Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Solstice and 108 Sun Salutations

The winter solstice is a special day of the year celebrated by many cultures because it marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 postures performed in a single, graceful flow. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility. Different styles of yoga perform the Sun Salutation with their own variations.

The number 108 carries spiritual significance in many cultures:
108 is the number of "Upanishads" comprising Indian philosophy's "Vedic texts".
108 is the number of names for Shiva (a really important Hindu god).
108 is the number of names for Buddha.
108 is the Chinese number representing "man".
108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan "mala" (prayer beads, analogous to a rosary).
108 is twice the number "54", which is the number of sounds in Sanskrit (sacred Indian language). 108 is six times the number "18", which is a Jewish good luck number.
108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas (movements linked to breath) in a Sun Salutation
1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands
for Infinity.

Yoga studios across the world gather on the solstice to honor the season and tradition. Typically this ritual is performed 4 times a year, with the start of each season, to acknowledge the changing world around us. It usually takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hours to complete. Some people believe that doing 108 Sun Salutations is a way of breaking out of the darkness that accumulated from the long winter. Join us at High Street Yoga on Monday 12/21 at 9:00 am for 108 Sun Salutations!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Barb, for reminding us to be more sensitive to the passage of the season. I have a fond memory of my placing small, scarlet flower of Nanten in the snow-covered cemetary of our family in Japan. Japanese celebrate the Winter Solstice along with the Summer Solstice, Spring Equinox and Autumn Equinox by remembering and "visiting" with the "souls of the past."
    Ken Kono