Happy Summer Solstice!!
Yeah, what is that? Well, technically speaking, it's the longest day of the year because the sun is pausing at it's highest point in the sky before things reverse direction and our days start getting shorter again. Solstice = "sun standing still". Cool, huh?
It's also the one-year anniversary of the "Lazy Wellness" weekly newsletters. If you've been around from the very start (I love you, but also...) you'll recall that I wrote a weekly blog and then went on a hiatus and then came back under the Lazy Wellness brand. Well, it's been a year since that last part. Thanks for not unsubscribing yet.
Summer solstice also marks the International Day of Yoga, a high holiday in my world. It coincides with the earth's orbit in this way because of all the symbolism and whatnot there is to connect the two things. So, as a yoga instructor, I feel like I should be making some meaningful speech about the solstice, but alas, that's not really the type of yoga teacher I am. I like that it's interesting scientifically, and I like that it's the midpoint of the year, giving us a chance to check-in, and I like focusing on our own power centers, aka solar plexus chakras (meditation coming soon!). But beyond that, I got nothin, I don't really get it.
Maybe that's all I'm "supposed" to say about the Summer Solstice as a yoga instructor? I dunno, I've never really been a moon-cycles-and-crystals kind of yogi. And there was definitely a time that I felt bad about that, like it made me a fake somehow. But as I always say about being a "yogi," you don't need a 6-pack and a lotus flower tattoo. It's not some VIP club checking credentials and vegan diet plans at the door. I practiced yoga for a long time before I realized that, and I always felt like an outsider. Yoga certainly can do that to people; it can get just as cliquey and intimidating as a middle school cafeteria.
Yogis and yoga instructors certainly do fall into some stereotypes, because of the way your thinking and relationship to your body and to the world may shift if you practice long enough. But the truly yogi thing, in my opinion, is not falling into any mold, not subscribing to the idea that there is such a thing as a "good yogi" and a "bad yogi," and certainly not thinking that you are any less because you skipped a few days (or months), or because you can't stand on your head, or because your yoga clothes and your pajamas are the same thing.
When yoga really clicked for me, I was traveling - I was out of the cliquey yoga world I had resided in - and I found yogis that looked different, that practiced differently, that were more about making the yoga* work for my body than they were about making my body work for the yoga.
To be a yogi can mean so many things. And I'm sure this applies to a lot of other roles we assume - to be a CEO do you have to have your shit together? To be a runner do you have to be fast? To be a successful business owner do you have to be rich? Hard no on all of those.
So on this summer solstice, I invite you to let yourself off the hook - whatever mold you've been trying to fit into to match the role you're trying to play, whatever guilt trip you've been on because you're just not into a certain part of what that role "should" be. Let it go. Do it your way. Always.
*I asterisked the word yoga to point out that in this context I'm talking about the asana (or physical postures) part of yoga - which is only 1 of 8 limbs of yoga as a whole. So yeah, when I say yoga can mean a lot of things, that's real. I'd love to tell you guys about all the other parts of yoga - will work on that.