With the summer solstice, the longest day of the year fast approaching, it is a great time to stop and reflect on your journey this year so far, and perhaps to set intentions for the coming 6 months until the winter solstice. From now until the winter solstice everything in the earth will be withdrawing in, a great time for us to focus on what we wish to nurture and develop in ourselves.
Summer solstice is also the perfect time to celebrate summer and to honour and appreciate the sun by practicing Sun Salutations, offering the salutations to the light & warmth it produces and everything it inspires to grow.
To practice a sun salutation A:
Mountain pose/Tadasana: stand with your weight evenly distributed between both feet, arms by your side palms facing out and take a few deep breaths to find your centre.
Inhale and stretch your arms out to the side and overhead, drawing a big circle around you into Urdvha Hastasana. Open your heart and arms to the sun!
Exhale as you hollow out your belly and draw your hands down the centre line of your body folding down into Uttasana connecting down to the earth. Keep your legs engaged.
Inhale as you lengthen your spine and lift your gaze in ardha uttanasana.
Exhale and step your feet back into plank pose. Inhale here to lengthen the spine.
Exhale as you lower into chaturanga, dropping your knees to the ground if you need to. Make sure your whole body is engaged and your elbows point backwards and not out to the side as you lower towards the earth.
Inhale and roll your chest forward and up into urdvha mukha svanasana or upward facing dog. Roll your shoulders down and back and open your collar bones. Legs should be engaged with gluteus muscles relaxed.
Exhale as your roll over your toes and lift your hips up to the sky into an upside down V shape, adho mukha savasana or downward facing dog. Engage the torso and try to take the torso to your thighs to deepen the V. Ground through your hands and feet as you lengthen your spine. Hold this pose for 5 breaths.
On your 5th exhale, bend your knees and look between your hands before you inhale and step your feet inbetween your hands returning to ardha uttanasana with the spine lengthened and gaze lifted.
As you exhale, surrender the fold back to uttanasana. Let your spine curve and just hang for a breath.
Inhale as you bend your knees, reaching your arms out wide and come up to standing through a flat back. Feel the energy created from the flow as you draw your hands together in prayer position above your head.
Exhale to bring your hands to heart centre.Take a few breaths to feel the movement of energy through the body.
Repeat the flow as many times as you like and enjoy!