108 Sun Salutation Challenge

What is a Sun Salute

A regular Sun Salute consists of 9 yoga postures done one after the other to the breath. Inhale you do one of the nine postures and exhaling you do the next posture and so on until you have done all of the 9 postures. When you get to Down Dog which is the posture in the middle you hold that posture for 5 complete breaths.

How is a 108 Sun Salute different

A 108 Sun Salute is slightly different. The 9 postures are still there. You still move to the breath in the same way. The difference is that you do not hold the Down Dog posture for 5 breaths. You hold it for an exhale only and then you move on to the next posture.

When do you do a 108 Sun Salute Celebration

The 108 Sun Salute is done for special occasions. Traditionally the 108 Sun Salute Celebration is done at the change of the seasons. On the day of the Equinoxes and the Solstices you do the 108 Sun Salutes.  As it's just starting to feel like summer in Ireland, we are going to perform them on Saturday 14th May at 7:30am!

Why so early?  Traditionally 108 Sun Salutes are done when the sun starts to rise in the morning.  But I've decided to give you all a lie on and we will start at 7:30am instead!

Why 108?  108 can be found in mathematics, astronomy, in scriptures and beyound.  For example, the distance between the earth and the sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun.  On a set of Mala beads you will find 108 beads or some fraction there of. There are 12 constellations and 9 arc segments. 9 times 12 equals 108.  The sacred River Ganges in India spans a longitude of 12 degrees and a latitude of 9 degrees.  According to Chinese martial arts, there are 108 pressure points in a human body.  Many spiritual temples have 108 steps. 

Some say there is not enough proof to determine the significance of 108, only you can make that decision!

How do we keep count!  

The 108 Sun Salutes are broken up into nine groups of 12 Sun Salutes each. After each group of 12 Sun Salutes we take a break by holding the last Sun Salute of each group for the full 5 breaths just like a regular Sun Salute. This results in 8 rest breaks during the 108. How do we keep track of where we are at so that we do not miss our rest breaks.

We use 108 glass pebbles to keep track of the Sun Salutes. The pebbles are grouped into 9 clusters of 12. As you complete a Sun Salute a pebble is moved from the pile into a dish. There is no need to try and remember how many Sun Salutes you have done and how many are left when you use this method.

What if I get tired

You can take a break if you get tired. You should always pay attention to your body and the requests or demands it is making of you. If your body needs a break then definitely take a break.

How do I take a break

You take a break by coming to child’s pose. Drop to your hands and knees. Lower your hips to your heels and your forehead to your mat.

Stay here with your forehead on your mat until your body has recovered and you are ready to resume doing the Sun Salutes.

How do I get started again

To resume the Sun Salute come back up into Down Dog and wait for everyone else to come to Down Dog as well. Once everyone is in Down Dog, start moving with them through the rest of the postures in the Sun Salute.

How long does it take to do 108 Sun Salutes

A 108 Sun Salute Celebration takes less time to complete compared to the regular Sun Salute because you do not hold Down Dog for 5 breaths.

The 108 Sun Salutes go a lot quicker than everyone expects. You can complete the 108 Sun Salutes including the 8 rest breaks in about an hour.

Can anyone do the 108 Sun Salutes

Anyone that can comfortably do a regular Sun Salute will be able to do the 108 Sun Salute Celebration. It’s a fact that most people that try it for the first time are surprised at how easy it was to complete the 108 Sun Salutes and how quickly it went.


When?              Saturday 14th May 2016, 7:30am

Where?             Our Lady's Beach (across from the church) in Blackrock, Co.Louth

How much?      €10

What to bring?  Yoga mat/towel, water, pma (positive mental attitude!)

 To book your place, call or text Shirlí on 087-3737108, email info@shirliyoga.com, fb: shirli yoga

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