Happy winter solstice, everyone!
Winter Solstice is the shortest day (and thus longest night) of the year, the day that the sun appears for the least amount of time. The tilt of the planet and shape of the orbit around the sun creates a very dark day. Many world religions celebrate Winter Solstice or the time around it as the returning of the sun and “rebirth” of the seasons because the days begin to get longer after Winter Solstice. *
At Yoga Sanctuary we celebrated the Friday before the solstice with a free yoga class led by most of our teachers, followed by a potluck. The promise of yoga offers us the hope that no matter how dark the days get- inside or outside- our essence is light. Yoga is a means to reconnect with that healing and eternal light of our own nature.
One of our kula’s (community) babies was there cooing and giggling, while I did downward dogs across from her and her parents. My very pregnant belly hung like the ripening moon below me while my three and a half year old daughter wagged her “puppy” tail underneath me. My daughter also handed toy after toy to the baby across from her, until the baby migrated toward us and they were both there with me with a pile of stuffed animals and colorful scarves decorating my yoga mat. All three little beings (two outside, one still inside!) reminded me that all life’s joys begin in the dark of the womb, as a seed of possibility. Our theme in class was “Imagine and Dream”. In the darkness, we can turn to the Light of our hearts to envision the unfolding of the New Year and all of our own possibilities. These possibilities, cradled like my baby in the dark of my womb, are ultimately the longing of the light to express and create itself in new ways. In our yoga studio, the children in the room were still fully steeped in this luminosity, while the rest of us were breathing, moving, softening and opening to cultivate our connection to our essence and re-join our forgotten self with our luminous nature.
When we have the courage to turn inside, to face our deepest fears, to grieve our losses, to feel our vulnerable human nature, we are able to then find the deep resilient light of who we are. May that resilient light guide us across the threshold from this year into the next, with confidence that we can navigate even the stormiest times and emerge stronger and more expansive in our hearts than ever. Thank you for being part of our community of light here at Yoga Sanctuary- we cannot do alone what we can do together!
Written by Sara Rose
*The 2010 Winter Solstice is an astrologically significant solstice for several reasons… this year’s Winter Solstice was a full moon, which last happened in 1999 and before that in 1980…the full moon does not happen on the Winter Solstice very often. This makes this year’s Winter Solstice especially significant.
The 2010 Winter Solstice was not only a full moon, but also a full eclipse. This is when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, hiding the sunlight and casting a shadow over the moon. Starting at 1:33 a.m. (EST) Tuesday, the Winter Solstice Eclipse was casting an amber/red shadow over the moon, rather than an entirely black shadow that blocked out the moon. The eclipse is was considered full at 2:41 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Dec. 21. 3:17 a.m. EST on the Winter Solstice. The last time the Winter Solstice saw a lunar eclipse was in 1378, 632 years ago