Happy Summer Solstice everyone!!!
Today my body woke me up ready for the day in an ever-changing and potent way, that felt to be a shift of embracing the new changing states on the horizon. Last night, I did a strong yoga asana practice and then danced once again to move, shift and feel in to the body as a tool for understanding the nature of my reality.
"As a result of practicing asana, you begin to understand your own body language. the body develops its own sensitivity... Your internal clock regulates your schedule precisely, and your body lets you know what feels good." - Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Inner Quest.
For me, desire or 'Raga' arises in particular at this time of year, where I feel the bliss, the freedom that the summer brings, i become in love with all things and feel drawn to embrace every opportunity and to chance to make connections. Something about wearing less clothing, being barefoot more often and far more grounded in nature, feeling the earth below and the air all around, as we spend much more time outdoors and socialise more, connect more with people we love and meet new people and new experiences.
"Attachment follows the experience of pleasure - aversion follows the experience of pain - Clinging-to-life is the sentiment which causes its own potency to flow equally even in the wise." - Bangali Baba in The Yogasutra of Patanjali.
From a Yoga Sutric perspective, it is said that our operations of desire are to be got rid of by meditation. But, as my teacher pointed out to me last night, from a Tantric perspective, desire is considered the first driving force of human soul, the same one to cause the appearance of the Universe! This can not be ignored or suppressed. Consequently, Tantra does not ask its followers to give up desire. Other spiritual traditions recommend avoiding desire, even suppressing it. In fact such an attitude will only bring you to shackles, and it is therefore an obstacle in reaching higher consciousness.
This is just a little food for thought, as we embrace the Summer solstice tonight and watch what arises for us in this changing time and we will explore this more next week in class and in the blog.
For now, I share with you a beautiful article on the Summer solstice by Daily Om....
The Summer Solstice BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Summer solstice represents a time to reflect upon the blessings we have received in seasons past and look toward new growth.
On the longest day of the year, the sun, which has on the days preceding seemed to rise higher and higher into the sky, reaches its zenith and rises no more. This day, which in the Northern Hemisphere can occur between the 20th and 23rd of June, marks the start of summer and is known as the summer solstice. From time immemorial, the coming of summer's light and warmth has been a time of gladness and celebration. In June, the snows had long since melted, the ground had thawed, the first fruits were ripening on their vines, and Mother Nature had once again renewed herself. Though most of us have turned away from our agricultural heritage, the summer solstice remains a time of new beginnings and life-enriching endings. It is the day the sun reaches the peak of its power as well as the day that heralds the shorter days that eventually bring with them autumn's chills.
For ancient peoples of the Americas and Europe, the summer solstice was a particularly joyous day--and one auspicious for those seeking year-long luck, fertility, abundance, and prosperity. Men and women on two continents would gather to pay tribute to the sun's magnificence, to pray for a bountiful harvest, and to bolster the sun's energy with bonfires and fireworks. Today, the summer solstice represents an optimal time to reflect upon the blessings we have received in seasons past and visualize the new bounties we hope to receive in the season just beginning to flourish. At noon, when the sun is at its highest point, we can pay reverence to its incredible strength and its ability to create life while also musing on the impermanence of life as represented by the impermanence of the season. You can reestablish your innate connection to nature on the summer solstice by spending time outdoors; following the sun's procession as the day passes; burning sun oils such as orange, benzion, or juniper; or decorating an altar with solar images, summer greens, or colorful blossoms.
Just as the summer solstice is symbolic of agricultural growth, so is it symbolic of personal growth. It is a wonderful time to nurture your potential as you would nurture a tiny seedling and let your creative energy express itself fully. On the summer solstice, you may feel compelled to emulate the noontime sun and be at one with the world around you or to let your inner brilliance shine forth at full strength, if only for a single day. Your life, like the seasons, follows a cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and summers, whether literal or figurative, can always be celebrated.
ENJOY YOUR DAY & NIGHT. MAY YOU BE LED IN TO THE NEXT PHASE OF SUMMER WITH GRACE AND CONNECTION TO ALL things. DO NOT DENY YOURSELF PLEASURE AND SIT WITH ALL that arises with peace & TRANQUILITY.
Here is a song to lead you in to the day, that I love.
Namaste to all you beautiful yogis x