6 Ways to Embrace Summertime
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in, and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.-John Muir
Happy Summer Solstice
Summer solstice is the longest day of the year,with the longest period of sunlight. A day of beauty.
The word solstice is from the Latin word solstitium, which translates to “sun stands still”.
This year the solstice occurs on Wednesday June 21, marking the beginning of summer.
A time to connect and align with the seasons and the cycle of nature. While winter is traditionally a time of hibernation,and contemplation, summer is all about expansion, energy and action.
It is a time of movement and growth.
As we approach the summer solstice and the summer season Here are some beautiful ways to remember and say thank you Mother Earth for the gifts and teachings for this time of year, and to honor the summer in your own way.
Barefoot Walking Meditation
A perfect way to connect with the arrival of summer is to do a walking meditation barefoot in the grass.
Find a quiet patch of lush grass where you can walk barefoot. Notice what you can feel, see, hear and smell.
The sensations you feel on your feet, feeling the energy of the earth. The fresh scent of new grass.
A moment to dream of what makes you come alive.
Meditate on a Birdsong
Just close your eyes and listen. Let your ears take in this place
Be aware of the diversity of birds and the different voices of their songs. Grateful for the chorus birds chirping and the joy it brings.
Awaken to the sounds of nature. Witness the wonder.
Relax Deeply by Connecting with the Element of Water
Immerse yourself in the tranquility of a water environment.
Waterfalls, rivers,and lakes are instant stress relievers, and recognition that life is always in flow. Sit at the water's edge.
Watch the sunlight illuminating and dancing on the water.
Breathe in the fresh air, and settle more deeply into a relaxed state.
Life like a stream of water, a gift that flows.
A mirror of the universe. Renewed and renewed.
Take your Yoga Outside
Face the Rising Sun
Give Gratitude with Sun Salutations
With each sun salutation pause and reflect on renewal of mind, body and spirit.
Gratitude for the abundance in your life.
Connect with your breath just like the rising of the sun, allow the warmth of the sun to permeate you.
It is a tradition for yogis to practice 108 sun salutations at the changing of the season.
No matter how many you do,simply honor the energy of the day!
Seated Butterfly Pose
Let your body meet the earth.
Feel your body on the ground. On earth. Our earth.
Bring the soles of your feet together to touch and allow your knees to release out to the sides.
Hold the outer edges of your feet. Inhale to sit up tall and as you exhale, hinge from your hips and reach your heart towards your feet.release your tensions and give your worries to the earth. 5-10 Breaths
Close your eyes or find a soft gaze.Allow yourself to be still. Breathe in the healing warmth of summer sun.
Sun-Kissed Standing BackBend Stand with your feet hip distance. Tailbone rooting down. Draw energy up through your inner legs, lower belly and sides of your waist. With your hands at the base of your spine or together resting in prayer in front of your heart devotionally arch back.
Rise up through the back of your heart, as your heart expands,
Let yourself be sun-kissed, nourished by the sun.
Make a Nature Mandala
Treasure hunt and collect flowers,feathers, leaves, bark,rocks, berries, pinecones,seed pods, shells and other natural things.
Quiet the mind.Let your hands arrange. Place them in patterns. Explore their shapes and textures.Play and experiment.
Try creating from the center.
Try different shapes, triangles, circles, squares.
Create shapes that please your heart. Give your mandala a name.
May you create balance in your life and blossom into your full potential.
You are my Sunshine
Who brings a smile and a bit of sunshine into your life. Summer is a time to laugh and share with friends and family.
How do you show them gratitude for this? Who needs to be remembered right now? Whatever you choose to do, make it your own.
Tell them that you love them.
What Art Does for your Mind,Body and Soul
Art has been a part of every culture for thousands of years. Appreciating or making art involves many parts of our brains from processing emotions, our senses, our memory.
Any moment of inspiration when you read poetry, gaze at a painting, see an extraordinary film, listen to music, or dance there is a neurochemical exchange called catharsis, that leaves you feeling more connected to yourself and other's.
There is extensive evidence that taking part in the arts improves our well being. Art uplifts us,and gives us better mental health.
It gives us better immune function. Coloring and drawing for example;
reduces people's heart rate,and diminishes anxiety.
Art can heal us.Creating art is useful for many ailments, situations, and getting us through hard times. The arts are being used as preventive medicine, in developmental issues, and psychological support.
Many turn to art when they need to heal from acute trauma.
In our overly complex world the arts can transform you like nothing else.
Beauty and Nature come together at the La Plata Family Center
The arts are a part of the La Plata Family Center, where they help in both the learning and the well being of children and families.
Get Outside We encourage you to find your spot in one of our Family Center Gardens and join us throughout the year making art as a
way of remembering ourselves, as a way of getting through hard times, and as a way of connecting with each other. We hope to see you there.