This post comes from my June 2009 newsletter.
All things move in cycles. As living, breathing beings on this planet, we are part of the greater pulsation of life itself. Expansion and contraction are like the in-breath and the out-breath - one cannot occur without the other. Winter to Summer, darkness to light, we dance in the balance of these complementary forces. The name "hatha" yoga reflects this, "ha" means sun in Sanskrit and "tha" means moon. The dance of hatha yoga is to move and live in alignment and harmony with the intrinsic cycles of nature.
As the summer solstice approaches, and the sun warms our hemisphere of planet, all living organisms move toward full expansion. Expansion is akin to the inhalation. Summer Solstice is the very top of the inhalation, the fullness of light and expansion. Here, there is a pause, stillness, and heightened perception. Around the world, Summer Solstice is honored with celebrations and rituals to honor the sun.
Om, Surya! Bow to the sun! How will you honor this cycle of light and expansion this month? I recommend practicing yoga out of doors. Practice Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) on a nice piece of grass, an outdoor deck or at the beach! Open yourself up to the forces of nature and find your perfect alignment and deepest presence in each pulsating breath.
Annie Barrett. Educator, certified health coach yoga instructor.