The Winter Solstice
The Winter Solstice is today December 21, 2019 and is the shortest day of the year. For some of us that signifies a time to celebrate that the days become filled with more sun light. Moreover, we cherish the day light and the way we feel it innately impacts our health. The sun provides vitamin D, increases serotonin (one of our happy nuerons), and gives us warmth. Check out this Article that shows a cool time lapse of the son shines on the earth as it spins on its axis
Below are 3 ways you can yoga to celebrate
1. Ground Down
Winter Solstice celebrations are known to celebrate the birth of the sun and so we ground down to keep us connected to earth and nature.
Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with arms relaxed at your side, palms facing frontwards (thumbs away from body -not next to legs). Inhale deeply filling the lungs and as you exhale imagine a soft energy lowering all the way to the feet. Feel the feet touch the ground noting the 4 corners of each foot grounding down. Inhale imagine that soft energy rising up the body and out of the head. Repeat for 3-5 breaths (or longer if that feels good)
2. Honor the North, South, East and West
Some Winter Solstice celebrations have a circle theme representing the cycles of the sun and will use the representation of the circle created from the 4 cardinal directions on a compass.
Stand in Star Pose, legs as wide as comfortable, arms extended away from the body hands approximately level with shoulders. The arms represent east and west. Imagine your head as the North that gives you divine direction. Your feet are the south that provide eternal rest. The east arm (pick one or find a compass on your cell phone if you want to be exact) represents the rising of the sun, your source of inspiration and fears squashed. The west arm represents calmness, tranquility and letting go. Stand in star pose and focus on each representation one at a time as you move from one body part to the other. You my inhale and exhale at each “point” but breath is not necessary for this exercise.
3. Determine your Sankalpa (Intention)
The Winter Solstice is a time of reflecting and focusing on personal awakening. Consequently, we spend time thinking about a personal commitment to ourselves about the future. However, don’t this make this commitment a list of to do’s or goals to accomplish. Focus more on a way of being. Furthermore, think about a vow to yourself that helps you reach your highest intention. This is your Sankalpa.
Winter Solstice and Holiday Celebrations
The ancient celebration of the winter Solstice has significance in today’s holiday celebrations. For example, Here is one of the many interesting reads you can find. With google you can dig deeper about the winter solstice celebrations that are interwoven into different holidays previously and today. While the holidays can be a happy and celebratory time for many, the stress of preparing and traveling can have an impact on the immune symptoms of those struggling with chronic illness. Even healthy individuals find themselves getting sick from not taking the time to pause and destress for an healthy immune system. For those of you that are struggling to keep peace with your body through these holidays, take pause and take a moment for self care. Click on this guide for a Mantra and Mediation for the holidays.