The Winter Solstice, December 21st, marks the first day of Winter and is when the Sun is farthest south. It is a time when many feel the darkness of the days in their moods and energy levels as well as feel the strain of holiday stressors. Since the direct rays of the sun are at their farthest point away from us in the Northern hemisphere, it is the day when the sun is lowest in the sky, and the time between sunrise and sunset is the shortest. From that point on, the days will start to get longer. Tomorrow is also a full moon.
Tonight, there is also a lunar eclipse. This is the first time an eclipse has occurred on the solstice in centuries! A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth becomes perfectly positioned directly between the sun and moon. The earth’s shadow is cast across the moon, and it becomes red or orange. The earth’s shadow will start to move across the moon around midnight, with the end of the eclipse happening around 2 AM. Unlike a solar eclipse, you don’t need anything special to watch a lunar eclipse, except some breaks in the clouds.
Many of us struggle with the dark and short days of winter along side of the holiday stresses. It is a time when our yoga practice becomes even more valuable and helps us to bring light back into our lives. Other ways to ensure that the darkness doesn’t get you down and which the holidays are perfect for is spending time with loved ones and enjoying warm comforting foods.
The new season not only provides us with opportunities to preserve ourselves but to prepare ourselves for the new year ahead and take the much needed time to renew ourselves for Spring.
This is the first time in over 456 years that a lunar eclipse has occurred on a winter solstice and it is believed that eclipses are a great time for transformation through meditation. Unfortunately with our cloudy, rainy Vancouver weather we are unlikely to see it. There are many different beliefs on the energizing or transforming power of a Lunar Eclipse, and after trolling the web I came across this;
“The main purpose of this years powerful energetic opening on December 21, is to assist you in fully opening your heart, mind, and physical body to successfully merge and align with the new energy. The benefit in this alignment is that it supports you in realigning with the original plan for your life, and the ability to fulfill this purpose. You are here on earth with a unique and special purpose, the astrological alignment of this year seeks to bring you back into full alignment with your unique divine path here on Earth.” www.experienceproject.com
Eclipses are believed by many to be a time for great transformation through meditation it is said that our energies are magnified and more focused. Whatever your belief on the effects and roles of the moons and the changing of seasons, there are some Winter Solstice celebration yoga classes around town, here are just a few!
- Yoga West – TONIGHT, 6:30pm – Healing Ring of Tantra & Full Moon Meditation
- The Yoga Space – Tomorrow (Dec 21st), 10-12, Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Happy Winter Solstice to all of you and of course Happy Holidays!