Last Saturday, June 21st, a few friends and I met at the lake in my neighborhood and performed 108 Sun Salutations with the sunrise. Here’s my post on why we did such a crazy thing – 108 Sun Salutations.
And if you’re not familiar with a Sun Salutation, here’s a good visual. Each “1” is 9 movements performed on an inhale or an exhale.
I arrived about 5:45 a.m. to check out the spot, and unload my yoga mats. Kristen and I were promptly greeted with a spray of water from a nearby sprinkler. I’m not talking a little mist at your ankles. This was full on, entire side of your body sprayed with a sprinkler. Good thing I brought towels, because we had to use them before we even started! This woke us up REAL fast.
The morning could not have been more perfect. It was BEAUTIFUL!
When everyone arrived, we did a quick little warm-up to get the blood flowing and then got straight to it. 108 repetitive movements is a daunting task, so here’s how we broke them up:
- 9 rounds of 12 sun salutations
- At the end of each round we all took a child’s pose for about 5 breaths – got a drinkasana, took a towel breakasana, you get the point. I tried my best to keep them moving, and not let the breaks last too long.
- Keeping count – oh, this was a tough one. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep track of 108, so I brought 9 river stones I had laying around. I put them in a pile at the front of my mat, and after each round I moved 1 rock to a separate pile. This way I would only have to count to 12. After about Round 2, counting to 12 became difficult as well. Thankfully my good friend, Amber, is always prepared! She happened to bring pretty rocks with her which I confiscated and used those to count to 12. Who knew this would be so difficult?!
When I’ve read of people doing this before, they spread it over 3-4 hours, take breaks, switch teachers, etc. We were able to perform all 108 in a little over an hour. We met at 6 a.m. and when I checked my clock at the end it was 7:20 a.m. I’m not positive on the time we actually started doing our Sun Salutations. We spent a little while catching up and doing our warm-up before we really got down to business.
The thought seemed daunting, but collectively, I think everyone was surprised by how quickly time passed. For me, the first two rounds were difficult. I kept thinking things like, “this is taking forever” and “I still have 96 to go?!” By round 3, I had completely settled down and it just became second nature. I stopped thinking, and just did it. The first two rounds I was trying to count, which could contribute to why it was so difficult. By round 3, I had stolen Amber’s pretty rocks so I didn’t have to keep track. Every round went by more quickly than the last. When we were all finished and I told everyone they had just completed 108, there was a resounding “That’s it?!”
I felt fantastic afterward. So relaxed and so accomplished! A couple of hours later when I taught my 9:15 a.m. class we continued to play with Sun Salutations and the number 108. Since time was limited, we stuck to 9 Sun Salutations with 12 chaturanga push-ups each round. I think they loved me. 😉
If you ever get an opportunity to perform 108 Sun Salutations with friends, do it! You won’t regret it. We all had a great time and it was the perfect way to kick off summer.