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Breathe-Yoga-logo(Chelsea Update would like to thank Sue Whitmarsh for the information in this story.)

Often forgotten in the frantic last rush of holiday shopping and preparations, the Winter Solstice is a time for celebration.

In this area, the December solstice marks the longest night and shortest day of the year, and although winter is the season of dormancy, darkness and cold, this event signifies the turning of the Sun, the return to light, and the days slowly getting longer and longer.

Celebrations of the lighter days to come and nature’s continuing cycle are seen throughout many cultures and over many centuries with feasts, festivals and holidays. As the solstice approaches, notice late dawns, early sunsets, and the low arc of the sun across the sky each day. You might even catch your noontime shadow, which will be at its longest of the year.

At Breathe, we like to mark these seasonal changes and honor the Earth’s natural cycle, which we, as humans, naturally yearn to be in rhythm with, by bringing people together in mind, body and spirit.

On Wednesday, Dec. 21 is Yoga Mala, which is the practice of 108 Sun Salutations. The group will begin at 6 p.m., and cycle through 9 sets of 12 Surya Namaskar, taking frequent rest breaks and offering modifications.

It might seem daunting to even attempt that many sun salutations, even to the seasoned yogi, but the important thing to remember is the intention to practice, and the connectedness of breath and energy, not competing with yourself or others to get through all 108 sun salutations. It is a powerful and inspiring experience, especially when done in a group, and we invite you to join us.

This is a free class, and we will be accepting donations to the Ann Arbor Safe House.

On the same evening, we’re offering a different way to connect with the Solstice for our runners and their families. Along with the Chelsea Alehouse, we are hosting our first Winter’s Solstice Run, a free, family-friendly, 3 mile(ish) run around Chelsea, bringing light to the longest night of the year.

Wear your best reflective gear, a strand of Christmas lights — whatever helps make you stand out and bring some light as we run the nearby neighborhoods admiring winter decorations.

The run will depart from the Alehouse at 6 p.m.

After the run, we will celebrate and socialize together at the Alehouse, enjoying $1 off our first drink (cider and wine excluded).

Donations on behalf of SafeHouse Center will also be accepted at this event. Contact marie@breatheyogachelsea.com to RSVP for this event or with questions.

For further information on these events, or on anything else going on at the studio, please visit our website: breatheyogachelsea.com, or call either Sue or Marie on 734-627-7558.

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