Sun salutation

Illustration of sun salutation positions
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license: Kasun Perera

I began the solstice morning with a sun salutation, “a humble adoration of the light and insight of the self,” as it says in Yoga Journal.

[I have been practising yoga via Zoom through the pandemic with the amazing Andrea Robertson of bodyandbalance. No matter where you live in the world, you too could improve strength, flexibility and balance.]

On the darkest and longest day of the year, we salute the sun. It is returning to us here in the northern hemisphere—but not for a while. We have months of darkness first.

Darkness is a scary place of uncertainty, but it’s full of possibilities too. Darkness makes dreams came true.   

“For the first time, Chris [Hadfield] could see the power and mystery and velvety black beauty of the dark. And, he realized, you’re never really alone there. Your dreams are always with you, just waiting. Big dreams, about the kind of person you want to be.”    

From The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield

The darkness of a movie theatre makes enjoying a movie possible. The images are clear. Any light—from a cell phone, for example—is unwelcome.

Darkness makes us uncomfortable, but it also forces us to focus. If we carry a flashlight out into a black night, we must choose where to shine the beam. We narrow our outlook to what’s important in the moment.  

I salute the sun. And I appreciate that, at a time of year when it is less present in my life, I must narrow focus and choose where to shine my beam.

Christmas tree with lights illuminated
Darkness allows me to enjoy my Christmas tree lights.

11 thoughts on “Sun salutation

  1. Ally Bean

    I agree that darkness forces us to focus, something I naturally like to do. I do my own version of a Sun Salutation, but could definitely improve on that score. Perhaps I’ll shine my beam on becoming more balanced and flexible this winter. Great post. Happy Holidays.

    1. Arlene Somerton Smith Post author

      I love it when people say that they are able to focus on something. I tend to be easily distracted – Squirrel! – and end up doing three unfinished things at once. It’s something I’m trying to . . . focus . . . on. 🙂

  2. karen

    This is so beautiful, Arlene. I love the idea that darkness forces us to focus on what is crucial. Our beam of light can only illuminate so much; we must choose wisely. We certainly need this reminder right now. Thank you and Merry Christmas! 🌲

  3. Yeah, Another Blogger

    Hey there, Arlene. Speaking of light and dark: My wife and I like to drive around various neighborhoods at night this time of year, looking at the Christmas lights. Many of the displays are really beautiful, and contrast vividly with the dark skies.

  4. marianbeaman

    I’ll start with your conclusion, which resonates with me too: “I salute the sun. And I appreciate that, at a time of year when it is less present in my life, I must narrow focus and choose where to shine my beam.”

    I too believe in flexibility and muscle tone and so practice Pilates, a close relative of Yoga, I believe. About 5 years ago, I joined a Pilates class at the gym. Then at the instructor’s suggestion, we moved to ZOOM during the pandemic. It’s a good thing because I LOVE my instructor and she moved to another state. I love seeing her and my friends Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and don’t have to leave home.

    Thanks for brightening my day, Arlene. It’s 6:33 a.m. and still dark in Florida. ;-D


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