2023 Hall of Fame Village Sunrise Summer Solstice Yoga: A “Splashing Success!”

Practicing yoga at sunrise, facing east, is an ancient tradition; one welcomes the gift of a new day by achieving a new state of mind. Practicing yoga at sunrise, facing east, on the first day of summer has become the International Day of Yoga.  

I’ve been blessed to lead these early morning rituals for 10 years, beginning on the Mercy Medical Center Helipad at sunrise on June 21st, the official start of summer. Through it all, we were never rained out nor had an incoming Life Flight force us to evacuate the helipad. I consider that being divinely blessed (because the Gods love yoga – especially outdoor yoga, celebrating, well, them).

This year saw us at a new and equally spectacular location: Hall of Fame Village, at the foot of the lighted Ferris Wheel (a sun symbol if ever there was one!). With new locales come details to finesse.

All started according to plan at 5:45AM. Unbeknownst to us, pre-set for the same time we were set to begin – so were the timers for the lawn sprinkler system! Everyone in the center of the grassy Play Action Plaza was suddenly being pelted with oscillating spray.

It was admittedly comic. A most unexpected diversion that rallied us into quick focus, followed by immediate action. Yogis are incredibly “flexible;” we pivoted by reversing positions. Now, those sprinkler heads were behind me; certainly they would not rotate to water astroturf. I was wrong.

While I was regaining my composure, focused on leading the 55+ people into a contemplative space while remaining on schedule, I was spurted with soaking jets of water. Fortunately, we learn: I adapted by dodging those pulsating streams of water – inventing a few new yoga vinyasas (or flows) along the way.

It was a hit. Well, they’ve actually all been hits. Getting up to greet the sunrise on the first day of summer is so spiritual and symbolic, I’m surprised anyone would choose to sleep in if they knew all the wonders it entails. We acknowledge the sun for our existence: a sincere and supreme practice in gratitude.