June Solstice Celebration: Yoga Class Design

celebrating the june solstice

Every month I choose a theme around which I’ll center my classes, playlist, and cueing style. I want it to be somewhat evergreen, but also infused with current events. A snapshot in time. Our theme this month is the June solstice.

Having previously worked in higher ed, where May is a huge rush to wrap up the spring semester, summer doesn’t really start for me until the calendar flips to June. I’m sure this feeling goes back to childhood and the natural end of the school year as well. The last day of school was a little bit like a reflection of what adulthood would be like: exciting, and yet a little mournful. There was always a lot of excitement at the beginning of the day, peaking around lunch when we would usually get to eat outside in a picnic-like atmosphere, and then taper down until the end of the day. That’s when it usually hit me that I probably wouldn’t see my friends much and that, really, all that was waiting for me until school started again was chores and random reruns on network TV. HOWEVER, this time did instill a deep love for Northern Exposure, so that’s great.

As an adult, I want June to still have that infusion of excitement and reflection on the world in its current state. And that’s what I want to bring to my classes this month.


Gaiam Performance Collection

Designing an Experience for the June Solstice

My inspiration came from the sensation of heat, generated from our solar plexus or that internal furnace, the energy of the solstice, and what’s happening in Minnesota. To help set the tone, and get my feelings in order, I published a poem on Medium that exemplifies the sensation of being a bystander, filled with sensation that needs to be redirected into action.

Sun B Flow

The Sun B flow will be a mandala flow:

Side 1

  • Chair pose
  • Forward fold
  • Step back into low lunge
  • Low lunge twist
  • Low lunge with airplane arms, rise and windmill into
  • Warrior 2
  • Reverse Triangle
  • Extended Triangle pose
  • Reverse warrior
  • Star pose
  • Horse pose
  • Warrior 2 to the back
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Chaturanaga

Side 2

  • Chair pose
  • Airplane arms
  • One legged tadasana (opposite side)
  • Dancing ganesh
  • Step back into low lunge
  • Low lunge twist
  • Low lunge with airplane arms, rise and windmill into
  • Warrior 2
  • Ext side angle, dance 3 times
  • Reverse warrior
  • Presarita padattonasana stay active
  • Warrior 2 to the back
  • Reverse Warrior
  • Chaturanaga

The rest of class will incorporate a lot of elements focusing on the vagus nerve. Camel pose, obviously, but relieving tension down through the body.

Playlist

Sol Rising might be a little obvious for this playlist, but that’s what makes it perfect, no? I grabbed this playlist from my Corepower training days and updated with a little more social commentary. I especially love the Kings of Summer (ayokay and Quinn CXII) which has that perfect summer vibe. And Supaman is an artist new to me, and I’m pretty much making sure that I have at least one of his indigenous musical stylings on all of my playlists going forward.


Manduka

Designing a Yoga Class Mood

Atmosphere is an important part of creating community in a class. In order to bring folks along with you, create opportunities for them to level up or level down their practice. Use music as an assist and not the main focus. And always cue to the room.

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