Mental Well-Being

Find Your Inner Light on the Longest Day of the Year

May 28, 2021

June is quite a month for many reasons (graduations, weddings, the first summer month in Indiana wherein frost danger has past). Maximize June festivity by marking two more celebration-worthy events: International Day of Yoga (June 21) and the summer solstice (June 20), when you get more minutes of sun than any other day of the year.  

International Day of Yoga has been around only since a United Nations proclamation made it so in 2014. Yoga itself isn’t quite old as the sun but at least has been around a good 5,000+ years (even though Spandex didn’t hit the scene until 1959). Both are excellent mood enhancers, immunity boosters, and angst soothers. 

Worth celebrating, in other words, especially with an activity that takes full advantage of the soothing qualities of sun and . . . sun salutations. 

For the yoga-curious

Maybe you’ve always wondered. Or maybe you’ve heard so many spectacular claims about yoga that you’ve been skeptical (and lightly annoyed). Maybe you think you aren’t flexible enough, strong enough, woo-woo enough to enjoy it. Pffffffft. The really nifty thing about yoga is that it meets you where you are. The benefits are tremendous, whether you can touch your toes or almost kinda sort reach your knees. Start with a gentle introduction that gives you the whys and hows. 

For homebodies

Celebrating the year’s longest day is a worldwide tradition that’s been around thousands of years. But maybe you prefer a low-key observation of this important astronomic event. Have it your way, maybe with a bonfire, which is among the Scandinavian traditions for the year’s longest day. Why not salute the sun as it goes down with a crackling, mesmerizing light of your own? Also, s’mores. 

For explorers

If you can go big, we hear Stonehenge has a real banger of a solstice celebration, and Sweden’s no slouch. More economically, anything you can do to get outside on this day of renewal, abundance, and joy is a nice way to kick off your summer. Plan to stock up at a farmers’ market, stroll a park or garden, bike to a friend’s, or just sit outside with a book at your coffeeshop of choice. Bonus points if you roll in International Day of Yoga festivities with an outdoor class. 

For social sun saluters

Always ready to embrace an excuse to gather your friends? By gum, you have two right here. Make the most of your day by hosting a backyard yoga class followed by a whole host of solstice-themed drinks and activities. It’s really as easy as sun tea. 

For renewal-seekers

The beauty of summer solstice isn’t just its minutes of literal light but its symbolic glow. The solstice stands for renewal and life, for growth and change. That’s lovely simply for noting the change of season but also makes it an especially fruitful time for pausing to check in with yourself. A solstice day of whatever you find soothing and inspiring is a way to plant your own mental, physical, spiritual harvest. Celebrate with meditation, journaling, a long, hot bath, and a deep stretch—whatever fills you with light.