Way back at YOLY Challenge #4, I explained how yogis utilize the Sun Salutation or Surya Namaskar to honor the sun during the summer solstice. In that post, I explained the postures in the series and the significance of the tribute.
New Year’s Day
Another auspicious day for performing the salute to the sun is New Year’s Day. January 1st is a day of new beginnings. We see the onset of the New Year as a big commencement point in our lives. It’s an opportunity to start fresh, change our habits and renew our goals, hopes and dreams.
The Number 108
As many of you know, 108 is the number of sun salutations associated with this ritual. We connect with the magic number 108 for many reasons. Here are just a few:
- There are 108 Upanishads (the sacred yogic texts).
- 108 sacred sites exist throughout India.
- The Sun’s diameter is 108 times that of the diameter of the Earth.
- Of the 72,000 nadis, there are 108 that are important – they are known as the ones that converge to form the heart chakra.
- This is why a mala (a beaded garland representing our spiritual essence) has 108 beads – each one signifies a nadi.
There are many more connections between the sacred culture, astrology and the number 108. But, in a nutshell, this number is so imbued in the Indian consciousness that 108 is the telephone number for emergencies, like 911 is in the U.S.
For many, 108 is a massive target to hit. Some years ago, our Yoga By Design studio hosted a New Year’s Sun Salutation event. It lasted approximately 2 hours – basically it was a yoga marathon! Some of us rested from time to time, re-hydrating or meditating, but there were students and teachers saluting constantly during that period – it was definitely a group effort!
So, let’s get together and make this New Year’s Salute another mass endeavor.
Try and set your sights on doing 12 sun salutations on January 1st.
If each of us does 12 sun salutations around the noon hour, we will most likely hit the magic number of 108. I mean with our current number of 99 followers, we could actually accomplish 1,188 sun salutations!
Om shanti, shanti, shanti