoga influenced by a variety of yoga lineages such as Kundalini, Hatha, and Restorative. She is the creator of Yoga for All Seniors, a program adapted for students in assisted or independent living dealing with moderate to severe physical and cognitive limitations. Mary also offers private intuitive counseling for those experiencing the debilitating effects of trauma, childhood sexual abuse, chronic PTSD, or grief. She is also acting COO of For Land & People, a nonprofit partner of INlighten Community.

About the Author

Mary Jacobson

Mary Jacobson is Content Creator for INlighten Community. She has been a certified yoga and meditation teacher since 2009 with an emphasis on trauma-informed Accessible Yoga influenced by a variety of yoga lineages such as Kundalini, Hatha, and Restorative. She is the creator of Yoga for All Seniors, a program adapted for students in assisted or independent living dealing with moderate to severe physical and cognitive limitations. Mary also offers private intuitive counseling for those experiencing the debilitating effects of trauma, childhood sexual abuse, chronic PTSD, or grief. She is also acting COO of For Land & People, a nonprofit partner of INlighten Community.

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