June 20th marked the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, the longest day and shortest night of the year. As summer moves towards its zenith, you may notice that your energy starts to feel a little frayed or dispersed with the last days of school, travel and graduation celebrations.
The predominant energy of the summer solstice and the summer season is yang – expansive and outward-looking – reflecting the dry heat and longer days. During this time, it’s important to stay centered and grounded to balance yang energy with yin energy. One way we can do this is by drawing on the earth’s energy to feel a greater sense of stability and taking some time to meditate on the breath, which can help to bring us back inside our own bodies.
By finding a comfortable seat on the floor, we can connect with the ground beneath us and prepare for meditation:
1. Come to sit in Sukhasana, Easy Pose, with the shins crossed and the shoulders aligned over the hips.
2. Sit up tall with the spine long, the tailbone plugging down into the ground. Start to tune into your breath and see if you can drop your awareness down from your head to your hara or belly with each exhalation. Do this for a few cycles of breath.
3. Then on each inhalation, imagine that you are drawing prana, life energy, from deep down in the earth up to your center and with each out-breath, imagine that you are storing this energy at your center. This can help to create a sense of spaciousness and calm energy in the body whenever you feel disconnected.
If you feel ready to move on to some meditation, you can bring the back of the hands to rest on the thighs and close your eyes. The spine stays long, belly soft… gently bring your awareness to your breath, following the breath in and out. You could visualize bringing the mind’s eye to the flow of the breath and stay with this for as long as you can, maybe five or ten minutes, noticing when your attention starts to wander and gently guiding your awareness back to your breath.
You might consider doing this each day to build a personal meditation practice. Notice how you feel as you take your time to come back to an awareness of the space around you and return refreshed to enjoy the long, warm days of summer.