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how to prepare to offer a mala of 108 surya namaskar A

how to prepare to offer a mala of 108 surya namaskar A

by Beth Gineris beth gineris
Practice Yoga | Hatha Yoga | | Tips | | What is Hatha Yoga |

create a meaningful connection to the new season of light

Surya Namaskar A, sun salutation, is a 12 pose sequence that assists in the rising of your kundalini energy and has a reverent quality to it.

The sun salutation A and B are a powerful way to begin your day so that you are centered and balanced from a spirit, mind, and body persepctive. Simply practicing these two sequences daily will enhance your spiritual practice and well-being.  

A conscious practice of nine for each of the suyra namaskar a and b can be used as powerful medicine in returning you to balance in your life and living experience.

One meaningful ritual is to offer a mala of 108 sun salutation sequences on the change of the season. In this way you are increasing your connection to the sun and the yang-creation energy of life and you are honoring your relationship with nature and the meta balance of humanity and energy.

Here is a brief description of the sun salutation, Surya Namaskar A sequence:

• Traditionally, it is best done facing east as the sun is rising.  Each pose is connected to an inhalation or exhalation of your breath with the exception of the middle downward-facing dog, which is a resting pose of 5 breaths, following this pose you have a foot-to-hand-jump transition pose.

• It begins with Tadasana, standing mountain pose, hands at your heart, eye gaze inward at your heart with a light knowing of gratitude.

• Then with an inhalation Urdhva Hastasana, (Upward Salute), palms and eye gaze upward toward the sky, perhaps opening your chest allowing the flow of light into your heart.

• Exhaling move into Uttanasana (Standing forward bend) hands flowing downward as you bend at your hips, back flat and straight, as you complete your exhalation focus your gaze toward your legs with your chin islightly tucked to elongate your neck and spine.

• Inhale and move your chin, chest and eye gaze up with a flat back and strong rooted legs, your hands are gently pressed against your lower shins, Ardha Uttanasana (half-standing pose).  Your eye gaze is at a space 2 or 3 feet in front of you and your attention is inward with a quality of inspiration.

• Exhale and jump your feet back into plank pose, your arms strong, shoulders above wrists, forehead pushing foreward and heels pulling backward.  Within this same exhalation diectly move into Chaturanga Dandasana (four-limbed staff pose) bend your elbows and bowing down and through shifting your weight to shift so that your elbows are parralel with the floor.  Your eye gaze down and your attention is reverent.

• Inhale at the end of your Chaturanga and Move directly into Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (upward-facing dog pose) press trhough your toes to come to the tops of your feet, press down through your hands, lift your shoulders, arms strong, eye gaze goes past the tip of your nose, allow your inhalation to further open and strengthen your chest filling you with grace and light.

• Your next exhale brings you to Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward-facing dog).  Tuck your toes and use the strength of your belly to move your hips and back into a strong line - at your bent hips create a straight line from your wrists through your shoulders. Your eye gaze is toward the floor with your neck relaxed.  Take five full breaths in this position.

• On your inhalation bend your knees keeping your arms straight and jump forward to Ardha Uttanasana (half-standing pose) lift your chin, chest and gaze woth our hands gently on your shins. Maintain a straight spine, allowing the peace and joy you have created to build wthin you.

• Exhale and fold forward into Uttanasana (standing forward bend). Hands next to your feet, straight back with your eye gaze at your legs.

• Inhale and rise with your arms at your heart center moving through and up toward the sky,your gaze following, Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute).

• Exhale and move into Tadasana (Mountain Pose).  Gaze lightly infront of you, your internal attention expereincing the benefits of this round of the sequence.

To prepare to offer a mala of 108 Sun Salutations begin with 18 rounds of this sequence on your first day.

Add 9 to 18 rounds for each day following until you have reached 99.

This will take you between 5 to 9 days, depending on your apptitude and strength. You may want to have 108 pebbles or beads that you can move from one bowl to another to count as you move through each full sequence.

A powerful time to offer this tyoe of mala of 108 sun salutes is at the change of the season, either the equinox or the solstice.  

Since the number 108 represents the whole of existence it is a ritual that can be powerful at anytime that has valence for you and is related to light and the sun.

The practice of preparing for this kind of an event can be useful to not only strengthen your physical body and enhance your endurance, it can also serve to deepen your spiritual connection and mindful understanding of yourself.  

Preparing for such an endeavor creates the space for cleansing and renewal, and allows for you to rekindle your internal fire and light in a powerful, rejuvenating, deeply honoring fashion.