Embracing the Solstice: Connecting Practice and Heritage

By Thuy Do

June 21 was a special day for me this year. I had the privilege to facilitate a community sound bath and yoga practice as a welcoming gift to the Summer Solstice and to honor Yoga Appreciation Day*. More importantly, this day was also to recognize World Refugee Day. We honored the still moments with singing bowls made from quartz crystal and brass, gentle wooden and steel chimes, and bright harmonium stings to resonate deeper within. The earthly elements represent our connection to the land and frequency that they bring at a cellular level. It was a great honor to hold space for those seeking security and peace.

Guiding and practicing yoga solidifies my foundation to advance social justice within my community, find presence within, and even embrace the most challenging transitions in life. I share a mantra prayer that embodies climate change, as the season shifts and to honor the families who made drastic moves towards a brighter future. 



Tara Mangalartha (Drölma Tashi Dönjema) is peaceful and golden yellow in color. 

She brings timely seasons and healthy children.

She extinguishes fires, stops floods, and brings the elements into balance. 

Upon her lotus flower is an auspicious infinity knot.

A stream of cooling energy of Love and wisdom comes from her body and the infinity knot, removing all negative circumstances.


I also thought about my mom and her journey to a better life for us all. Although she never shared her endeavors of Vietnam with me, I could feel her immense love, struggle, pain, and pride in how she provided for the family growing up. In return, I wanted to express my gratitude for her efforts in nurturing us through my acts of service. Thus, my lifelong journey to explore yoga began in hopes that my parents could share this light with me. I am fortunate enough to have my mother now healing with me in a quiet and safe space. 

This was also a two-month milestone where we practiced more consistently together, bringing us closer as a family. The adjustment took some time for the both of us; yet, the physical practice helped me understand my mom more at a subtle level. I could feel her energy calm down and anxiety melt away when I supported her during practice. And being around others helped her combat the isolation she has felt. My mom shared that yoga has helped her sleep better, regulate her emotions, and maintain her health. As the child of refugees, this meant so much to recognize I helped enhance her quality of life. Her story is a testament to me that yoga can move beyond the mat. 

Thuy Do is SEARAC’s Senior California Program Manager and can be reached at thuy@searac.org