Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Equinox

In yoga studios across the world, tomorrow is a special day. The spring equinox represents a change in seasons, and in the yoga world is celebrated by doing 108 Sun Salutations.
Typically this ritual is performed 4 times a year, with the start of each season, to acknowledge the changing world around us.
The 108 Sun Salutation practice is named Mala, representing the 108 mala prayer beads used in meditation.

There are many reasons for the Hindu and Buddhist belief in the sacredness of the number 108.
  • There were initially 54 sounds in the Sanskrit alphabet: 2 X 54 = 108
  • There are 108 Upanishads, which are part of the oldest scriptural textsof 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.

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 mind, and is used as an offering to Peace and Unity.

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