Nature in Bloom: A Summer Solstice Yoga Sequence to Honor Nature
Sierra Vandervort // June 17th, 2022
Mother Earth is at the height of her magic during the Summer Solstice.
As the longest day of the year, light and temperature conditions are just right for nature to cover into full bloom.
As yogis, it’s not uncommon for us to be reverent of nature. But with lush greenery, delicate wildflowers, and balmy summer nights, there’s undoubtedly something special about summer. Today, I’d like to share a brief yoga sequence to help get you in the Solstice spirit and pay homage to Mother Earth.
Summer Solstice Energy
At the height of the Summer Solstice, we’re feeling energized and playful. The longer days give us that extra boost for creativity and inspiration. There’s a sensation of joy and potential in the air. Much like Mother Earth, we’re feeling “in our prime” during the summer months. We feel called to journey outside, enjoy the fresh air and bask in gratitude for all we’ve been given.
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Nature in Bloom || Summer Solstice Yoga
First, start in a comfortable, seated position. You can be seated in a chair or on the floor. To begin the mudra, draw your ring finger in towards the base of your thumb. Then take your thumb and rest it on your ring finger. Apply a bit of pressure, but make sure it’s not overly uncomfortable for you. Your other three fingers (little finger, middle finger, and index finger) should stay extended.
Continue to take deep breaths while holding the gesture. Make sure that the ring fingertip touches the base of your thumb. You can stay here anywhere from 10 minutes – 45 minutes. Deepening the breath, and noticing your body temperature as you do.
Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose)
From your seated position, release your legs and bring the soles of the feet together to touch. Use your pointer finger and middle finger to take hold of your big toes. Let your knees relax out to the sides, then take an insane breath to sit up tall through the crown of your head. As you exhale, hinge from your hips, keeping your spine straight and reaching your heart towards your feet. Take five deep breaths as you release the tension around your inner hips and groin.
Make your way up to standing, then turn to the side, facing the long end of your mat. Take your feet as wide as your hips, with your toes pointed out and your heels pointed in. As you breathe in, reach your hands up to the sky, spreading out wide through your chest and out through your fingertips. As you exhale, bend your knees, guiding them out over the center on your feet. Bend your elbows to create a 90 degree angle, and draw your thumb and pointer finger to touch, leaving all other fingers extended. Repeat these motions in time with your breath for five rounds of breath.
Vrksasana (tree pose)
Come back to facing the front of your mat. Distribute your weight evenly through both feet and find a steady gaze forward. Shift your weight over to your right foot, staying lifted through the hips. Place your left foot to rest either on your right ankle, skin, or inner thigh. For more advanced yogis, you can draw the left heel into the right hip crease, dropping the knee down to the floor for a half lotus pose. Bring your palms together at the heart center and take five steady breaths here- remembering it’s always ok to fall out and vibe back. Release slowly before repeating on the second side.
Viparita Karani (waterfall pose)
You’ll need a block, bolster, or a pillow for this pose. Release down to your back with feet on the floor and knees up. Take your block and lift your hips up off the ground. Place the block on its lowest level at the base of your sacrum, where your tailbone meets your hips. Draw your knees in towards your chest, then extend your legs lifting your heels up towards the sky. For a more supported version, you could also do this pose at the wall. Take 10 – 15 deep breaths here before releasing your knees back into your chest. Bring your ferry back down to the floor and remove the block from underneath you.
Release your arms by your sides and take your ankles to the corner edges of your mat. Let all your limbs be heavy and release any hold you had on your breath. Stay still and rest for 4-10 minutes.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
When you’re ready, slowly emerge from your savasana, rolling over to one side and coming up to a seat. For full Lotus pose, draw your left knee in towards your chest, flexing your foot. Draw your foot over into your right hip crease, keeping the foot active. Repeat on the second side, drawing the right foot in towards the left hip. For a modified version, you can take lotus on just one side or find easy pose, seated with knees out to the sides and your ankles placed one in front of the other on the floor.
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