The Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year, the day with most light in it. As the sun stretches her rays across the earth that day and shares her radiance with us, we should not be only aware and celebrate her warmth, but also our own inner light. This day is about welcoming summer, the season of light and happiness, but also welcoming and cultivating those notions within ourselves. We all have Supreme Light inside of us, and as we awake to the brightness of the sun, we must also awake and be conscious of our inner light.
To cultivate this inner warmth we must create a space in which to process that energy and let the sun filter into us. Dawn breaks at 6:51 a.m. on June 21, so to begin this day of light sit facing the sun either near a window or outside. Before starting sun salutations and a round of Breath of Fire to warm our bodies, meditate on the illumination of the sun that is soaking through you. Below is a guided meditation for the Summer Solstice. Keep these thoughts in your heart and mind throughout the day to maintain awareness to the radiant energy inside you.
Seated under the sun’s warmth, light an incense stick of either lotus or frankincense for mental clarity, spirituality and to aid in meditation.
Begin by focusing on the space between your navel and solar plexus, or where your third chakra (Manipura) is located. Breathe into this space, filling your stomach up with air and slowly releasing it. Continue with this breath until your mind is clear and you feel a connection developing with this energy center.
This third energy center is said to be where the sun’s light enters and then spreads throughout our entire system. This chakra’s element is fire and is associated with “the fire in our belly.” Our inner fire rests in this space. Manipura chakra is all about understanding our personal power and transforming it into something proactive, being self-disciplined and confident, and knowing the power and freedom we have in taking control of our life.
Rest your hands on your stomach or chest, wherever you feel the third chakra’s energy radiate the most. Visualize the chakra as a big yellow sun whose long rays are extending across your body. Imagine this golden light spreading throughout your body and illuminating you, so that you too begin to shine like the brilliant sun. Breathe in and on the exhale chant the mantra associated with this chakra three times, “RAM.”
Then rest your hands either in prayer in front of your heart (Anjali Mudra) or on your knees. Begin to breath in and out deeply. Imagine this light, nourished by the sun, begin to become greater with each inhale and rise up toward your crown with each exhale. Connect as one with the light by chanting “Ek Ong Kar” translated as “The Creator and the Creation are One.”
Remember that the light is inside of you and you are the light, you have the power of light.
Continue to raise that energy up towards your crown for a few more breaths and then inhale and raise your arms up towards the sky, sending that light up and out of the top of your head. Imagine the light bursting through your crown, sending glorious waves of light up towards the sun. Lift your head so your closed eyes face the sun. Then exhale and slowly bring your hands back to prayer and down your body to your heart. Breathe in and out here three times focusing on the light that surrounds you and is inside of you. Take a moment to focus on the abundance of energy and light, how it is all a circle and how the light you receive, you give and then it returns back to you. Take in the sun before you, and the sun that rests inside you. Give thanks to the sun and bow.
Also see: 4 Vigorous Yoga Breaths for Energy
Photo: Bill Gracey via Flickr; Zavatter via Wikimedia Commons; raghadvvidya via Flickr