Saturday, June 22, 2013

108 Sun Salutations

              Last night for the first day of summer, my gym was holding a night of 108 sun salutations to kick off the summer. 108 sun salutations is part of a ritual in yoga to celebrate the changing of the seasons. There are many interpretations of what does 108 mean. You can read about one here and here. I really found the second article quite interesting. Last night, my yoga instructor  told us  the meaning of each digit in the number 108. The "1" stands for the one and only, the "0" stands for nothing but at the same time everything and the "8" when flipped sideways, represents the infinity symbol.
               I wanted to be a part of this yoga ritual for the experience and to see if I could really do 108 sun salutations in a row. I thought I would get really tired and have to stop, but we did the sun salutations in 9 sets of 12 and it actually was not bad at all. However, afterwards, my shoulders started to feel it from all the upper to lower planks within the sun salutation. If you have taken a yoga class before, you have probably done at least one variation of a sun salutation, but for those that do not know, here is a picture of sun salutation A that we did 108 times.
        My favorite part of this experience was being able to do yoga right on the pool deck and at night as the sun was setting. Though it was a pretty rainy and cloudy day yesterday, I was happy that the rain had passed by the time of this event so that I could enjoy yoga outdoors.
        As we went through each sun salutation, I did not focus on the count of how many we were up to, but instead listened as the instructor called out "breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out, hands up, hands to heart center..." With each yoga class that I go to, the instructor always reminds us to breathe because yoga is not about the poses and how flexible you are, it's about breathing. While I stayed focused on my breath, I was able to relax and just flow with the sun salutations. Sometimes, I missed a movement, but I was always able to find my way back.
      Here are some pictures from the evening:

the moon over the pool

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