Today is the fall equinox and apparently doing 108 sun salutations to welcome the season is a thing. Why 108?
108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga. Traditionally, malas, or garlands of prayer beads, come as a string of 108 beads (plus one for the “guru bead,” around which the other 108 beads turn like the planets around the sun). A mala is used for counting as you repeat a mantra—much like the Catholic rosary.
Renowned mathematicians of Vedic culture viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. This number also connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters. Such phenomena have given rise to many examples of ritual significance.
According to yogic tradition, there are 108 pithas, or sacred sites, throughout India. And there are also 108 Upanishads and 108 marma points, or sacred places of the body.
Now, I love a challenge and 108 sun salutations (equated to the yoga version of a marathon) definitely sounds like one. It’s about 90 minutes of JUST Surya Namaskara! My gym is offering a guided practice in place of one of their regular classes, but even though I gave myself a three-day weekend and could attend, I decided getting my sun salutations on two days pre-tri was not the best decision for my swimming arms.
Instead, I’m moving! I moved my stuff all last weekend and my arms sure felt it, but it went away after a few days. Today and tomorrow, I have a bit more to do, but I also have some help and it has to be done, most of all for my sanity.
Having two homes, both in moderate states of disarray is not doing anything for my mental state. Disorganized space = disorganized mind! As much as I probably needed some calming mat time, I haven’t done
much any yoga all week because I knew I wouldn’t have been able to focus.
Once the triathlon is over and the move is complete, I’m rewarding myself with as much yoga as I want. The opportunity to practice 108 sun salutations is of course, always available, but as an organized activity, it comes around every three months. Winter solstice, I’m looking at you!