15 June 2023

June 21, the Longest Day of the Year, Energy and World Yoga Day

Yoga is regarded as one of the most effective strategies to improve physical and mental well-being and is a wonderful gift of ancient Indian heritage. The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj," which means "to unite," and represents the union of mind and body. Yoga, in fact, takes a highly holistic approach to achieving peace, health, and well-being between humans and nature. As a result, since 2014, the 21st of June has been designated as "World Yoga Day" to raise awareness about yoga.

The History of World Yoga Day

On September 27, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the "21 June International Day of Yoga" during the speech of Indian Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji at the United Nations General Assembly. Adopted with the backing of 177 countries, almost 36,000 individuals, including Prime Minister Modi, and numerous major personalities from around the world, did 21 asanas (yoga positions) for 35 minutes in New Delhi on the first World Yoga Day on June 21, 2015. Every year since then, World Yoga Day has had a new theme. So, why the 21st of June?

The date of June 21 was chosen specifically because it is the Summer Solstice, or the day of the year with the most sunlight. On this date, the sunrise is the earliest and the sunset is the latest of any other day of the year. As a result, the energy emitted by the sun on this day is said to be particularly effective and may boost positivity.

Another reason June 21, is significant in the world of yoga is that it represents the completion of Dakshinayana, a six month period important to yogis. Dakshinayana is essential in the life of any yoga practitioner. Your Earth centre point is significantly different at this point than it was in the north. It is thought to be significant, especially for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, since the sun is now moving south while the globe is moving counter clockwise. All of this may have an impact on human physiology.

What will be happening in the sky on June 21, 2023?

A New Moon and Solar Eclipse will occur in the sign of Cancer on June 21, 2023. According to astrology, the Cancer New Moon emphasises the value of love, emotional relationships, and family throughout the month. Solar eclipses are thought to be periods of transition. Solar eclipses are related to the sacral chakra, the second chakra, in the body. As a result, on June 21, World Yoga Day, you can enhance your energy with yoga poses that can help balance water, the element of the sacral chakra.

Yoga poses you can try on World Yoga Day

The yoga practices that follow can help provide a secure space for you to step into your own potential. Look for areas of resistance as you try to accomplish things and use your breath to lessen that resistance. Set an aim for your practice that reminds you of your life objectives or what motivates you to achieve them. Find a distraction-free area outdoors or at home. Encourage yourself to act creatively or intuitively, as this may lead to a more open-minded state of mind. Then see how this sense of movement follows you from your yoga mat into your life.

*Source: www.yogajournal.com

*Virasana with a block

 Sit on your knees and position the block between your feet, short sides near to your ankles, pressing the tops of your feet evenly into the floor.

Sit with your torso in the longest position. Check that the block beneath you supports both sitting bones evenly. Place your hands on your thighs or stomach while you lift your shoulders back, then inhale fully to inflate your stomach.

After a few breaths, begin to practise Ujjayi Pranayama by inhaling through your nose and exhaling audibly from your mouth. Continue this for around two or three minutes.

Hip Circles

Get on all fours from Virasana, with your knees under your hips and your ankles under your shoulders. Push your hands off the floor to open your chest. Make tiny circles with your hips to loosen your spine and promote mobility. Warm up by expanding your circles into Balasana (the beginning point for child’s pose) for a few breaths. Circulate for at least one minute in each direction. When you're finished, raise your hips for Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog).


From downward dog, take a step forward with your right foot to the tip of your right thumb, then place your back knee on the mat. As you lengthen your tailbone towards your mat and pull your lower abdomen in, press the top of your foot firmly onto the mat. Check that your front knee does not extend past your front ankle.

Extend your arms in front of your ears. Interlace your fingers except for your index fingers and pull your shoulders away from your ears by pressing upwards between your palms. Bring your gaze up and inhale as you open your chest. As your hips expand from the sides of your waist and upward from your index fingers, press them firmly towards your midline. Wait one minute.

*Ardha Hanumanasana

Lower your hands to either side of your right foot and slide back while straightening your right leg and flexing your right foot from the lunge stance just before. Exhale by extending your chest forward and folding it back. Place blocks beneath your palms or use your fingertips if you feel your hips rotating during this position. For 10-12 breaths, exhale with a wave-like motion of the upper body. Then exhale to return to downward dog and repeat the previous two motions for the left side, culminating with downward dog.

You can also make your own flow and enjoy the longest day of the year, June 21st, as you choose.

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