Can you feel the Summer Solstice energy opening your mind, shaking your body, and satisfying your soul!? I sure can! This time of the year always brings an invigorating sense of joy and hope, as well as the celebration of all things HAPPY. The seeds we have planted during the Winter, have blossomed in the Spring, and are now ready to be reveled within the Summer. The East Coast warms up and sheds its gloomy cloak and yogis flock to the parks and beaches to practice under the clear blue sky and experience the crisp air.
I recently got back from a trip to Portugal with a rekindled enthusiasm for writing and sharing thoughts and experiences via the “interwebs”. What better a time to do so than on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, where some gather to do yoga in Times Square amidst the tall buildings, hoards of people, and interesting NYC scents… It hopes to create an awareness and exposure of the ancient tradition of eliciting peace within the overstimulating haven that is this fast-paced metropolis. I have been attending this annual event since I received my teacher training approximately 8 years ago, a ritual fitting for a city gal’s graduation. Without fail, I queue up with the other early birds, pick up my free yoga mat, feel the earth tremble beneath me in savasana from the passing trains below the concrete, and bolt it to work straight after a morning practice… albeit slightly glistening from the NYC yoga induced bliss. I usually spend the day riding the wave from the early morning vigor and anything that ensues thereafter is filled with ease and openness.
If I am so inclined… I will participate in the universal 108 Sun salutations, which being a born and raised New Yorker, I have come to understand that when optimized, will take about an hour and a half to complete – with breaks! It is a great way to hone into your own discipline and dedication to the practice – though quite often I lose count and just hope that I, in fact, hit 108… the full execution is much appreciated, but what is more coveted is the overall growth, both personal and spiritual. This is what yoga asana does for me and why I have taught it for almost a decade. Its allure has yet to force me to relinquish the standard “9-5” as I hold it so cherished and separate from anything related to “work”. Fortunately, I get to celebrate through my yogi teachers, friends, and colleagues that are able to exercise the passionate pursuit as a full-time occupancy and can clearly navigate the waters… To them I say thank you for continuous inspiration.
And speaking of work and returning from a much-needed trip - when I got back to hundreds of emails resting in my inbox, I channeled my yoga practice to power through and never feared the daunting task of prioritizing immediate needs and keeping project momentum moving forward. A great trick… filtering emails and placing those with pressing action items into an URGENT folder so I can tackle within the first day back at the office. I also filter out all meeting invites as they are usually discussions, I need to be part of – I can accept them right away and view weeks ahead in my calendar if they need rescheduling thereafter.
In closing… I’ll share with you one of my favorite Mantra’s to begin the Summer Solstice celebrations as well as motivate the everyday to-do’s: Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu – May all beings everywhere be happy and free. Namaste…
The Working Yogini