Officially Summer

Happy Summer!  It’s officially here as of June 21 and the Summer Solstice.

It was the longest day of the year and the annual maximum amount of sunlight day made me happy.

In yoga it’s customary to d0 108 Sun Salutations on solstices.


Why you ask?

The practice of sun salutations honors the change of seasons, as they help remove toxins in the body.  We honor our primary source of energy: the sun.

From this source:

Why is the number 108 special? It is considered sacred in many Eastern religions and traditions.  The mala beads (a string of 108) are often used for rituals and worn either around the neck or wrapped around the wrist.  Here are some of the significances and facts of 108:

  • 1, 0, 8.  1 stands for higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, 8 stands for infinity or eternity.
  • Hindu deities have 108 names.  Mala beads are used to count each one of the deities in meditation.
  • In Advaita Vedanta, there are 108 authentic doctrines in the Upanishads aiming to approach the truth and to destroy ignorance.
  • In the Hindu chakra system, there are a total of 108 energy lines converging from the heart chakra.  One of them, sushumna, leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.
  • In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that there are 108 sins.
  • In Japan, at the end of the year a bell is chimed 108 times to finish an old year and welcome a new.
  • In Indian relgions, nirvana is only reached once you overcome 108 earthly temptations.
  • In Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in the body.
  • In karate martial arts, the 108 figure is prominent.  Suparinpei literally translates to 108.
  • In astronomy, the diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
  • In the Sanskrit alphabet there are 54 letters, each having a masculine and feminine, totaling 108.
  • With time, some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to past, 36 related to present, 36 related to future.  36X3=108.
  • In Astrology, there are 12 constellations and 9 arc segments.  Also, there are 12 houses and 9 planets.  9×12=108.
  • In Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, atman refers to the Self, or the soul.  Atman goes through 108 stages on the journey.

So there are many reasons to celebrate the Summer Solstice and the number 108.


When it’s officially summer, it’s also time for easy meals that use what’s in seasonal abundance like:

Raw Vegan Cucumber Wraps

I like to dip mine in 60-second homemade creamy honey mustard dressing

Or try Raw Taco Salad with Raw Taco Nut “Meat” for a quickie and fresh meal.

This “meat” always impresses even those meat-loving die-hards and takes 30 seconds to make.


Or if zucchinis are coming out of your garden like crazy, or they’re cheap and plentiful at your farmers market like they are at mine,

make Raw Pasta Salad with Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing

So easy.  And it uses up the zukes that are coming out of your ears this time of year. Need a spiralizer or info about what I use, here.


And for dessert, Vanilla Avocado Banana “Ice Cream”

Thank you to everyone who has commented or emailed me that you’ve tried this recipe and really enjoyed it!  Field reports are wonderful to have!

And from my last post, it was fun reading what Smells Good to you and if you have a sensitive sniffer or not.


1. Have you ever done 108 Sun Salutations or did you celebrate the Solstice in any way on the 21st?

I did about 54 sun salutations (half) at home.  I ran out of time to do any more!

I also don’t hold my downward dogs, but move continuously through each sun saluation, one into the next, until I feel I really need a breather, and then I’ll hold a downward dog, catch my breath, and then repeat continuous loop style, so to speak.

And I have been to solstice parties before.  Usually with yogis, free spiritis, and creative types.  The food is always vegan and potluck style and delicious, the conversation is groovy, and the vibe is mellow.

But this past solstice, no such parties for me.  I had a flat tire I was dealing with!  No time to party.

2. What foods are you loving now that it’s Officially Summer?

P.S. Thanks for the continued support and entries for the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Giveaway.


61 comments on “Officially Summer”

  1. I am LOVING summer foods! I’m sitting here working on a paper for school snacking on a platter of cantaloupe, watermelon, and pineapple. So fresh and tasty! You know what’s weird? I usually never crave, or even really enjoy, fruit that much, except for my morning smoothie. I’m a veggie lover. But lately, veggies are totally not doing it for me and I’m all about the fruit!

    I’m also loving my latest addiction – Triscuits! If I had known these little suckers were so good I would have started eating them years ago. I think I’m in love.

    • I grew up LIVING on Triscuits. I love them. Like I swear to god when I stopped eating gluten 6 yrs or so ago, I went thru withdrawals and even though I eat small amts of gluten now, unfort the gluten in triscuits just does a number on me and I really can’t indulge in them but oh, slathered with Peanut Butter…that was dinner many, many nights in college washed down with some adult beverages, too :)

  2. Jeez, I’d kill for someone to whip me up a batch of that avocado ice cream before my tooth surgery tomorrow!! I actually had a dream about it last night….

    Love the summer, even though I’m not a kid anymore which means I don’t get 3 months off from life, it’s a totally different state of mind. Beautiful things.

  3. Wow–that ice cream looks delicious!

  4. I’ve never completed the 108 salutations but I imagine it would feel very refreshing to do it. Speaking of refreshing, I am loving watermelon and tomatoes now that it is summer. I just love how fresh and juicy they are!

