Day 108 : A new Yoga Tradition
April 18 is a special day for me. It is the 108th day of the year and the day on which, four years ago, I began a yoga practice that changed my life: 108 sun salutations for 108 days.
Why 108? Because it is considered the most sacred number in the yogic tradition. The practice of 108 sun salutations, also known as a Yoga Mala, is a series of prostrations usually done for specific intention: honoring a teacher on his or her birthday, raising funds for non-profit cause, or commemorating a special occasion like the solstice. My intention in 2010 was take my practice to the next level and explore the deep levels of consciousness.
For me, a yoga mala is a profound and revealing practice. At first, my body feels clunky and my mind scattered, but about halfway through, I release into the momentum of the movement and I feel free.
I invite you to do your own 108 practice on April 18 and join me. If you are in Montreal, you can join one of the events planned in person or you can join me in spirit wherever you are.
Here are some tips to set up a 108 practice:
- Intention This practice is a prayer or meditation in movement. A clear intention will keep you inspired.
- Counting If you are practicing with a friend, count out loud. One person counts odd numbers and the other even. In a group, each person counts a sun sal in turn. Alone, count in fours, twelves and nine sets of twelves.
- Holding Hold downward dog for five breaths every sixth sun salutation and two breaths every other.
- Patience & stamina The most challenging part of this practice for me is always the first three or four sets of sun salutations. After that, momentum carries you. Go slow, pay attention to your alignment, breathe and enjoy.
- Do what you can You don’t have to do all 108 Surya Namaskar. Factors of 108 like 27, 36 and 54 are also auspicious numbers!
- Take rest It’s very important to finish your Yoga Mala with savasana. It helps you integrate the work you’ve done.
Join Yasmin for her 108 Days of yoga and find an event near you here: http://yasminyoga.com/en/day108/
Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow has taught yoga for over 12 years. Also, an accredited ayurvedic practitioner and the producer of five yoga DVDs, she was born in Montreal and has a playful spirit. Her eclectic practices are infused with humor and creativity. In 2010, Yasmin completed 108 days of 108 sun salutations and became the first woman to break the Guinness World Records™ Record for the longest yoga marathon lasting 32 hours. She now spends her time leading yoga teacher training programs, giving workshops and mentoring others to reach great heights. www.yasminyoga.com