"May the long-time sun shine upon you, all love surrounds you, and the pure light within you, guide your way on." - closing mantra in Kundalini classes
The summer solstice has been celebrated by festivals/rituals and it has become customary in yoga classes to perform sun salutation type sequences at this time of the year.
Gestures of honouring and paying reverence to the natural world are part of a yoga practice that encourages us to appreciate and feel more connected to the rhythms of life. In a world of uncertainty, a feeling of connection to the changing seasons can bring great comfort.
The Sun is a force essential to all life on earth. In one way or another, every living being is dependent on the Sun for life.
Consider your breathing; your breath nourishes you as the Sun nourishes the trees, who are vital to our exchange of life, creating the air you breathe. If you consider food, you’ll find the same is true, as the Sun nourishes the plants that make up most (if not all) of the human diet.
The Sun is important in many other ways as well, serving as the basis for time itself (days, years, calendars), as well as dictating the role of the seasons, growing cycles, and climates we find ourselves in.
But why 108 sun salutes? This is one of the key astrological moments of the year. This sacred number is vital... we have 108 nadis (energy channels in the body) that merge in the heart chakra, there are 9 traditional planets and 12 zodiac signs. 9 x 12 = 108, the Matrika Malini (Sanskrit alphabet) has 54 letters, each with a masculine and feminine vibration. 54 + 54 = 108, traditional malas (meditation beads) have 108 beads, there are 108 names for god in yoga.
So if 108 sun salutes are out of reach, you can also simply practice 9 salutations. There are 12 postures in a sun salute, and 9 x 12 = 108.
Lets super charge not only our solstice, but our entire summer season!
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