  5. i didn’t do sun salutations so i’ll have to make up for it today, but i took advantage of the sunlight and stayed out raspberry picking until 9pm! it was glorious and actually very relaxing :) my favorite things now are raw veggies + berries!

  6. Wow, I wish I would’ve read this yesterday! I could have celebrated by doing sun salutations until my arms fell off! But yesterday I did celebrate with an extra-long walk late in the evening, and I did something that scared me. I dared myself to go the the boxing gym around the corner and ask about classes. Seems simple, but I’m not the kind of person who just goes out and talks to people. I got a tour (they even have a yoga studio!) and a free day pass, so soon I’m going to go try out the yoga classes and boxing or martial arts. I need to learn some sort of self defense and this is also part of my new goal to live THROUGH my body, not just in it. I want to learn to express with it and feel strong and powerful with it.
    And summer food? I’ve been eating a watermelon and several cantaloupes a week. All by myself. Yup.

  7. I never knew the reason why yoga was so popular on the Summer Solstice. I didn’t have a chance to do yoga last night but I am definitely going tonight.

  8. I’ve been eating a lot of fruit lately. Also, a lot of salads – anything that doesn’t require me turning on the oven when it’s really hot out! We’ve also been taking a lot of walks to get ice cream and italian ice!!

  9. I have never done 108 sun salutations in a row before, and I don’t know if I can manage it right now. Wow!
    I am totally loving summer produce right now! Stone fruit+cucumbers+whatever…

  10. You’ve not really talked much about yoga lately – it’s nice when you do b/c you can tell that you’re passionate about it. I am loving strawberries and boatloads of pineapple.

  11. I don’t have the patience to do 108 of anything. My exercise routine of late has been to do 1- minute rounds of such things as jumping rope, mountain climbers, step-ups, etc. I can do anything for 1 minute!
    I’m not swimming in zucchini yet! I picked my first one yesterday; the plants got a late start because of the crappy weather.

  12. Thanks for taking the time to explain the significance of the 108 salutations. I’ve often wondered. It’s fascinating to me. Happy Summertime to you!

  13. Happy Summer :)
    I’m particularly loving all the summer fruits like berries, watermelon, peaches, and pineapples!

  14. i didnt do 108 sun salutation yesterday…i did do it ny day though back in january!

    oh i love summer foods!!! my fave right now: all the berries, corn, cantaloupe!!

    gosh i love summer! all the kids are out playing, days are long, nights are warm… :)

  15. I love every. single. thing. about summer. I seriously need to move somewhere with more even temperatures throughout the season, vermont just doesn’t cut it. Barbequeing, driving with the windows down, barefeet, hiking, i love it all.

  16. 108 sun salutations sounds like an awful lot. I did about 5 yesterday (not realizing 108 was the standard for the day!).
    Foods I’m loving now that it’s summer…basil, tomatoes, corn and anything else that I either can’t get or tastes horrific out of season.

  17. Oh my goodness. I need to make that raw pasta salad! Need to. Great picture of it too :)

  18. I could do sun salutations all day long. I’ve done the 108 sun salutation practice for years… at least 5 years, except yesterday, ah! I totally forgot until I woke up this morning. I love that you’ve gone into detail about the 108 and it’s significance. I love this post!!

  19. I didn’t even know about the yoga/summer connection. Thanks for teaching a new thing, yet again :)

    Summer means watermelon to me. I’m sure there are other things I start to enjoy more, but whenever someone mentions food and summer, my mind is reminded of watermelon and then I can think of nothing else!

  20. Pingback: 108 | The Pursuit of Hippieness

  21. Very interesting on yoga and summer solstice. Great raw recipe inspiration.

    1. Nope, not yet.
    2. Anything raw and cool since we’re in tripe-digit heat now, lots of frozen grapes and chilled watermelon.

  22. Neat explanation of the 108 sun salutations….but as a geography nerd, I must tell you that it isn’t the vernal equinox (whoops!). An equinox is when day and night are of equal length because the sun is 90 degrees to the equator. On the summer solstice, however, the northern hemisphere is titled towards the sun (hence the longer days) and the sun’s rays are at a 90 degree angle to 23.5 degrees of latitude (instead of 0 degrees at the equator). So there you go!

    • I edited the text copy. I still don’t fully “get” it…my mind makes and creates recipes from scratch and makes photos and photography much easier than it understands these types of things but I took you word for it and just removed the vernal eqinox verbiage. That is VERY commonly thrown around in yoga circles so there are millions of “confused” yogis…not just me :)

  23. 108 sun salutations– I think I’d die! Haha…I can barely get through the ones that they do as a warmup in my yoga class :-)

  24. I love summer! We took the first boat ride of the season last week…sunsets are so much prettier on the water!! My favorite things of the season are the product, boats, ocean, cookouts, beaches, and summer rain!!
    I have done 108 salutations before for both the summer and winter solstices. The next day I always feel so amazing! However I slacked this year…but I did get in a quickie practice in my ohmygracious hot upstairs and it felt triple super duper good.

