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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Lapierre

Happy Summer Solstice


Six Practices to Honor the Summer Solstice


Here in the Northern Hemisphere, summer officially starts on June 20th at 12:50 p.m. PST (9:50 a.m. EST) when the Sun enters 0 degrees of Cancer. The following ideas are six ways to herald the season with a little flair.

  1. Barefoot Walking Meditation. Kick off your shoes and experience the sensation of your feet in contact with the grass or beach sand. “Earthing,” as it’s now called, is a connection with the Earth by grounding through barefoot walking, and research finds a reduction in white blood cells and an increase in red blood cells, which hints to better immunity. Earthing has been shown to help increase antioxidants, reduce inflammation and improve sleep. Plus, it feels really nice.

  2. Meditate on Birdsong. Peep! If you can get up early, enjoy your morning coffee/tea outside listening to the chorus of birds singing. They start peeping the minute it starts to get light, usually a half hour before sunrise. It’s pretty remarkable, and it’s usually the only sound that early in the morning. Many people have positive associations and memories with bird sounds and therefore feel positive emotions when they hear them. The sounds are comforting and uplifting.

  3. Connect with Water. Researchers say that spending time in or near lakes, rivers, the ocean, and other “blue spaces” reduces stress and has a positive impact on well-being.

  4. Do Yoga Outdoors. Practicing outdoors certainly has many advantages, ranging from health benefits to the simple enjoyment of a change of scenery. 

  5. Walk in the Forest. Time spent in nature (particularly an evergreen forest) provides exposure to phytoncides, natural compounds whose presence was linked to lower adrenaline levels in two small studies. These natural chemicals are the reason for Japan’s “forest bathing,” which has been popular since the 1980s. Known as shinrin-yoku, it refers to a kind of nature therapy to restore well-being, energy, and balance.

  6. Make Sun Tea. My Mom made this when I was a kid. Fill a jar with water and tea bags or herbs and let it steep in the sun all day. Drink the tea as a way of absorbing the energy of the sun.

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