Every year on the summer solstice, it’s nice to dedicate your yoga practice to all the warmth, love, and light that the special day brings. It's the longest day of the year, full of sunlight and good energy — the perfect time to cleanse your being and nourish your soul with the abundant nature, fresh air, and greenery that comes with the start of the seasonal shift. The yoga poses for the summer solstice you decide to do can change a bit each year, but what stays the same is the fact that they never fail to set your soul on fire in a huge way.
This year, the summer solstice falls on
June 21, so it may be a good idea to set up your yoga mat on the beach at 6 a.m. sharp to begin flowing and immersing yourself in the spiritual magic of the day by doing summer solstice yoga poses. The summer solstice invites us all to rejoice in the present moment and celebrate bountiful prosperity, in whatever way speaks to you and your unique soul.
Elite Daily spoke with licensed psychotherapist
Molly Zive and yoga teacher Georgina Berbari, who shared a few recommendations for summer solstice yoga poses that are great for welcoming in the new season. If you're choosing to roll out your yoga mat to celebrate the solstice this year, here are 13 yoga poses for summer solstice you can flow through to soak up all the beauty of this enchanting day and really open your heart to the beginning of summer. Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision/Getty Images
One of the poses that Zive recommends is the mountain pose, which Zive says is great for grounding “yourself into your yoga practice while sending gratitude towards the sun.”
The best way to get into a mountain pose is to place your feet on the ground and face the sun. According to Zive, you want to “feel the four corners of your feet evenly on the ground.” Once you’re in place, you can begin deepening your breath with your hands in a prayer position near your heart. This is when Zive recommends saying a summer solstice mantra like, “I welcome fresh summer solstice energy into my life.”
Baby Backbend (Anuvittasana) Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images
From your mountain pose, you can easily perform a baby backbend. All you need to do is extend your arms over your head and reach back, allowing your heart to shine up towards the sky. According to Zive, this position “is great for igniting the fire within your heart space.” It’s like letting the sun recharge your body through your heart chakra.
Side Bend (Parsva Urdhva Hastasana)
If you need to work on balance, Zive recommends the side bend for summer solstice yoga poses. All you need to do is keep your arms extended over your head, but allow your palms to touch. Once you’re in that position, bend your body to one side, really stretching your torso, and switch sides after about three breaths.
Another super easy yoga pose for the summer solstice you can perform from your standing position is the ragdoll pose. All you need to do is bend forward at the hips and let your arms hang either heavy or “in the crooks of your elbow.” You’ll really feel like a ragdoll, and while you’re hanging there, you can sway back and forth for about five breaths.
“The benefits of this pose is to relax and calm the mind,” Zive shares. Since you’re letting all your worries go as you hang there, you can “allow new summer solstice intentions to flow in” at the same time.
You’re probably pretty familiar with child’s pose, which is where you sit back on your feet with your arms stretched out in front of you. It’s a common yoga pose, but it’s also great for the summer solstice as well. Since this pose really allows you to sit back and relax, Zive says it’s the perfect “opportunity for setting new intentions for the summer season.”
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A) Neustockimages/E+/Getty Images
Sun salutations are the most incredible way to honor the rising sun, a star that never fails to nurture us with its perpetual warmth and protection. If you're up to watch the sunrise on the day of the summer solstice, flowing through a few sun salutations is sure to make you feel deeply in touch with and connected to the universe.
Close your eyes, feel the warmth on your skin, and breathe in deeply as you set an intention to attract abundance into your life.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) Charday Penn/E+/Getty Images
Warrior II is a powerful pose that allows you to use the energy you create to honor ancestors past, who used to spend the entire season of spring preparing for the summer solstice by cultivating the land.
Stay in this asana for a few deep, long, expansive breaths. If it starts to feel challenging or a bit uncomfortable, slowly lean into that feeling with grace and assurance.
Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)
Invite a nourishing stretch into your side body with a lengthening, yet rooted reverse warrior pose. The gentle stretch in viparita virabhadrasana encourages a kind of softness throughout your body, but the intensity of the pose itself helps you channel a powerful energy that's
always brewing deep within your soul, just waiting to be unleashed. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) Mireya Acierto/DigitalVision/Getty Images
Triangle pose allows you to ground your feet into the earth and establish your unwavering roots. At the same time, this asana encourages you to reach toward the sun as the golden rays warm your face and illuminate your soul.
Be sure to establish a firm base by engaging your thigh muscles in trikonasana, but don't forget to breathe and keep your chest open, too. This pose is all about finding balance between being rooted and relaxed.
Open your heart to change — both difficult and beautiful — by sinking into a back-bending, chest-opening variation of anjaneyasana.
This pose is all about vulnerability and presence. Your
heart chakra will be activated and ready to soak in any intention you've set for your practice. Dancer's Pose (Natajarasana) Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision/Getty Images
In dancer's pose, your goal is to find balance among the sweet stillness and romantic rays of sunlight that envelop your body during the summer solstice.
If you fall, that's totally OK. Trust that the universe will continue to hold you as you work on balancing in natajarasana and connecting to your soul.
Goodboy Picture Company/E+/Getty Images
Whether you're practicing at sunrise, sunset, or midday on the summer solstice, meditating for a few minutes will really allow you to be as present as possible in the here and now. It's all about inviting love, light, and clarity into your innermost being.
Be sure to practice
diaphragmatic breathing while you meditate to help soothe your nervous system after your physical yoga practice. Caia Image/Photodisc/Getty Images
Close your summer solstice practice with a restorative and utterly relaxing savasana. Look up at the sky, and remind yourself that you, too, are stunningly limitless in your potential not just today, but
The summer has officially begun, and there's so much to be grateful for. You are here, now, exactly as you should be.
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