Tuesday, June 25, 2013

108 Sun Salutations

Last spring... I completed 108 sun salutations in honor of the change of seasons from winter to spring.  This is a tradition in yoga for many different reasons (listed below) and are done at the beginning of each season, so the next one will be in September for the vernal equinox (first day of fall).

On June 21st, 2013 I completed my second round (first being spring) of 108 sun salutations at Essencia!  It was so empowering, made me feel strong, and every muscle in my body was sore the next day!  Did you ever think you can get sore from yoga??  Well, you definitely can!

The reason for doing 108 sun salutations, according to Yoga Inside Out, is the following:

- 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, analogous to a rosary).
- 108 is twice the number 54, which is the number of letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, one set of masculine (shiva) and one set of feminine (shakti).
- 108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas (movements linked to breath) in a Sun Salutation
- 108 is the number of Sutras in the Yoga Sutras
- 108 connects the sun, moon and earth as the average distance  of the sun and moon to earth is 108 times their respective diameters

What is a sun salutation?  Well, it sounds complicated, but when you actually go through the motions, it is not so bad.  Below, I have listed the 7 different postures (but 10 steps)to complete 1/2 a salutation.  A full sun salutation is once through, starting with the right leg, and once through, starting with the left.

  1. mountain pose
  2. forward fold
  3. high lunge
  4. plank
  5. chaturanga
  6. upward dog
  7. downward dog
  8. high lunge
  9. forward fold
  10. mountain pose
Try it out!  But, start with 3-5 sun salutations.  This is what we normally use to warm up our bodies in yoga, so 3-5 is usually good.  When you become more advanced, 10-12 is really good.  Save 108 salutations for each season as it can be quite taxing on the body if done too often.

Enjoy and please leave a comment below, letting me know how you felt after a yoga class!

Also, I'm doing a giveaway soon and working on my youtube channel, so let me know what you'd like to see!

Luana ola!