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Arrival of the sun and outdoor yoga: 108 Sun Salutations

June brings many things, the promise of warmth, sun and more outdoor yoga!

Picture by KathrynAnne Photography

As a Latina who grew up with 37-40 degrees all year and now living in less warm England, the arrival of summer or "shortsito season" is a big deal for me.

But I'm now the only one who celebrates the promise of the sun in fact, the whole yoga community celebrates this month as well. In 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga with the resolution 69/131.

And even thought nowadays when thinking of yoga most people think of asanas or the different postures and physical practices yoga is more than that. Yoga can be traced to northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in ancient sacred texts and in Sanskrit yoga means to join or to unite, symbolising the union of body and consciousness.

On the International Yoga Day (IYD) people come together to find their own way to welcome the summer, celebrate the equinox and to share their love to yoga and its benefits with different events like picnics, meditation sessions, asana practices and more. For me a very special way to celebrate IYD and to welcome the arrival of summer is to practice 108 surya namaskar or 108 sun salutations.

That's why this year I want to invite everyone living near Taunton and Wellington Somerset to celebrate Yoga International day with a 108 Sun Salutations on the 18th of June starting at 8:30AM in the grounds of The White Post Cafe.

Picture by KathrynAnne Photography

But why 108?

In the Yogic tradition, 108 is a very special number. Some people believe it is sacred. Even Vedic mathematicians viewed 108 as a number of spiritual completion. The diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth, while the average distance of the sun and moon to earth is 108 times their particular diameters; in astrology, there are 12 constellations and 9 planets (12×9=108); there are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet and each has a masculine and feminine form (54×2=108); there are 108 petals in a natural rose; and, malas come as a string of 108 beads that orbit like planets around the sun or “guru bead.” And there are many other examples that exist around the meaning and repetition of 108 in various religions, traditions and mathematic coincidences around the world.

It's believed that completing one set of Sun Salutations floods the nervous system with "solar energy," both balancing emotions and increasing higher cerebral activity.

Other benefits of 108 sun salutations include:

  • Energetic benefits: It is believed that the inner fire that you build during this practice cleans the body and the mind while helping us to get more in touch with ourselves.

  • Physical benefits: Different muscle groups are stretched and contracted alternatively. Increasing our flexibility and stamina.

When talking to other about this type of event (108 sun salutations) the one common concern is:

"How the heck am I supposed to complete 108 sun salutations!?"

Don’t worry about how many you do.

Maybe you get to 108, 20 or 5... You see, yoga is not a competition. Yoga is about moving with intention. Our intention behind the practice is what matters the most.

If you decide to join remember the most important part is to connect with your breath, allow the breathe deeply guide each movement with intention.

But if you can't join me this June 18th here is a video I recorded in the new year where I guide 108 sun salutations.

Hopefully see you very soon! Un abrazo x

Picture by KathrynAnne Photography PS: If you are looking to explore yoga from a compassionate and holistic approach feel free to get in touch for more information on my group and private classes.

PSPS: If you are looking for a talented, professional and warm human being to take gorgeous, natural and high quality pictures that captures the spark inside you and your love ones, I encourage you to visit Kathryn's website she took all the picture in this blog!

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