Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, falls on Friday June 21st! The summer solstice marks the day when we who reside in the Northern hemisphere experience the most hours of sunlight. Cultures all around the world recognize the significance this day and celebrate it with feasting and unique traditions.
This date also happens to be the UN’s official International Day of Yoga, which aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga! As part of this aim, many people choose to practice yoga in public. Others mark the day by participating in a yoga practice of 108 sun salutations (108 is a culturally-significant number in the yoga / vedic traditions).
Here at CF Yogi, we decided to come up with our own group practice to recognize the day . . . in the spirit of sharing yoga with an intention of gratitude!
108 CF YOGIS
While 108 sun salutations may not be a realistic or healthy practice for most of us, nearly all of us are capable of completing ONE sun salutation! So if we get 108 CF Yogis to participate, we’ll be able to complete a collective 108 sun salutations!
By coming together in this way, we’re celebrating light, in all of its forms . . . the warmth of the long-time sun, the spirit that lives inside each of us, and the unique light that we share in our CF community as we lift each other up.
How to Take Part:
STEP 1: Go outside into the sunlight (or find yourself a sun puddle from a sunny window). Even if it’s cloudy where you are, just remember that the sun is still there, and its light is still shining on you even when we can’t directly see it. If you’re in a grassy area, you might like practicing in the grass better with a towel instead of a mat . . . or directly on the grass with bare feet!
STEP 2: Give yourself a moment to be still and turn your mind toward something that you’re grateful for. The warmth of the sun, the feeling of the breath in your body, the love that exists in your heart and warms your soul.
STEP 3: Complete your one sun salutation, listening to your breath as your guide, using whatever variations or options your body is asking for. (If you’re feeling it you can keep flowing through multiple cycles, or make this part of a longer personal practice if you want!)
STEP 4 (Optional): Share a photo or video of your sun salutation to social media, and tag us @yogaforCF with hashtag #CFyogiSunSalutation so we can all share together in our gratitude for light, in all of its forms!
Not sure if you know how to do a Sun Salutation? We’ve got you!
The sun salutation simply is a cycle of yoga postures that flow together. You might already know the individual poses, and just need help linking them together. Or maybe you’d like some help modifying your sun salutation, if certain poses aren’t available to you (like downward facing dog).
This month in our gentle yoga classes, Heather has been breaking down the elements of a sun salutation and offering a lot of different options and modifications. So if you’re signed up for CF Yogi, check out the weekly recording round up email for links to the gentle yoga classes from this month. Pick any of Heather’s classes . . . practicing along with any of these on Friday certainly counts as a solstice sun salutation! Katie will also post a couple of one-minute sun salutation videos on our social media @yogaforCF, so you can see some variations.
For CF Yogi Kids, use the sun Sun Salutation song! Those who’ve been attending Myra’s yoga classes might already know it, it starts with, “Up we go to say hello to the sun . . .” you can find it here in Myra’s kids class on YouTube starting at 3:50!
If you’d prefer to practice your sun salutation on your own without video, we’ve got a handy guide that you can print out and keep next to your mat as a reference. (Click the image below to open the printable PDF.)
Feel free to experiment with the different options and see what works best for you! We can’t wait to celebrate the light with you . . . namaste!