In yoga tradition, each change in season is celebrated by doing 108 Sun Salutations. (This gives you three months to recover, ha ha!) This was the first time since I’ve been doing yoga that our class has actually tried this, and it was pretty cool!
Here’s a link to what the Sun Salutation looks like. It’s a collection of several poses all joined together. You go through the set, and that’s 1. Repeat 107 more times. (Our teacher did 4 sets of 27, with some stretching stuff in between which helped.) Sun Salutation A
Here’s some background information I found on the Web to explain:
The 108 salutation practice is named Mala, representing the 108 mala beads (prayer beads). There are many reasons for the Hindu and Buddhist belief in the sacredness of the number 108.
- There are 108 Upanishads, which are part of the oldest scriptural texts of Hinduism. They primarily focus on philosophy, meditation, and the nature of God.
- There are 108 names for Hindu deities.
- The distance between the earth and sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun, therefore, the number 108 is taken to represent the “distance” from the devotee to the divine.
- Some say there are 108 feelings: 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.
Some people believe that doing 108 Sun Salutations is a way of breaking out of the darkness that accumulated from the long winter. It’s a way of “spring cleaning,” your body and your mind.
All I know is my arms were quivering at the end, and today my shoulders/deltoids are sore! At first I was a little intimidated by the sheer number we were going to do, then actually pretty proud of myself that I could hang in there. At first it was just warming up, then getting into, then getting pooped, then rallying for the last set. Lots of thoughts and emotions come out during the whole session and overall, it was very gratifying.