108 Sun Salutations

Happy Summer.

Today felt like the first official day for me, as I actually got to sit in the sun by the lake, and the ice cream man came by and I had the first fudgesicle of the summer.  A perfect day, and I am truly thankful for the moments in the sun spent with my children.

July 10th is rapidly approaching and we yogis  in Seattle are getting ready for the Yoga for Hope event at Memorial Stadium to support City of Hope Cancer Research Center.

108 Sun salutations is not a random number.  In fact, yogis around the world celebrate the spring equinox and the official changes of  seasons by conducting 108 sun salutations.  This practice will be done alone, or more commonly in a group.  The energy of sharing such a practice is incredibly powerful.  Also, there are official yoga mala days in which people join together to do the 108.

By why 108?

In fact, the number 108 carries spiritual significance throughout a wide swathe of cultures:

* 108 is the number of “Upanishads” comprising Indian philosophy’s “Vedic texts”.
* 108 is the number of names for Shiva (a really important Hindu god).
* 108 is the number of names for Buddha.
* 108 is the Chinese number representing “man”.
* 108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
* 108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan “mala” (prayer beads, analagous to a rosary).
* 108 is twice the number “54”, which is the number of sounds in Sanskrit (sacred Indian langauge).
* 108 is six times the number “18”, which is a Jewish good luck number.
* 108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas (movements linked to breath) in a Sun Salutation.

There is your history.  Tomorrow I will give you the sequencing.  Students in my classes are getting more and more familiar with the concept of doing 108.  We’re not all there yet, but  the vision of 108 is no longer an impossibility.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

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