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Spring Equinox - 108 Sun Salutations

Sometimes we are tested,

not to show our weakness,

but to show our strength. ~ Unknown

The spring equinox will be on 20th March 2024 at 3:06 am and celebrating the light's return will be honoured through rituals worldwide. The health and spiritual benefits of practising 108 are endless and for thousands of years, yogis have come together to complete this challenging practice. Just completing one round of Surya Namaskara floods the nervous system with solar energy, balancing emotions and increasing cerebral activity. Physically it boosts immunity, strengthens the body and burns a whopping 1000 calories.

The significance of 108 can be found across many cultures and religions, mainly in Hinduism & Buddhism traditions. It is the number of known Upanishads (ancient texts Yoga was derived from in India). Kathmandu is said to be the capital of Buddhism and there are exactly 108 images of Lord Buddha, erected in and around the place in reverence of the Buddhist deity.

In Mystical Traditions and Numerology, numbers can be seen as messengers. When the number 108 appears in our life it may mean we are about to attain a long-desired goal or achievement. The number 108 consists of the individual numbers 1, 0 and 8.

The number 1 represents authority and leadership. It also represents new beginnings, taking initiative, and embarking on a new path of progress.

The number 0 is a mysterious one in that it represents both nothingness and eternity, but when combined with other numbers it will amplify the vibrational influence of the other numbers.

The number 8 is related to power and influence, abundance and achievement and the power to manifest desired outcomes. When this vibration becomes dominant in our lives we can expect to wield a great amount of influence in the chosen area of interest or our professional lives.

Another explanation is this: 1, 0, and 8: 1 stands for God or higher truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.

Whilst completing 108 rounds of Surya Namaskara is challenging, this ritual goes much deeper on a spiritual level developing inner peace and mindfulness whilst cultivating wholeness and connection to all of existence. It draws together some potent yogi practices such as Bhakti - devotion; Seva - selfless service and Tapas - effort, heat and discipline.

Over the years I have completed this practice a few times and always feel energised and deeply rejuvenated afterwards as well as a little stiff the next day.

I like to think of 108 as an internal spring clean, releasing what is no longer serving and clearing space for new growth to come in the Spring. It's important to work towards building up the rounds you complete at home each day within your practice. If you already have a regular practice starting three weeks before you embark on this challenge. If you are a complete beginner it is best to establish your practice first with a qualified teacher and focus on the foundations and alignment for your body whilst building a regular practice.

If you want to join this year's Spring Equinox 108 on Sunday 24th March 08:30 - 13:30 in Dunsden Village Hall, Oxfordshire, UK.

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