Sunday, March 20, 2016

Put Some Spring in Your Step (or in your vinyasa!)

10:30PM tonight in Medicine Hat marks the vernal equinox .  At this time, the sun will cross the equator and shed equal amounts of light on each hemisphere.  All over the world, day and night will be balanced to about 12 hours for each.  However, nothing stays balanced forever and after this time, we in the Northern Hemisphere will begin our journey towards the light. 

The vernal or spring equinox is also known here in the North as the official beginning of spring. Sunrises begin to get earlier, sunsets begin to come later and temperatures begin to rise. Energetically, this is a time of new life, new beginnings, optimism and hope.  To add to the celebration, this year will be the earliest arrival of spring (or the earliest spring equinox) since 1896! Let's celebrate this sacred time by doing 108 sun salutations.

Why sun salutations?
The equinoxes and solstices are about the journey of the earth around the sun as we chart the sun's position relative to the earth.  Sun salutations are the yogic tradition of expressing our gratitude to the sun.  With the spring equinox, we're honouring the fact that the sun is returning to provide us with warmth, light and optimism.  

Sun salutations are also a way to honour the sun or the light that shines within.  What do you want to shed light on this coming spring?  Is there a new hobby you want to try?  Is there a new place you want to visit?  Is there a new way you want to feel?  Sun salutations not only work the body, but they can also work with the mind. Setting intentions and coming back to your intention as you flow through your sun salutes is a way to honour where you would like to go and what reality you would like to create.  

Why 108?
108 is a number that is sacred and special in the yogic and many other traditions.  Our friend Google can provide you with many examples, but I'll list some here to help pique your curiosity.

  • 1 to 1st power (1x1)=1; 2 to 2nd power (2x2)= 4; 3 to 3rd power (3x3)=27 / 1x4x27=108 
  • 9 & 12 are sacred numbers in many traditions.  9x12=108
  • 1+0+8 = 9.  9 is the number of the numerical scale (1-9)
  • distance to the sun is 108 times that of the earth (you would need to travel the earth 108 times to reach the sun)
Different traditions:
  • there are 108 names for Buddha
  • there are 108 names for Shiva (an important Hindu god)
  • there are 108 beads on a Catholic rosary
  • there are 108 beads on a Tibetan mala (prayer beads similar to rosary beads)
  • 108 refers to God in the Islamic tradition
  • 108 is six times the number "18" which is an important number in the Jewish tradition
  • In astrology there are 12 planets and 9 houses  (9x12=108)

Up for the challenge of 108 sun salutes?  See you tomorrow night at 7:00PM.  Bring a donation for the SE Alberta Child & Family services, your intention for the upcoming spring and your sense of fun because we're going to have a good time!!

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