108 Sun Salutations

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Apparently it’s customary in yogic tradition to complete 108 sun salutations on the summer solstice. You learn something new every day, right? Well one of my favorite yoga teachers at my studio posted about it the day before and said we would have a sun salutation packed class the next morning; I was excited. I knew we wouldn’t do 108 in a 45 minute class, but I was excited none the less.

I nearly jumped out of bed Wednesday morning bright and early. I got in a short arm and ab circuit in my apartment gym before driving to Grand Rapids for the 6am class. As promised, class was full of a variety of sun salutations. It was sweaty, beautiful, but as the girl who loves a good challenge, it didn’t totally fill my need.

I went through the day thinking about if I would attempt the challenge when I got home. I was leaning towards no, yet I was also intrigued by the meaning, the purpose, and what it could mean for this time in my life when I feel at such a major crossroads.

I came home feeling a bit tired, lethargic, and hungry. I skipped my (mostly) regular home from work, pre-dinner walk and made a bee-line for the kitchen. I cooked dinner; I made chia pudding for snacks the next couple of days; I cleaned the dishes. Then, I sat down to do some writing for a freelance piece. I got the intro written and noticed the little bit of sun peaking through the trees behind my building and hitting my patio.

I felt the call.

Next thing I knew, I was rolling out my yoga mat, grabbing water, and a piece of paper to keep track. It would only take 9 rounds of 12 salutes, to which I decided that seemed manageable, from both a counting and mental perspective.

I warmed up quickly. I found my groove counting…eventually. I took breaks between each set for a sip of water, breath, bathroom break, or whatever else I needed.

As I crossed each set off, I found myself not getting more tired, but rather, with each set, I became more empowered, strong, and energized. (The latter being a bit concerning knowing I’d be trying to go to bed shortly thereafter..ha!) From my reading prior to diving in, this doesn’t seem like an out of the ordinary phenomenon. In fact, this is a pretty normal reaction.

With each round, your core gets tighter, your arms get stronger, your feet get lighter, and your breath gets more focused. With each round, your intention gets rooted deeper, like the feeling of your feet grounded into the earth every time you stand.

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I heard people outside and in fact, I’m pretty sure I caught someone watching me. Something like this would usually make me self-conscious, make me stop, but it didn’t. I was so proud of what I was doing.

There is a shift happening. In me and in my world. I don’t exactly know what it is, but it’s good; I can feel that. This salute to the sun was full of my intention to myself, my future, and making my dreams come true.

When I finished I was sweaty, no doubt but like I said, I felt alive, strong, and energized. I felt ready to manifest and work (with ease) towards making my goals and dreams a reality. I felt so good that I was in fact a bit surprised when the next couple of days I was incredibly sore; when I think about it, it’s the reminder that not every step of this journey is going to be easy, even though it will be worth it.

While I don’t know what the next few months have in store for me, I do know that I am not backing down from living the life that I want to live, to follow the dreams that are within my heart, and to never be afraid of the challenge that lies before me every step of the way.

Are you up for the challenge? Maybe not 108 sun salutations, but life, love and the pursuit of your every desire?