Earth-lighting-summer-solstice_ENWell, it’s the solstice weekend and there are more than a few celebrate-the-longest-day-of-the-year festivities happening around town…

50 years of Sivananda Yoga! Did you know that Montréal may very well be Ground Zero for yoga in North America? The venerable Swami Vishnudevananda, disciple of the even-more venerable Swami Sivananda, landed in Montréal in 1959 and established North America’s first International Yoga Sivananda Vedanta Centre here. It was one of the first yoga centres on the whole continent, and it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary with a whole bunch of devotional activities this weekend.

June 19 – 21, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre Montréal, 5178 St. Laurent Blvd.

Flow with grace! The Montréal Anusara community is all abuzz with the arrival of John Friend, who will be offering five days of workshops and intensives. You had to register way in advance for this one, but you’ll be able to  feel the spanda glow around Dawson College from this modern yoga master and his devotees. Montréal is one of only 4 Canadian stops on his 2009 Ultimate Freedom Tour.

June 20 – 24, Dawson College,

Outdoor yoga on the canal! It wouldn’t be a solstice weekend (or, any weekend, actually) without a yoga mala somewhere around town. Usher in summer and the beginning of Studio Breathe’s summer Saturday yoga classes. Get an early start with 108 sun salutations, then some “all levels karma yoga” and “karma KBOX” (don’t ask me what that is). Minimum $5 donation for each class, and all proceeds go to the David Suzuki Foundation.

June 20, 9:00 – 10:00 am Yoga Mala; 10:00 – 11:00 am Karma Yoga; 1:00 – 2:00 pm Karma KBOX. Studio Breathe, 1313 Shearer.

Slooooowww down…! Celebrate all things slow on the Journée Internationale de la Lenteur (that’s “international slow day” en anglais, yo). The organizers of this day-long event in Parc Lafontaine claimed to have organized as little as possible, yet there are 2 schedules of festivities: a programme (with surprising detail) and “possibilités.” There will be kundalini yoga, along with tai chi, laughing, chi-gong, subtle body chakra stuff, “méditation délinquante,” and other super chill things.

June 21, Parc Lafontaine (look for the crowd of people gazing at the sky).

Sing in summer! Studio Bliss is hosting an evening of Solstice Kirtan with Nigel Wolf and the Hari Ram Kirtan Experience. Start off the season with some enchanted chanting and dancing.

June 21, 8:00 – 10:00 pm, Studio Bliss, 3841 St Laurent Blvd.