  25. 108 salutations! That’s a LOT!
    Yesterday was beautiful in SD. So much so that I even went out & ran (and I quit running a long time ago)!
    Summer foods are a go in my house! Juices, smoothies, tons of fruit (melons, berries, cherries, etc..), and salads have been filling up my belly these days!

  26. I had no idea about the significance of 108! Cool stuff. mmm that ice cream. Must have! Summer food must haves= cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, corn, anything grilled! Hope you’re having ag ood day :)

  27. Hi Averie! First time commenter here :)
    Just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog….and I live in San Diego too! I just got home from college for the summer, and I’m currently loving absolutely everything about just being home in SD (especially the beach!).
    As for FOOD I’m loving, definitely all the amazing summer produce! Pineapple (my favorite!), cherries, peaches, strawberries, the list goes on.
    Have a great day!

  28. I didnt get to do my 108 salutations this solstice :( but I did get to do some yoga and thats what counts! My super-yogi friend actually had a solstice party this year but i was out of town and couldn’t go.
    Also, it doesn’t feel much like summer up here in Canada. It’s all rainy and cold :p I miss my Florida sunshine!

  29. I have done the 108 sun salutations before and it is so calming!! You my friend have the freshest most delicious recipes kicking around here!!!

    Question – Are you a personal trainer at all or thought of doing it? I am toying with the idea so I can teach more people things….but not sure if online is a good option to take a course ;)

    • I have ordered the books and thought about doing it about 18-24 mos ago but life changed, needs/priorities/desires changed and it’s not in the cards for me at this point.

      I did the ACE books/materials and was going to do self-study but I’d rather study photography these days :)

  30. I must be very lucky because my house number is 108 :-)
    The Romans thought 7 and 8 were lucky, so if you made it to 56 you were golden.

  31. Amazing photos, as always–I love seeing your photography develop. (That would have been a pun once upon a time…)

    Fascinating number stuff, I always enjoy those kinds of lists.

    I’ve been loving melons, watermelons, peaches, mangos….

  32. this was so helpful! i actually had this discussion with nate the other day, we were wondering why ‘108’ sun salutations. now i know! last year i did 75 sun salutations, none this year was too busy! i did get in a bodyrock workout in the am. my fave summer foods are burgers & blueberries

  33. I’m absolutely loving cantaloupe, blueberries and peaches. I’m also obsessed with anything frozen: gelato, ice cream, popsicles. And finally, I’ve eaten avocado three times this week…yum!

  34. I love your yoga posts! I just did a post on my blog about sun salutations too! I did about ten in my regular practice, no where near the 108, but some count I like to think. Thanks for the info Averie!

  35. I am really feeling the tropical foods – mangoes, peaches, coconut. I think I need to make myself and smoothie!

  36. averie ~ all of your food looks absolutely delicious!! i wish you could come over and cook for me!! haha ;) happy wednesday to you!
    xoxo ~ kristina

  37. 108 sun salutations? that is quite a lot! I remember one yoga class on a day my yoga teacher turned 52 and following and Indian tradition… we ended up doing 52 of them. Even that was so hard!!! I really like the tradition and meaning behind yoga, so this post was very interesting to read!
    My fav summer food is salad. I eat it every day and absolutely love it. As well as fresh fruit.

  38. Happy Summer! I enjoyed a Summer Solstice Facebook Party yesterday with an amazing group of people! Lol! It was on ET and since I’m 6 hours behind I got to “hangout” while my kid napped! :)

    Thanks for sharing about the 108 Sun Salutations, I had no idea. That was interesting to learn.

    I have been stuffing my face with pineapple and broccoli for the past couple weeks and cannot seem to get enough!! :)

  39. Thanks for sharing on the 108 sun salutations. I think I’ll do that first thing tomorrow morning. Love the recipes as always. I’ll be having plenty of zucchini from the garden soon enough!

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  41. I have never done 108 sun salutations, but it sometimes feels like that many in the P90X yoga DVD. I like to hold the down dogs because my hamstrings are usually really tight.

    Loving some of the summer foods, but I am really looking forward to the tomatoes.

  42. YESSSSS, I miss the seeing some yoga in your posts. I totally didn’t realize that it was the Summer Solstice until right before I went to bed, though I did do a few Sun Salutations. Not anywhere near 108, but whatever. I’ll do it next time :)

  43. Do you do the salutations (or try) to do them daily over the summer?! OR just the first day of summer? That’s intense! 54?? Your shoulders must be awesome!! :) I think I wouldn’t be able to feel my front delts for weeks if I did that!

  44. Oh okay – I thought that you did 108 everyday though! Intense! :)

  45. I have no appetite at all now that it is hot in my city … It is no fun! Haha!

    I don’t celebrate the solstice … unless it is a HOT day, then I sit out on a deck with a cold one :-)

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