The Summer Solstice is quickly approaching, hopefully this means we’ll finally start to see some warmer days here in Maine! At Yoga in ME, we are celebrating the beginning of summer and the International day of Yoga at our event, Summer Solstice 108. This is going to be a fun, no pressure chance to invite the fire of the sun into your life. By practicing Sun Salutations, we will symbolically “burn away” all that you have outgrown and all that no longer serves you.
Okay, but what does that mean?
At this event, you’ll have the opportunity to practice as many (or few!) of the sun salutations as you’d like. This will be followed by a delicious Yoga Nidra practice. Sounds fun, right? If you’re still not convinced, here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this awesome event:
Why do Sun Salutations?
Many people think of Sun Salutations as a warm up – and they are definitely great for warming up! But Sun Salutations can be so much more. Sun Salutations can be a complete practice on their own. They are a great opportunity to work on moving with your breath. Sun Salutations move the whole body and the spine in many different ways. Linking this vigorous movement with breathe helps to built heat in the body which is thought to help “burn up” impurities.The internal heat (“fire”) that is built during this practice is thought to help detoxify the body physically, mentally, and emotionally.
So why do we do Sun Salutations for the Solstice?
In yoga tradition, Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar) are traditionally practiced in the morning to greet the sun. What better time to celebrate the sun and it’s life giving energy than the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year? 108 Sun Salutations are often practiced at the Solstices and Equinoxes to celebrate the change of seasons. This practice is a great way celebrate the internal and external transformations that come along with the beginning of a new season.
108 is a sacred number in yogic and ayurvedic tradition. 108 corresponds to the number of beads on mala string, as well as many significant texts and ideas in various ancient traditions. According to Shiva Rea, are 108 sacred points on the body, 108 Upanishads, and 108 Tantras. This number also corresponds to the distance between the Earth, Moon, and Sun. (The distance between the Earth and the Sun and the Earth and the Moon is roughly 108 times their respective diameters).
I don’t want to do all 108 Sun Salutations, can I still participate?
YES! All are welcome to participate in the Summer Solstice 108. Whether you are sitting in mediation the entire time, using a chair, practicing 5 half Sun Salutations, or doing the full 108, we hope you will join us. Just like all the classes at Yoga in ME, this event is meant for you to do as much or as little as you choose to do. Some of us will choose to do all the sun salutations. Some of us will choose to do a few. Others will choose to use chairs and some of us will have other variations we prefer. At Yoga in ME, all levels of practitioners and physical ability are welcome. If you can breathe, you can participate!
Thanks for reading our FAQ! If you have any other questions please feel free to ask us at the studio, call us, message us, or send us an email. We hope to see you at the Summer Solstice 108!