Here we are at the midpoint of the year. The solstice on June 21 is the time when the North Pole of the earth will be tilted toward the Sun, and reaches its northernmost position in the sky directly over the Tropic of Cancer at 23.44 degrees north latitude. This is exact on June 21 this year and marks the first day of summer, also known as the Summer Solstice, in the Northern Hemisphere an Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. The Sun has ingress into the cardinal water sign of Cancer.
The way forward is to focus within. During this Cancer season, inner reflection can be best accomplished by nourishing the self, cultivating your intuition and inner guidance, and practicing true self care. During airline flights we are instructed to put on our own oxygen mask first before we assist others. That instruction is what the season is calling us to do. Nourish the self first, then direct your attention outward. Often when we take the time to nourish the self through yoga and radical self care, we have a different and more successful approach to the outer circumstance that we were striving so hard to achieve.
To support this endeavor of quieting the mind and going within, there are a few yoga practices that might be especially useful.
Of course Savasana or Corpse Pose is often used for relaxation and rest at the end of a yoga session typically to integrate and allow the body time to ‘soak’ in the experience. According to the article, The Purpose of the Corpse Pose in Yoga Journal, “Savasana is intended to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. In Savasana, the practitioners’ breath deepens, and the stress of the day is released. The yogi forgets all other thoughts and surrenders any psychological effort. While in Savasana, yogis slip into blissful neutrality and reflect on the practice.”
It also might be beneficial to check out some Yin Yoga postures for self care. According to Yoga Basics [yogabasics.com], Yin Yoga creates the perfect space for feeling supported and nurtured. Yin focuses on deep stretches held for minutes at a time. The intention of these extended poses is to release emotions held within the deep connective tissues of the body as well as energetic channels known as meridians.
Restorative yoga postures may also be beneficial as according to yogabasics.com restorative yoga poses do for the body what meditation does for the mind—create a clear space grounded in the present moment. When postures are practiced for 15 minutes or more, the mind can slow down, and the nerves become quiet.
For a quick dip into the calm, you might find a few minutes to practice alternate nostril breathing. Or even a slow inhale to the count of 5, then breathing out at the same pace to the count to 5. This repetition for a a few minutes will help to bring your focus within and help you to feel more centered.
During this month it is important to take the time you need to rest, refocus and restore. Take the time for a grounding yoga practice. Go within to hear the quiet voice of your soul.
Jude Valentine is a professional artist, 200-hour registered yoga teacher, and practicing astrologer with more than 25 years experience in the study and application of mythology, numerology, tarot and astrology. She leads interdisciplinary workshops and classes using astrology, art and yoga for self understanding and life changing transformation. She maintains Urania’s Mirror as her astrological consulting studio at www.uraniasmirror.com. To see her artwork visit: www.judevalentine.com