Cultural Moments

Self-care for the Summer Solstice: A one-day retreat

It feels like we’ve barely had a moment to stop and smell the spring blooms yet here we are arriving at summer. This year, spring unfurled with much of life at a standstill, but it withdraws amidst a massive cultural crescendo. It’s difficult to predict what 2020’s warmest months will bring, but the onset of summer is thought to signal an energetic peak, a time to expand and take action. Due to an abundance of the fire element, we may feel that our passions and purpose have been reignited.

The Summer Solstice marks the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. The word “solstice” comes from the root “sol,” which means “to stop.” This is in reference to the fact that all year the days have been getting longer, the nights have been getting shorter, and this momentum is coming to a halt. From this peak moment until December’s Winter Solstice, the balance will shift towards night. 

For now, with more of the day illuminated, you may find yourself motivated to get out and get more done. There is an opportunity to tap into the heightened summer energy to spark long-desired change. This will require sustained effort, so be careful to avoid burning too hot or too quickly. We created our Summer Solstice Retreat to see you through this seasonal shift, helping you stoke your inner fire while balancing out excess heat. This year the Solstice falls on June 20th, a Saturday—perfect for carving out a day for yourself. 

Prepare for your retreat

To get the most out of your retreat, consider letting your friends and family know that you’ll be unplugging for the day. Turn off notifications on your devices so you won’t get distracted while practicing. If you are lucky enough to be in an area where you can spend part of the day outside, you can use our apps for Android and iOS to download the classes and play them without wifi. Consider shopping and meal prepping so your focus can be on practice and mindful eating. Perhaps light a candle during the afternoon session, just be sure to snuff it out once you’re complete. Keep a journal handy to write down any thoughts or inspirations that come to you. You might also consider a bath or steamy shower to complete the day.

Morning Session

Summer mornings begin with a little bit of heat already. Instead of a slow-moving morning, let’s ride that wave and get going right away with some a.m. Pilates.

Fire Up Your Metabolism with Mark Osmundsen
Mat Pilates – 15 min

In the Ayurvedic system, summer is a time of excessive Pitta (fire). While we want to enjoy the heat of summer, we don’t want it to overwhelm us and leave us feeling depleted. So today, we’ll focus on balanced movement with an Ayurveda-inspired yoga practice by Marc Holzman.

Summer Pitta Nourishment with Marc Holzman
Hatha – 60 min

Now that you’ve spent the morning in full motion, a few moments of breathwork will allow the benefits of your work to penetrate all your layers. No matter where on the planet you reside, we are in a time of significant changes. We can’t control these changes, but we can learn to breathe through them. 

Breathing for Times of Change with Annie Carpenter
Breathwork – 10 min

Lunch Break

When we get busy, it can feel like the day turns into one big mush of eat-work-socialize. We challenge you to untangle the day by designating time for each individual pursuit. When it’s lunchtime, it’s lunchtime!  Put away the work and the social media so you can get present with your food. If possible, take a short walk after you eat.

Afternoon Session

Make sure you wait at least an hour or two before coming back to your practice as this afternoon starts strong. Let’s wring it all out and leave it on the mat with Dice.

Wring Out Tension and Toxins with Dice Iida-Klein
Hatha – 20 min

You’ve had a full day of getting stronger, building both muscle and cardiovascular strength. It’s time to stretch it all out and allow fresh energy to flood into your body. In other words, time for a Yin practice. The long holds in this class allow the stretches to excavate the layers of your muscles and ultimately access your body’s fascia: the connective tissue that’s in between your muscles and your bones. This is often where we hold deep-seated emotions and tension and Yin practice is one of the few ways to release them. 

Cooling Summer with Giselle Mari
Yin – 45 min

You’ve certainly earned a rest! It’s an incredible feeling to dedicate an entire day to your practice. Allow the benefits of your work to soak in and take effect with a nice long Yoga Nidra practice. It is said that just a few minutes of deep Yoga Nidra can feel equivalent to hours of regular sleep. Time to lie back, relax, and find out for yourself.

Yoga Nidra for Deep Rest with Tias Little
Audio Meditation – 20 min

After your final class

There is nothing like an entire day of practice to clear your head. Since you are likely experiencing a sense of openness from the retreat, now is a good time to reflect. Grab a journal and ask yourself what this seasonal transition means to you. What old patterns are you ready to let go of? What new habits would you like to begin? The heightened energy of the first day of summer—the peak of light—will support you on your path.

You Might Also Like