So you want to do 108 Sun Salutations, but secretly you are shaking in your Lulu’s because 108 sure seems like a rather high number and does that mean you’ll have to do 108 chatturangas and warrior 1’s? Maybe you’re worried you won’t be able to walk the next day. Or perhaps that you won’t be able to do all of the sun salutes and your pride can’t take the thought.
Here are a few tips and a handy video to make this process a little easier to swallow, as well as step onto your mat with grace and strength in the endeavor to complete 108 Sun Salutations.
First of all, what we’re really aiming for is to get a large group of yogis participating together as a way to lift the entire community up. The practice of 108 Sun Salutations is like the marathon of the yoga world. The idea is to challenge your mind as much as your body, while radically awakening your heart. By gathering together a healthy, strong, diverse group of yogis from within the community to do just this, we are offering hope. By using our bodies in a way that those you are currently struggling in an abusive relationship cannot, we are offering a reminder that anything is possible if we support one another. If we hold the space for transformation to occur, for personal growth, courage and evolution, than those who need it will be lifted up.
Whether or not you do all 108 downward facing dogs is unimportant to me. But showing up and participating, even if you only do 3, would mean the world to someone is isn’t showing up fully or authentically in her own life.
That said, here are the pieces of information you should know:
*The practice of 108 Sun Salutations should take no more than 75minutes or so, about the same length as your average yoga class and in some cases, shorter.
*Nothing fancy to these sun salutes. No Utkatasanas, Vira 1’s or pushups. Just lunges.
*You can and should take frequent breaks. Although we get into a very specific rhythm that is guided by instructions to breathe with every movement (which helps dissolve you into the practice and gives you less opportunity to think, “how many have we done so far?”), you are under no obligation to complete every single instruction. Listening to your body and your needs is a healthy practice and one we are trying to promote, in fact, with this benefit.
*Yes, you lower from Plank down to the floor and proceed into cobra pose, like you might in an ordinary vinyasa class. And as in those classes, you can modify how you lower down to the floor. You can bend your elbows a few inches and then simply lower your hips, as long as your shoulder remain steady and secure on your back, which will easily lead you into your cobra pose with minimal chatturanga effort.
I’ve created a demo video with 2 of the amazing women who will be participating in this years event. By random act of brilliance in yoga, they’ve also coordinated their outfits!
The video is about 6 minutes long and 10 Sun Salutes long. It should give you an idea of the rhythm of the practice, the language used and the many ways you can modify your own practice on the day of the event.
Thanks to Cheryl and Noelle for offering their Sun Salutation awesomeness to all of us for practicing opportunities.