It is summer solstice time! You might be asking yourself…
What is a Solstice Anyway?
The word solstice means “sun standing still,” and during a solstice, the sun does just that. During a solstice, the seasonal movement of the sun’s path comes to a stop before reversing direction.
A solstice happens twice a year – in June and December. The June solstice (summer solstice) is the longest day of the year, while the December, or winter solstice, is the shortest day of the year.
Related: Winter Solstice Guide + Yin Practice
The Summer Solstice
Now that we know what a solstice is, let’s talk about the summer solstice!
The summer solstice is the first day of summer (though it’s also known as midsummer), and it occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is closest to the sun. It is the longest day of the year and the shortest night of the year. On this day, the sun burns brighter and longer than on any other day.
This year, the summer solstice falls on June 21st, and it marks a shift in daylight. While this day is the longest, after this date, the days begin to get shorter.
We went through a daylight shift back in March with the spring equinox; that was a shift from shorter days to longer ones. Now, at the summer solstice, we begin to transition from the light back towards darkness.
This adds a bittersweet element to the summer solstice. While it marks the arrival of summer, the days will also slowly start to get shorter again. The sun has grown as far as it can in this cycle; it has reached its peak.
The sun now begins its slow descent, as darkness gradually begins to return. Every year, throughout the year, the sun reminds us of this incredible cycle of expansion and growth, and then returning inward (more on this below).
Your Inner Fire
Yogic teachings speak of the sun not only as an outer source of energy, but as a inner source of energy that’s within each and every one of us. We all have our own “inner sun”, so to speak.
We each have a fire that burns within us – our own little piece of the sun burning brightly inside. In the yoga tradition, this is known as tapas. This inner fire nourishes your hopes and dreams.
This is the fierce, powerful, badass part of you. The part of you that does the work to bring your dreams to life. The same way that crops could never grow without the Earth’s sun, your life would shrivel and shrink without your inner fire.
The Summer Solstice & Your Inner Fire
The summer solstice is the time to celebrate your inner fire.
We invite in the fire of this longest day – the fire of the sun – to add to our own inner fire, so that we can burn brighter and stronger for the coming weeks of summer.
Summer is the season of doing. It is the most energetic season of the year – the season of yang energy. Of masculine energy. Energy that drives us to do, build, and create. It is a bold, commanding, and assertive energy. We can use the fire of the summer solstice sun to fuel our work and growth over the coming season.
At the same time, we must surrender to the sun; at times, allowing our inner flame to burn softly and slowly, without fanning it. We do this by making space for idle hours of summer relaxation.
I’ll bet your summer weekends are already jam-packed with activity, which is awesome, do the damn thing! But also remember to balance all that intense activity with idle hours of rest and relaxation.
Lay in a hammock, or on the beach. Sip an ice-cold drink and just soak in all that warm, radiant, delicious summer sun. Balance, my friends 😉
The summer solstice is also a time to acknowledge where we can actively let go.
Just as the sun has grown as far as it can grow in this cycle, there are ways in which you have expanded as far as you can in this cycle. Celebrate these peak moments, and begin the process of letting go of things that have reached completion in your life.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be negative things, though this is a good time to let go of those too. There might be relationships, habits, or patterns, that have served you well in the past, but you have now outgrown them. You are ready to release them.
This is a time to acknowledge what has reached its peak in your life. What has reached completion? What are you ready to let go of?
To help you make sense of all this, and to help you align with the summer solstice, I have created the journaling questions below for you.
I invite you to take some time, perhaps with a green juice or an iced coffee, to reflect on these questions. Then join me for the summer solstice guided meditation down below.
And THEN, unroll your mat and get ready to stoke your inner fire with the Summer Solstice 108 Sun Salutations practice (also down below)!
Now get ready to fan those flames. Tap into that fierce, powerful badass within you!
Summer Solstice Journaling Questions
Awakening Your Inner Fire
What are you really proud of?
What have you worked hard on that you have been able to see to fruition?
How have you challenged yourself?
How have you grown over these past 6 months?
Fanning the Flames
What do you want to do and create this summer?
What do you want to grow into your life?
What parts of you could use some extra fire to accomplish these things?
How can you shine your brightest light?
What do you need to fill yourself up with in order to shine your brightest light?
And on the flip side; what might you need to release in order to shine your brightest light?
Now that you’ve awakened your inner fire and fanned it’s flames, join me for this Summer Solstice Guided Meditation to help you set your intentions for the coming summer months.
With your intention in mind, join me on the mat to stoke your inner fire with a practice of 108 sun salutations!