Monday, June 21, 2010

Yoga Mala

Yoga Mala is a practice that Yogis enjoy during each turn of the seasons. Cleansing, challenging, and gratifying, the 108 sun salutations of Yoga Mala allow us to begin the new season with a meditative and awakened state of body and mind. There are many reasons that we practice 108. There are 108 Upanishads, the anciets Vedic texts. There are 108 beads on the Mala prayer bracelets. There were originally 54 sounds in the Sanskrit alphabet, which doubled is 108.

I started practicing Yoga Mala about ten years a go and have been in love with its powerful message ever since. Four times a year I come to my mat and move through Surya Namascar A, the first group of sun salutations in the Ashtanga primary series. I always find the first fifty four to be the most challenging as my mind frantically tells me to stop and do anything but another fifty four sun salutes. As my mind becomes quiet and the flow of my breathing takes over, this practice becomes enchanting, better yet, meditative. For today's summer solstice I will step onto my mat with a student and good friend of mine and we will welcome in summer 108 times!

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