Celebrating the sun on International Yoga Day

Celebrating the sun on International Yoga Day June 21, 2023

I love that International Yoga Day and the Summer Solstice are the same day in the calendar.

What better time to practise your sun salutations? These were traditionally practised at sunrise as a greeting to the sun.

Which makes perfect sense as that’s when the day is cooler. But maybe isn’t so easy when the sun rises around 4am on the 21st June as it does in the UK.

The history of the Sun Salutation (or Surya Namaskara in the Sanskrit) is debated, with some suggesting it was a warmup for body strengthening work. Within today’s practise it most often sits within Ashtanga yoga which means there’s an emphasis on getting the timing, the order, and the look of the asanas perfect.

Which is the opposite of the yoga I like to teach!

My yoga is altogether easier to follow and designed for people who don’t always feel they can keep up in a traditional yoga class.

Sun Salutations are designed to be energising and warming, to raise the heart rate.

Personally, I like to utilise the traditional sun salutation on those short winter days when I’m lacking in energy. I practise slower yoga during the height of the summer.

But that doesn’t make such a good summer solstice themed blog post!

So instead, I’ve designed a “Celebration of the Sun” sequence.

My celebration to the sun still involves strengthening and energising asanas, but with less emphasis on speed and breathing, and more emphasis on feeling like you’ve had a really good stretch in the sunshine!

Click here for the video

You can connect with the sun on the longest day. And you don’t have to do it at sunrise either.

In May 2023 I qualified as a yoga teacher and am registered with Yoga Alliance as a RYT200. As a dyspraxic person I’m passionate about bringing yoga to people like me who find traditional classes harder to keep up with. You can find out more about this via my website and access Yoga classes and how to videos here


About Katie Gerrard
Author of "Seidr: The Gate is Open" and "Odin’s Gateways", Katie Gerrard is a witch working as a hypnotherapist, yoga teacher and workshop facilitator. You can read more about the author here.

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