The Winter Solstice is officially December 21st of this year. It is a sacred time to recognize the longest night or hours of darkness on this day. Then to remember that the light of the sun will begin to lengthen in the days following. It also marks the start of the winter season in the cycles of nature.

There are many ways to honor this time of year. When I grew up on the eastside of Indy in Irvington, we celebrated this time with a luminaria. My father would put sand in paper bags with a single votive candle and then line them up along the sidewalk that led to the front porch. At dusk all the candles were lit as a symbol of the light returning to show the way. It was magical to see the neighborhood lit up in this way. We would walk throughout the area to get the most out of the experience. A sense of community was present as many offered holiday treats and hot chocolate at homes or churches that participated. They are planning one for this year as well on Sunday, December 20th from 6-10 p.m. It is a safe outdoor activity for the whole family.

In yoga we take time to journal and meditate on what the meaning is in our own lives. Currently, I feel like we are all living through a time of darkness and uncertainty. And yet there have been some blessings in the midst of it all. Time mostly, to slow down to reflect on what really matters in our lives. To go a step deeper take time to recognize our own shadow side (we all have them) and then to shed light on it so that you evolve and grow into your own fullness.

For me I can get caught in the shadow of unworthiness. A message I received as a young child still resonates at times and yet I also recognize that I am worthy. Only when I am able to see when I get caught in my shadow do I transform it. The spiritual and emotional practices of yoga have helped me transcend these feelings. I am able to nurture that inner child and grow my adult version into being fully worthy of all that I desire.

The Winter Solstice invites us to go inward to cherish the sacredness of life and of nature. Yoga practices that slow down and restore your energy are what is needed most. Vickie is offering a Winter Solstice workshop that focuses on myofascial release on December 20th from 3-4:30 p.m. on Zoom. Register by clicking the link on our website. It is a great way to be fully present and allow any stress or tensions to be released so that you can enter the rest of this holiday season refreshed.

Janie Gunn