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The 108 Sun Salutations Yoga Challenge in Prince Rupert

Front left to right: Kieren Nelson, Jessica Martin, Madhu Sharma, Trish Urbanowski, Cori O
Front left to right: Kieren Nelson, Jessica Martin, Madhu Sharma, Trish Urbanowski, Cori O 'Connor, Dinesh Gautam, Morgan Sundin, Lisa Anderson, Susan Crowley, Jennifer Rice, Kiera Fillion. Missing: Karen Kowal
— image credit: Contributed

On Saturday, June 2, students of Traditional Yoga Studio in Prince Rupert participated in a Yogathon -- the 108 Sun Salutations Yoga Challenge.

Surya Namaskar AKA sun salutations brings more prana (life force) into the system by opening and energizing the body. Surya meaning sun and Namaskar stemming from the Sanskrit word “namas” meaning to bow or adore. The number 108 has long been a number of significance in India, the birthplace of yoga. Yoga Master & Instructor leading the Yogathon Dinesh Gautam said, “The greatest obstacle to completing 108 rounds of sun salutations is not the body but the mind”.

The Yogathon took about two hours to complete and had participants preform a series of 12 asanas (yoga postures) 108 times.

“There is a point while doing the series where your mind is wondering. How many more of these things are left? I can’t possible do another one, but eventually there is a rhythm that kicks in and you feel like you could go on forever,” commented participant Jennifer Rice.

There are various theories of why the number 108 is significant in India, which has given rise to rituals involving the number.

·      The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) that was thought to have special numerological significance.

·      The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra.

·      Renowned mathematicians of Vedic culture viewed 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. This number also connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters.

At about 54 rounds, the halfway point of the challenge, a stream of sunlight beamed down from the skylight in the middle of the studio. “I thought to myself”, said Rice, “Well it worked the sun is out, we can go home now but that was just my mind playing tricks on me and I carried on a did 54 more rounds”.

Sources: Traditional Yoga Studio facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/tiyoga & http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz

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