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5 Reasons to try 108 Sun Sals for Summer Solstice

The practice of offering 108 Sun Salutations is deeply significant in honoring the changing of the seasons, particularly in marking the Summer Solstice. This tradition is rooted in both symbolic and practical underpinnings of yoga history, tying together the rich science of solar measurements with the cleansing practice of asana, clearing the mind and body for fresh input and a demarcation of intention and clarity between who we are and who we want to become, season to season.

Here’s 5 Reasons you should make a yearly practice of 108 Sun Salutations to honor the Summer Solstice:

1. Tying the Past to the Present: Doing 108 Sun Salutations dates back to somewhere between 1500-500 BCE when vedic yogis would use this ritual to mark the changing of the seasons. Continuing this lineage of movement connects us to our past and the basic principles of why we do yoga.

2. Personal Transformation: 108 Sun Salutations is a unique challenge, a ritual rinsing if you will, serving as a Deluxe Wash for mind and body and the ultimate moving meditation to clear out the old to make space for the new. 

3. Connection to the Cosmos: The number 108 holds celestial significance and alignment regarding the distance of the Earth to the Sun (108 times the Sun’s diameter) and the distance of the Earth to the Moon (108 times the Moon’s diameter). The incorporation of this number into our practice is a wider reflection of the universe beyond our mats.

4. Community Connection: Coming together to honor the seasons by sharing breath, movement, and space allows us to foster a sense of shared values, like overcoming obstacles and embracing transformation, as well as unity with the Earth’s natural rhythms and our collective significance to that rhythm of life. 

5. You Can do Hard Things: Doing 108 Sun Salutations may test edges you didn’t know you had as it is a very different kind of yoga practice than we are used to. Novel challenges are great for releasing dopamine and creating new neural pathways in the brain. 

Don’t forget to hydrate before your 108, and remember it’s perfectly acceptable to modify as needed. Ask your teachers for suggestions like skipping chatarunga or taking an all fours option. We hope you enjoy practicing this meaningful and profound tradition. Namaste.

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