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108 Sun Salutes

Spring Equinox Edition

Friday, March 23

with Jojo Jackson

Refocus your intentions with a powerful practice of 108 sun salutations and chanting in honor of the Spring Equinox! This balancing yoga practice is suitable for all levels of practitioners with a desire to deepen their practice by stimulating the body, balancing the mind and refocusing intentions on and off our mats utilizing mutable and moving energy of the Spring Equinox!

About the Spring Equinox:

The Spring Equinox is when both day and night are the same length, and daylight hours are on the rise. In Ayurveda, early spring is the latter half of the Kapha season—considered the first season of a new life cycle—and represents the creation of the beginning. Thus, spring is a season of birth, new beginnings, renewal, and rapid growth—a time for mother Earth to manifest the latent potential within all things. Because of this, the Spring Equinox is a powerful opportunity to act on a fresh or renewed start. 

The Kapha dosha grows strongest during this Kapha season of late winter and early spring when cold and dry temperatures of late Vata season (early winter) become a little warmer and wetter. Physiologically, our bodies are ready to lighten up, detoxify and grow out of late vata and early kapha season hibernation habits; spring is a perfect time to cleanse ourselves of any accumulated imbalances, and deeply rejuvenate our bodies. Emotionally, it is common to experience a renewed sense of joy and inspiration; spring is an ideal time to revitalize and put into practice the intentions we let settle in for contemplation during the cold winter months.  

About the number 108:
While 108 may seem like a random figure, there is no coincidence why this digit was selected as the number of times we will move though the sun salutation, as the number 108 has long been considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga, and a powerful astronomical number in ancient and modern science. Examples are: 
* The diameter of the Sun multiplied by 108 equals the distance between Sun and Earth 
*  The diameter of the Moon multiplied by 108 equals the distance between Earth and Moon 
*  The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth 
*  There 108 marma points (sacred places) of the body 
*  108 nadis (energy channels) converge to form anahata (heart) chakra 
*  There are 108 beads in a mala 
*  1 yuga (Earth cycle) is 2,160 years, which is 108x20 
*  12 astrological constellations and 9 arc segments form the zodiac; 12x9=108 
*  9 planets travel through the 12 zodiac signs; 9x12=108 
*  6 bija mantra represent the 12 names of the Sun; 6x18=108 and 9x12=108 

Overall, the number108 is representative of wholeness and oneness through all of existence; half of 108 (54) represents the divine masculine (Shiva/ Purusha) and divine feminine (Shakti/ Prakriti) energies that moves through us all.

About the Sun Salute & Mantra:
The term Surya Namaskara comes from the Sanskrit words Surya, meaning “the sun” and Namah, meaning “hail (to)” or “salutations (to)”; hence the term “Sun Salutations.” To deepen our honoring of and connection to the sun’s radiant energy during pitta season, we will incorporate the devotional (bhakti) practice of repetitive chanting (japa mantra) of the six seed syllables (bija mantra) Hram Hrim Hrum Hraim Hraum Hrah while moving through the sun salutations. These six bija mantra are representative of 12 names of Surya (the sun). By chanting these seed syllables while moving through the sun salutations, we can better align and tune ourselves to the sound vibrations of the sun’s energy and energize our practice on and off our mats. 

About the 108 Sun Salute practice:
We will actively exist in the moment of this powerful solstice by practicing the classical Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) to stoke our internal fire (agni) and cultivate self-discipline and perseverance in order to detoxify and purify our body through that heat (tapas), and to serve as a catalyst to energize our personal drive and self-determination for positive change and devotion to our intentions on and off our mats. 

Each workshop participant will move through 108 sun salutations and hear 108 japa mantra, but will only chant the mantra 54 times. At the beginning of the workshop, everyone will be assigned either “Shiva” or “Shakti,” and the 108 sun salutations will be broken down into nine segments of 12 sun salutations. Whichever “Shiva” or “Shakti” group chanted the bija mantras in one segment, the other group will resume in the beginning of the next segment. 

We will take short breaks in between segments to rest, meditate, take water or restroom break, walk outside or however the student feels fit. We will observe peaceful silence (mauna) as we hold this resting space. 

We will conclude the practice with a seated, silent, unguided meditation (5 minutes), then move into savasana for the duration of practice. During savasana, JoJo will ring and drone singing bowls while chanting the Ayurmantra for health and wellbeing. We will then conclude class with a single chant of OM. 


1011 Fatherland Street  d  East Nashville, TN 37206

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