8 Yoga Poses For The Summer Solstice To Honor All Things Love & Light
Every year on the summer solstice, I like to dedicate my 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. My yoga poses for the summer solstice change a bit each year, but what stays the same is the fact that they never fail to set my soul on fire in a huge way.
This year, the summer solstice falls on Thursday, June 21, at 6:07 a.m. EST, and personally, I'll be setting up my yoga mat on the beach at 6 a.m. sharp to begin flowing and immersing myself in the spiritual magic of the day. 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.
If you're choosing to roll out your yoga mat to celebrate the solstice this year, too, here are eight poses you can flow through to soak up all the beauty of this enchanting day and open your heart to the beginning of summer.
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A)
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)
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)
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.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
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)
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.
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.
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
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 every day.
The summer has officially begun, and there's so much to be grateful for. You are here, now, exactly as you should be.