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Solstice Self-Care Ritual

What an honour to be invited to write a guest blog! Wendy and I often remark on how much yoga and therapy have in common, we love chatting about the importance of the body-mind connection and how an awareness of this benefits our general health and wellbeing. It’s wonderful to have a platform to write a little more about this here. Thank you for having me!

Yoga has been an important part of my life for most of my life. I practiced since I was a child and have been teaching classes, courses, workshops and retreats for over 10 years. I’m 53 now and yoga continues to help me stay strong and mobile, but perhaps even more importantly, yoga continues to remind me to stay grounded and balanced during whatever life throws at me. Today, my yoga practice is very much an opportunity to spend precious time with myself. It’s my time to connect with me – to gently check in with my body, mind and heart, to find out what I need more of and what I need less of. I practice what I need and encourage my students to do the same, thus getting to know ourselves a little bit better every time we practice.

My guiding is ‘Soulful and Seasonal’ – I love celebrating the seasons and sprinkling my teachings with little gems of seasonal wisdom.

Moving with the energy of the earth feels beneficial on many levels and definitely helps my day-to-day life flow with more ease. 

Thursday 20th June brings us the Summer Solstice. With the sun at its peak, it’s the shortest night and the longest day of the year. This is a wonderful opportunity to pause and reflect, look back on our journey since the Winter Solstice and look ahead to the second half of the year.

Solstice Self-Care Ritual:

I’d love to invite you to carve out 30 minutes, just for you. Wear something comfortable, find a lovely spot outdoors, take your journal and your favourite drink (perhaps a cup of herbal tea or glass of water flavoured with slices of lemon or cucumber). Close your eyes and take 3 full, deep breaths. Feel the weight of your body supported by the earth, allow yourself to be held, tune into the sounds of nature all around you, feel the breeze and/or sun against your skin, and then notice how just pausing makes you feel. When you are ready, softly open your eyes and free-write whatever comes up for you, using the following reflections if you wish:

Summer is the season of fire. Reflecting on the fire inside me.

–       What makes me feel fierce and powerful?

–       How does this fire manifest in my life?

–       Looking back over the past half year, what has it helped me accomplish?

At Summer Solstice, the sun is at its peak.

–       How would l like to mark this moment, the peak of the year?

–       What are some peak moments I have experienced in the past half year?

–       What am I most proud of?

–       What am I most grateful for?

The Summer Solstice is the doorway to the second half of the year.

–       Is there anything I need to let go off before moving forward?

–       What are my intentions for the months ahead?

–       How will I care for myself during the season ahead?

I love this Sun Blessing from Jilly Shipway. If it feels comfortable, read it out loud to yourself to close your ritual:

“Today may my feet be firmly planted on the warm earth, may my mind and heart remain open and spacious like the clear blue sky, may the warmth and healing light of the sun invigorate and inspire my practice, may the moon guide me to the wisdom of my own ebb and flow.”

Enjoy summer!

Maura Barber-Oosterhuis

Senior Yoga Teacher

Yoga classes, courses, workshops and retreats: Tranquil Flow Yoga

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