Winter Solstice on Nantucket

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011
Nantucket, MA.

Happy Winter Solstice Tribe

December 31st, aka New Year’s Eve,  historically speaking, presents us with a ritualistic date on which to set new resolutions or intentions for the year to come. For me, it’s fallen a bit flat. NYE had a tendency to be dominated by bad pop medleys and cheap champagne. It typically becomes an overly hyped up event, falling prey to over blown celebratory expectations, a need to have a partner to kiss, and in my 20s was accompanied with many a bad decision. In recent years I’ve avoided it all together, or in the very least I’ve avoided the late night bar crowd and the ABC broadcasted Ball Drop. Often I’ve even the avoided the count down itself.

So today I’m officially saying adieu to NYE, and hello to Winter Solstice!

The Winter Solstice, which is today, the 22nd, marks the shortest day of the year. With its setting sun a great cleansing darkness will follow during the year’s longest night. The days from here on out will grow longer and longer, until in six months from now, we mark the Summer Solstice. Not just as astrological event, the Winter Solstice is celebrated in many cultures as a time of rebirth and renewal, reflection and reconnection. And like my teacher Ganga posted today on Facebook, it brings us all together, no Freixenet Brut needed.

“There are myriad religious beliefs and differing holidays. But we all share the same dance of light marked by the solstices and equinoxes.”  ~Ganga White

Celebrating the Solstice, which is also about marking the end of one cycle and the beginning of another, feels like a more authentic year-end marker for me. And  indeed, it is an auspicious time to practice yoga, not just on the mat, but off the mat as well. It’s about giving thanks for the year’s journey; the lessons it’s presented, the challenges it’s brought forth, the many gifts it’s given us, and the new beginning we’ve been afforded.

If you’re in a reflective mood, and looking to link intention, breath and movement, please join me tonight for a special Energizing – Meet the End of Your Year with Compassion – Vinyasa Flow practice. My sister and recent Laughing Lotus Yoga School graduate, Grey Marcoux, will be joining me at the studio, to offer up a little extra TLC. The flow starts at 5:30. If you plan on coming, arrive a few minutes early to get a spot, and please practice good parking etiquette (we can fit 25 cars in the lot if you tighten and line  it up baby).

Want more on the Solstice?

There have been a great many blogs and postings about the Solstice on the yoganet today. A miryad of writings on Elephant Journal, Mind Body Green, and via Yoganonymous. Poke around if you’re interested. Here are a couple I had the chance to read during Griffin’s mid-day nap.

Star of Wonder ~ Elephant Journal

Setting Intentions ~ Mindy Body Green

 I hope to see you tonight.
Until the Light Returns,

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