The summer solstice is upon us in the northern hemisphere! It’s time to celebrate the year’s longest day and all of the gifts that the season provides. In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, the Summer Solstice marks an important opportunity that we’re excited to share with you.
At Holden QiGong, we love helping other practitioners connect to the energies of nature and the seasons. Today, we’re going to discuss how you can harness the wonderful gifts of the Summer Solstice.
“Day of Maximum Yang”
Why is the Summer Solstice important for Qi Gong practitioners? Well, in Qi Gong as well as in daily life, we’re constantly navigating the polarity of Yin and Yang energies.
Yin is the energy of passivity, restfulness, relaxation, sleep, cold, and darkness. Yang, on the other hand, is the energy of activity, wakefulness, heat, and light. Everything in nature is in constant flux between Yin and Yang. As you can imagine, the night is a time when Yin energy is strong, and daytime is the domain of Yang energy.
When humans are in balance, we also experience Yin and Yang channeling through us in a healthy way. Think about a time when you listened to a friend without speaking. Listening is a very “Yin” activity since you are open to receiving. Speaking and telling others your own opinion is an example of experiencing “Yang” energy. Often, Yang is associated with “male” and Yin is associated with “female.” However, both male identifying and females identifying people contain Yin and Yang energies, and the relative strength of each is really dependant on the individual. Therefore, it’s important to be in touch with your own Yin and Yang energies, as well as to be receptive to others’ rather than make assumptions based on preconceived notions regarding their appearance. Also, like the seasons, each individual is constantly changing in their relationship to Yin and Yang.
When it comes to the seasons, the Summer is the time of Yang. Sunshine, long days, and hot weather all reflect that Yang energy that is vibrant and full. Within the months of summer, the Summer Solstice is the day of “maximum Yang”. It is a time when the world is experiencing the fullest expression of nature’s Yang energy.
How can we seek to harness the gifts of Yang energy?
As humans, we naturally take on the energies around us. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many people find themselves wanting to get out and spend time outside during the summer months. Yang energy seeks to engage with the world and celebrate life. Spending time outside and being active is one way to absorb the Yang energy of the Summer Solstice. Another way is through Qi Gong (we’ll get to this more below).
Day of the Fire Element and the Heart
The Summer Solstice is also the time when the fire element is more present in the natural world than any other day. The sun embodies fire and Yang energy at its fullest! It is the source of warmth and light for all living things on Earth, and is necessary for life’s existence. Without the sun’s Yang energy shining down upon Earth’s Yin soil, our planet would be barren and without Qi.
In Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong, the fire element is connected to the heart and is our source of love, passion, and joy. Therefore, the Summer Solstice is a great time to connect with loved ones and cultivate the love that we share together. Simply spending time together allows the fire element to flourish, bringing loving joy to all parts of your being.
In romantic partnerships, the Summer Solstice can be an especially wonderful time to pay attention to the passion that is shared. When you celebrate love and joy through romantic connection you feel an abundance of vitality flowing through you.
Whoever is in your life that helps to bring you joy, make it a point to spend time with them during the Summer Solstice, as well as the summer months in general. Healthy and loving relationships have a synergistic relationship with regards to the heart and fire element. When loving connections are vibrant and alive, your entire being is elevated and nourished. So, make it a point to prioritize those in your life that you care deeply about.
Many Cultures, One Holiday
Unlike many other holidays, the Summer Solstice is celebrated by nearly every society that experiences a summer. The Summer Solstice isn’t based on historical myths or ideological beliefs. Rather, it is simply a fact of nature that the earth rotates on its semi-diagonal axis, which creates a longest day, a shortest day, and every day in between.
Most cultures that experience a Summer Solstice recognize the importance of embracing its gifts. In most cases, this is done in the same way we described above: Coming together with loved ones and celebrating. Often, families and communities build fires, dance, and cook a feast.
As a day for celebrating passion, many cultures also hold ceremonies dedicated to facilitating the connections between potential lovers. It is widely understood that the Summer Solstice is an especially great time for cultivating new relationships and love. Whether you’re in a remote town in Sweden, on the shores of Greece, or in Stonehenge in England, Summer Solstice festivals all celebrate the abundance of Yang energy that the day brings us.
One of the many wonderful qualities of Qi Gong is its ability to connect us to the natural world on a deep and meaningful level. Although humans naturally seek to welcome nature’s gifts, Qi Gong provides us with additional tools to really take in all that the world has in store for us. At Holden QiGong, we’re especially excited to help you welcome the Summer Solstice with skillfulness and abundance.
Qi Gong for Summer Workshop
We’re happy to bring you Lee’s special online workshop: Qi Gong for Summer. In the program, Lee teaches all of the most important routines to cultivate the fire element and energy of the heart. He discusses the many wonderful opportunities that summer brings us and how to welcome its gifts through our Qi Gong practice.
The Summer Solstice is really the peak day of summer, but it’s a great idea to practice these routines throughout all of the season’s months. This is a perfect program for beginner Qi Gong practitioners as well as those who are seeking to expand their practice. By making the lessons accessible to everyone, Lee really provides us with the opportunity to learn at every stage of our Qi Gong development.
This a pre-recorded workshop and can be practiced whenever you want, year after year. There is so much that the Summer Solstice wants to give you, so give yourself the gift of Qi and get Lee’s workshop today!
By Ian Drogin