Summer Solstice: How to Mindfully Spend the Longest Day of the Year

  • Jennifer Coulombe
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Summer solstice is – to many – a most wonderful time of the year! In the Northern Hemisphere the summer solstice is the first day of summer. 

The word “solstice” translates to ‘sun standing still’; it’s the longest day of the year with the most amount of sunlight, approximately 15 hours of daylight depending on where you live!

Start YogaToday's Summer Solstice Countdown Series8 Days of Yoga for a Lighter and Brighter Summer! Free for a short time.

As I reflect on the arrival of summer solstice, I can’t help but think that since this day has the most amount of sunlight, it also means that we start on a slow descent toward less sunlight and more darkness as we get closer to the fall season.

This time of year also signifies that we are almost halfway through the year. It’s always hard to believe how fast time moves. (Is it just me, or were we just ringing in the New Year?!)

The empowering thing about summer solstice is that this is an excellent time to re-energize the body and move toward a space within ourselves as we welcome in the warmth and beauty of the summer season. It’s a refreshing time to give some honest thought to how fulfilled we are, taking stock of how the first half of the year has gone and what we’d like to accomplish before we ring in another new year.

Here are several ways to to use summer solstice as a springboard to kick off the remainder of the year:

Early riser: Wake up slightly earlier than you normally do and start your day with surya namaskar, also known as sun salutations. Perhaps even take your sun salutations outdoors to feel even more grounded with nature and with the sun’s energy. Just a few rounds and you’ll be fully energized for your day.

Outdoor, mid-afternoon break: Take your lunch outdoors today and spend some time journaling. Write down at least three accomplishments that you’re proud of this year and also three goals that you’d like to see to fruition before the year end.

Watch the sun set: Pack a picnic, grab some friends and family and scope out a scenic spot to watch the sun set. What a great way to start off your week, usher in the beauty of summer and spend time with loved ones.

Scope out fun events in your community: In New York City for example, they usher in summer solstice in a big way by offering yoga classes throughout the day in the heart of Times Square.

Regardless of how you decide to spend your summer solstice, take at least some time to move toward a space within yourself, feel grounded and rejuvenated from the sun’s energy, and welcome in the second half of 2016 with a clear and present mindset.

Jennifer Coulombe, MBA, left her full-time job in 2016 to be true to herself and to live out her destiny. She just recently launched her first company, Sat Nam babe, a socially conscious line of play + yoga clothing for kids under five and babies (think ethical supply chain, pants made out of recycled plastic bottles, and fun prints) Jen is a Kundalini yoga teacher, Khalsa Way prenatal yoga teacher and kids yoga teacher and can be found braving the New York City streets by bike, hanging out in her Brooklyn neighborhood and daydreaming about her next spontaneous travel adventure.