On August 21st the moon aligns between the earth and the sun, creating a solar eclipse that will be visible in Northern America. Depending on where you are, you may be able to experience a partial or full eclipse. Both lunar and solar eclipses have been observed with reverence since ancient times and invite us to sense our connection to nature and the universe. They shift our perspective from every day life and reminds us that we are part of something bigger.
The powerful energies of eclipses can be felt a few days before and after the event. With the sun and moon in alignment, our emotions can feel more intense, so it’s important to cultivate compassion and patience with ourselves and others. Take the days around the eclipse to slow down, bring your consciousness inward, and practice ahimsa (non-harming) in your thoughts, actions and words.
As the eclipse raises the vibration within and around you, feel gratitude in your heart for all the blessings in your life. Then focus your heightened awareness on what is important to you and what is no longer serving you. Pay close attention to the fact that around this time doors may be closing for you. Keep your mind open to new possibilities to spot the doors that are opening instead. Take this time of change as an opportunity to learn, grow and follow the guidance of your heart.
A wonderful way to honor, embrace and experience the shift of energies around the solar eclipse is to incorporate a spiritual practice into the days leading up to and following the event. Wherever you are, please join me in practicing the below Solar Eclipse Ritual.
Find a comfortable seat on a chair, yoga mat or a meditation cushion. If you are in a chair, place both feet on the floor. Lengthen your spine and gently soften your shoulders away from your ears. Take a few deep breaths and allow your body and mind to relax.
If you like chanting, you may consider the Gayatri Mantra. Also known as the highly revered Sāvitrī mantra, it is dedicated to Savitr, the Sun deity. If you have a mala and the time, go ahead and chant it 108 times. Otherwise, just go with what feels right. Sing along if you like or play it in the background.
On your next inhale. sweep your arms out, around and up, and on your exhale, circle them back down. Feel the energy of both the sun and the moon within you and repeat two more times.
Now inhale your right arm up and place your left hand next to your left hip on the floor or a block. Exhale and engage your core, then lengthen and extend your right arm up and overhead, stretching the right side of your waist. Stay here for a few breaths, then come up and repeat on the other side.
Close your eyes and bring your awareness within. Rest your hands on your thighs or in your lap, one palm facing up and one palm facing down. This way you remain open to receiving and keeping energy at the same time. Take a deep inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat a few times. Let your exhales become slightly longer than your inhales if possible.
Bring your awareness to your heart and think of all the blessings in your life. Your loved ones, your home, etc. Then feel the gratitude toward yourself for being who you are, for showing up for yourself and others. Become clear on what is important to you and set an intention to follow that path. Determine if there are things in your life (thought patterns, habits, relationships, material things) that no longer serve you, or deplete you, and set an intention of resolving them with kindness.
Keep the connection to your heart center as you gently shift your focus to your throat. If you know Ujjayi breath, begin to practice a few rounds, feeling and hearing the sound and rhythm of your breath in your body. Keep breathing deeply and set the intention to communicate with kindness and to listen with your full attention. What would it feel like to communicate from a place of unconditional love?
Keep the connection to your heart and throat, as you bring awareness to your third eye. Focus on the spot between your eyebrows or the middle of your forehead to connect to your intuition. By becoming quiet, you begin to sense your inner voice more clearly. Take some time here to feel your connection to all there is and listen to your inner guidance. Enjoy the blissful awareness. Even if you are not able to connect yet, just taking some quiet time for yourself is very beneficial for relaxing your body, mind, spirit and emotions. By relaxing deeply you are decreasing anxiety and stress, improving sleep, and strengthening your immune system.
When you feel ready, gently open your eyes. Continue to breathe deeply, and notice how you feel. Bring your hands together in front of your heart and acknowledge yourself for taking the time to connect within and around you. May the powerful energies of the solar eclipse bring you everything you wish for and may it be for the highest benefit of all.