Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Hundred and Eight Sun Salutations...Really?

As our yoga teachers are fond of reminding us in the middle of the sweaty dirty crud-melting part of surya namaskar A (Sun Salutations)..."some people wake up and do 108 of these!" Really? 108 Sun Salutations. That is one hundred and eight of stand up, fold down, half flat, float back, plank, chaturunga, upward dog or cobra, down dog, float up, half flat, fold down, all the way up. Yeah. And that's just "A". At first glance this seems like something that will require extreme physical fitness and endurance.

It looks something like this:

Yep, I'm sure doing 108 Sun Salutations is going to require physical fitness, a high energy level from a great night of sleep and eating really well and a lot of pure guts and uumph in the endurance category. But, I'm already thinking of the strength that is going to be required on another level. There is no way to make it through 108 repetitions of a sequence without a solid mind. I just don't see how this is possible without tapping into my spiritual well. Keep my mind free from the mind clutter - yogash chitta vritti narodha. Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. My mind already intends to fluctuate.

I've been in classes where the instructor has led us through far too many (see, I already have an issue with too many!!) Sun Salutations for a typical Power Yoga class. I've done probably 30 - 45 mins of Sun Salutations. My mind is what catches me up every time. My mind is mostly silenced in a class with changing sequences and postures I can't yet get into. I have to focus on breathe and movement and let my mind still just to stay balanced in the posture.

It is the holding and repetitive asanas that make my mind wander further. Tadasana. Utkatasana. What am I going to make for dinner? Did I send that last document at work? I wonder what my husband is up to...did he clean the dishes like I asked? Then comes the deeper stuff. What am I DOING?! Why am I doing this? This is boring. This makes my joints sore. I keep getting sweat in my eyes. I'm slipping on my mat. I'm losing my breath. Why am I doing this? What am I achieving? And finally...what is my purpose?! What am I supposed to be doing with my life? How does this all fit in?

Oh yeah. Personally, I fully anticipate getting to that deep of questioning by the end of 2 hours of Sun Salutations. The dark nitty gritty mind wandering that happens with repetitive motion or stillness. I'm excited for the challenge. For the depth. For opening my practice to something new and intimidating for me. I am learning to silence my mind, I'm learning how to flow through gracefully and with peace and my muscles are learning to stay strong and yet take REST when needed.

I'm grateful to be surrounded by the beautiful community at Just B Yoga as we go on this 2 hour journey. Thank you to Belinda for putting on this great event! Tuesday, June 21 - 6-8pm. Bring it on. Try something new.


  1. I like this post. I'm excited for your challenge. But are you getting enough sleep? O_o

  2. Thank you! Umm mostly :) I'm learning to be a very deep sleeper haha.