Salute the sun this summer season. By Denise Leicester

I love everything the sun represents: light, life, warmth, power, growth, clarity, energy and enlightenment to name a few. As the summer solstice approaches (June 21 in the northern hemisphere), it’s a great time to celebrate love, abundance and joy; to rejoice being on our amazing earth; and to reflect on the peak of power and potential the summer sun brings.

Solstice is from the Latin ‘sol’ (sun) and ‘sistere’ (to stand still) – a term coined long ago when astronomers believed it was the sun that moved around the earth. This solstice, I invite you to take this meaning quite literally and to take a moment to stand still, in the sun, when it’s highest in the sky and bestows upon us the most daylight hours. Feel its life-giving warmth and experience the culmination of its – and your – journey to the brightest light. Harness this energy in your own life, whether it’s to achieve greater health, spirituality or clarity on an issue.

It’s also the perfect time to focus on the manipura (or solar plexus) chakra, located just above the navel. Meaning ‘beautiful, shining jewel’ in Sanskrit, manipura is our power centre and core self: the meeting and balancing point of our inner and outer energies, linked to achievement and the power of transformation. Nurture and harmonise this chakra during this period – through Kundalini yoga, eating certain nutritious foods, targeted treatments, breathing and meditation – and flood your entire being with a renewed energy that radiates warmth, joy and vitality.

I love using Linden blossom at this time of year too – a little sun-yellow flower and healing essential oil. Considered sacred by many cultures, the Linden tree represents love and compassion. It’s a wonderfully emotive ingredient that opens the heart, helps one tap into the great ‘mother’ energy, and channel love and loyalty, peace and protection.

Conscious Beauty
Meditating on this article, I was reminded of ‘wishing boats’: little floating vessels made out of natural materials, into which flowers and candles are traditionally placed along with one’s hopes and wishes, before being sent off into a body of water. Recreate this offering in your own home. Run a bath, perhaps with a few Linden blossom drops, and/or rose petals, and light a candle. Visualise releasing and washing away all of your worries and tension. Focus on the flickering light and allow feelings of abundance and joy to grow and flow. Happy summer solstice.

Denise Leicester is the founder of ila-spa.com

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