the 108 for SPLC – july 4 @ 9a
every year on july 4 (and now new year’s day), we join together for 108 sun salutations…a traditional practice of meditation in motion to honor all life on the planet. this year, we’re gathering on Zoom, but we’ll be together in our intention to support the Southern Poverty Law Center in its quest to end violent extremism and demand racial justice.
what is a sun salutation?
sun salutations (surya namaskara) are the warm ups we use in our FLOW classes. historically, they were performed to honor the sun at the beginning of each day.
there are many different kinds of salutations, as you may know from our SALUTATIONS class…the one that we use for the 108 is the simplest, and most easily adaptable: sun a.
sun salutation a is composed of 8 poses, linked together with breath in a flowing sequence. the salutations build heat in the body and stretch the spine forward and back and prepare the body for the stronger, deeper postures that follow.
108 is a sacred number in many world cultures. in mathematics, it’s an abundant number, a semiperfect number and a tetranacci number; plus, it’s the sum of 9 consecutive #s: 8 + 9 + 10 + 11 + 12 + 13 + 14 + 15 + 16 = 108. in astronomy, the sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth…and, wait for it, there are 108 stitches on a baseball (my personal favorite…especially now that MLB is back on!!) and there are 108 cards in an Uno deck.
a hindu/buddhist prayer necklace (mala) contains 108 beads or stones where each one can represent a prayer or mantra (the Catholic rosary has 54, or one-half of 108). in yoga practice there is a belief that the soul resides in the heart center at the intersection of 108 energy channels (nadis). it is also believed that when a prayer or mantra is recited 108 times, it travels to these channels which in turn radiate out to all parts of the body.
108 sun salutations is often performed in a practice of offering or service. when we all come together to move as one with a common purpose, cool things happen.
how long does it take?
it will probably take about an hour and fifteen minutes for all the salutations, but we’ll have a little warm up and finish off with some opening and restorative postures and a nice long Savasana. you can feel free to leave as you need to, although it’s always nice to close the practice together.
will i be able to keep up?
absolutely. if you have taken our online vinyasa classes – SALUTATIONS, FLOW or JAM, you will be able to do this practice. it’s a challenge, but it’s a doable challenge.
you can modify as much as you like. check out our Secret Menu blog post to learn the modifications that are right for you. the movements are simple…and the idea is to go slow, breathe, and take good care of your body.
the best way to be ready is to take a few of our SALUTATIONS, FLOW, or JAM classes over the next couple of days to get used to the flow and the breathing.
do i have to do all 108?
do as many or as few as you like. one of the beautiful things about Zoom is that you can do a few, take a coffee break and come back…or, you simply rest in seated meditation, child’s pose or savasana for the one’s you’d like to skip and stay in the flow of breath and mindfulness.
it’s a challenging practice for sure: you’ll get a serious sweat on, but it’s also very do-able. we’ll show some different options that will allow you to add/subtract intensity to keep yourself strong, steady, and calm.
how do we keep count?
we will have four teachers zooming in to lead via livestream video. each teacher will count the salutations in three sets of nine. we take three breaths in standing meditation between each set of nine. with an extra breath between each set of 27. we’ve adapted it a bit for the online format, because adaptation is the name of the game these days!
is there an extra fee?
this class is free to livestream and all-access members. you can also drop in by purchasing a class on our web site. tee shirts/tanks are $30 and will send an additional $3 to the Southern Poverty Law Center…contact us for details on how to get yours!
the 108 will be our only class on the 4th.
- never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
- margaret mead