What is a sun salutation?
In Hindu mythology, the Sun God is worshipped as a symbol of health and immortal life. The Sun Salutation originated as a series of prostrations to the sun. It is a series of twelve positions coordinated with the breath performed as one continuous exercise to stretch and warm up the entire body. It is designed to prepare the body for the Asanas (postures) practice.
Find out more (https://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/sun-salutation.html) and watch a demonstration (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPjvfqKiijA).
108 is considered a sacred number by several Eastern traditions, including Hinduism and yoga. Which is why for instance malas come as a string of 108 beads. A mala is used for counting as you repeat a mantra.
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. Such phenomena have given rise to many examples of ritual significance.
How to prepare for the challenge?
Come and take open classes at the Center! (full schedule available here)
Any “cardio” exercise will also be helpful in the lead-up to the event to build up energy and flexibility. If you are unsure about “physical requirement” remember that ultimately the main point of the event is to practice together and contribute to a greater project. It will be a wonderful opportunity to listen to our body, take a break when we need to and let the collective energy carry us through -- the power of community will take us there!
How long will the session take?
The entire session will last no longer than 1 hour and 30 minutes and will be entirely guided. We will start with a short initial relaxation and the opening prayer and pranayama, continueing with leg stretching exercises and then carry on with 108 sun salutation (54 salutations on the right side alternated with 54 on the left), with a few seconds break in between and taught in 3 segments of 18 complete rounds. We will conclude the session with a long, well-deserved final relaxation! You will find that the group energy helps to support each other, and will be happily surprised to find that you glided through the practice. This is not a competition. If you need to rest, just rest, and then start back up again. It's fun and a very powerful way to build prana.
What to bring?
Registered participants should be on location 15 minutes before the event to have time to get ready. The event will start promptly on time. You can bring your own mat or borrow one on location. It is recommended to not eat for one or two hours prior to practicing yoga but make sure you have some food (especially healthy carbs!) in the morning.
Don’t forget to bring water!
The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center Chicago is undergoing several projects of rebuilding, remodeling and reviving the original building at 1246 W. Bryn Mawr. The major renovation is complete, but there are still several additional projects underway. Help us give the center the TLC it deserves, as it supports our yoga practice and spiritual growth.
Together, we can do it!