13 Jun 108 SUN SALUTATION CHALLENGE
In Sanskrit Sun Salutations are called Surya (sun) Namaskar (salutation) and in India it is normal to start the morning greeting or saluting the Sun God, as the Sun is masculine energy.
The number 108 has been a sacred number in yoga traditions and philosophy for a long time. There are 108 chapters in the Rig Veda. 108 Upanishads. 108 Marma points in the body (acupunture points) and 108 primary Tantras. Also this number is considered to be the average distance that connects the sun, the moon and the earth.
WHY DO 108 SURYA NAMASKARS?
You can answer this for yourself when you have done it and let me know what you learned about yourself. But during Summer Solstice its great to do it as the sun is at its peak and reflecting the abundance we receive from the earth. No doubt is this a challenging practice. Think heat, fire, offering. It’s a very powerful experience to share with yourself or with a group of other students/friends.
You can do this practice by yourself but better yet; invite your friends and celebrate the Summer Solstice together. The group effort helps a lot and gets you through it. You can do an offering anywhere between 18-108 cycles of Sun Salutations. It takes close to two hours to complete all 108 rounds and requires a lot of strength and stamina.
If you know for sure you don’t have the strength and stamina to complete 108 Sun Salutations, try 18 Sun Salutations; choose how many you think you can do and flow steady toward that goal. If it’s challenging that’s good, one breath at a time, one salute at a time will get you through it.
KEEPING TRACK OF THE CYCLES AND ROUNDS
Some math is involved in keeping track of the cycles (1 surya namaskar is a cycle) and the rounds (one round is 27 cycles).
Find two empty bowls and 27 seeds or nuts; (use whatever you have):
* For 108 Sun Salutations place 27 seeds/nuts in BOWL 1 and after each completion of a cycle (a sun salutation whether A OR B), (before the last forward bend) place one seed/nut into BOWL 2.
When the 27 nuts/seeds are transferred from BOWL 1 to BOWL 2 you have completed 1st ROUND. For the 2nd ROUND transfer the nuts/seeds from BOWL 2 into BOWL 1. When all the 27 nuts/seeds are transferred back into BOWL 1 you have completed 2nd ROUND; and 54 SURYA NAMASKAR A’s.
Repeat in the same way another 2 ROUNDS but this time with SURYA NAMASKAR B; for a total of 108 SURYA NAMASKARS.
* For 18 Sun Salutations place 4 seeds/nuts in one of the bowls, and transfer back and forth 4 times just like above. for this to match up to 18, start off with 2 sun salutations just to get into the breath coordination and after that start placing the seeds in the bowl. 8 SURYA NAMASKAR A’s AND 8 SURYA NAMASKAR B’s.
DEDICATE EACH ROUND
1st ROUND: You can dedicate this round to yourself. It’s your a personal dedication. Focus on anything you are working on right now
2nd ROUND: This round can be dedicated to your family, friends, or even anyone you have unresolved issues with
3rd ROUND: This round can be dedicated to the world. Maybe focus on healing the world, or anything you are interested in
4th ROUND: This last round is a dedication to your higher Source (whoever, or whatever that might mean to you)
When all 4 rounds are complete move to the floor and sit in meditation, read something inspirationsal, chant. See video for suggested mantra/chant or add your own.
Then proceed to Shavasana and continue to soak up the rays, energy or the sun.
Close/End with OM, SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI, OM
Enjoy. Have Fun!
If you do it let me know how it goes. Send photos!!