Join us tomorrow morning, Friday, June 21st, as we kick off summer solstice with 108 sun salutations! We look forward to sharing this practice with you at Gemmill Park! Join us and the birds, at 5:30 am, for some gentle warm – ups and then in your own time we’ll move through 108 sun salutations (or as many as your body wisdom guides you to cycle through). Come for the whole practice, or just come and do a few rounds with us and head off as you need.
Where in the park will we be? at the end of the gravel road into the park ( the entrance by the skatepark and the soccer pitch, we’ll be at the end of that road, beside the canteen.)
We practice surya namaskar, or sun salutations, to welcome in positive energy and new beginnings. We move and breathe to release old patterns of stress and tension so we can feel our best and be open to opportunities. This is a powerful practice to do at summer solstice, setting intentions.
We hope you can join us!
Why 108? If you’d like to delve deeper into this question, then please read on!
108 has long been thought of as a sacred number, it represents the number of beads in a meditation mala, when we move through the whole cycle of 108 with mantra repetition and the movement of the beads, we come to a place of balance in our endocrine system, sustained concentration and determination, greater clarity and calm, and we raise our vibration to attract what we need to come realize our potential.
In yoga we are often reminded that “as above, so below,” and when we start to drill down into our human form we continue to find the number 108 over and over again. Were we to draw a five-pointed star (representing a human being) inside a circle (a planet) and we would find 108 degrees staring back at us from every angle. Deeper into the microcosm of the human being, it is said there are 108 energy lines, or nadis, converging to form the heart chakra, and there are 108 marmas (pressure points), or sacred parts of the body.
The number 108 is significant across different cultures and disciplines. The number 108 is the form of the architecture of sacred texts that are central to eastern philosophy and to yoga. As pointed out by the yoga scholar Shiva Rea, the Rig Veda is composed of 108 chapters. The primary Tantras are 108, while the Upanishads are also 108. Their texts are written in Sanskrit that is comprised of 54 letters, each letter having both the masculine and feminine forms. When we multiply 54 by 2, we arrive at the number 108.
Throughout spiritual teachings beyond the traditional yogic texts, we are reminded of this number in our search for liberation. Hindu deities have 108 names, and India is said to have 108 sacred sites. In Jainism there are believed to be 108 virtues. In China, some forms of Tai Chi have 108 moves. While in Tibetan Buddhism there are 108 delusions. Many Buddhist temples have 108 steps representing the 108 steps to enlightenment, and in Japan, at Zen Buddhist temples, a bell is chimed 108 times at the end of the year closing a cycle to serve as a reminder of the 108 earthly temptations a person must overcome to achieve nirvana.
Like the mantra Aum, 108 seems to have an essence that connects us to the whole.