I am loving the start of this summer.
Don’t tell anyone but so far today I taught my hot class, taught 108 sun salutations immediately after, ran three miles and did this… and I haven’t showered yet.
I’m gonna shower now. I promise.
There are about a million different explanations for the significance of the solstice and its relation to the auspicious number 108. While I can’t say I fully understand the number or if I believe that its occurrence is little more than chance in some cases, I do know that its history transcends boundaries, appearing as a sign, omen or oddity in most major religions, mathematics, science, sports and, you know, Pokemon.
You can read all about the significance of 108, but these are some of my favorites:
- In astronomy there are 12 houses and 9 planets = 108
- There 108 energy channels converging at the heart
- There are 108 ayurvedic pressure points in the body
- There are 108 sins in Tibetan Buddhism
- The 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet, each with a masculine and feminine side = 108
- There are 108 stitches on a baseball
- Most importantly, the Pokemon Spiritbomb weighs 108kg
So in yoga it is customary to celebrate the solstice with 108 sun salutations. I led the practice with Tanner this morning and love, love, loved it. We mixed things up with salutation variations, including: A, B, X (a Y2 original), Stryker and Moon.
I had the class focus on the simplest meaning of 108 that I could find: 1 is the divine, the higher power, the everything; 0 is the emptiness, the nothing; 8 is the infinite. In true Y2 fashion we joked around and cursed up a storm, but I tried to bring them back to that number and the reminder that all of that resides in us: the everything, the nothing and the infinite.
I’ve done the 108 and will practice it tonight, too, but this was my first time teaching. It was powerful. It’s an intense physical practice, no doubt, and it’s a lot to ask someone to do. But brute strength is really not what will knock out 108 sun salutations; it’s mental fortitude that will pull you through. I know a whole lot of very physically strong people who could never finish that practice.
When I called the last salutation, I got chills. I got chills in a hundred-degree room because it’s amazing what the human body can do if the mind wills it so, because the energy of everyone working together was electric and because we were connected to other people all over the world who were doing the exact same thing.
So very cool.
I worked up quite an appetite and came home for a bangin’ sandwich of tempeh, hummus, pickles, cheese and Cape Fear pepper jelly.
Off to do whatever it is I do.
(Paperwork, teaching another class, practicing. Those are the things I do.)