Fall Equinox Embrace


Just as the trees begin to change colour and shed their leaves one by one, we have the opportunity to release what we no longer need. Fall is a precious time of change, full of wonderful lessons from nature. However, the shift can be emotionally, mentally, and even physically challenging. This shift indicates a period of more quiet, introversion, and for many people around the world, also a time to get back to school or studies. As such, it can be a powerful time for personal development and self-study. It is also a time to enjoy getting cozy, lighting candles, and listening to the sound of the rain (especially in Vancouver!).

So what can we do to support ourselves through this time of change in the seasons? How about 108 sun salutations? Yes, you read that right. In yogic traditions, it is common to practice 108 sun salutations during the equinox and solstice. Paying respect to the change in seasons, the coming and going of the sun, and what Mother Nature has to offer us in deep teachings.

108 is also an auspicious number. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The number 108 appears in ancient, sacred texts. For example, there are 108 Upanishads and 108 Tantras

  • In numerology, 108 equals 9, which symbolizes universal love, eternity and awakening

  • In Ayurveda, there are 108 sacred points on the body

  • In astronomy, the distance between the Sun and Earth is roughly 108 times the Sun’s diameter

  • There are 108 energy lines (meridians) that run through the heart

This fall equinox, I will be leading a 3 hour yoga workshop, embracing the fall and practicing 108 sun salutations at Body Balance Vancouver. Curious if this practice is for you? Here is a Q & A to honour your curiosity.

image via Yoga Unity

image via Yoga Unity

Q. Do I have to be an advanced yogi to come of this workshop?
A. This workshop is intended for those familiar with the basics of yoga asana. The physical practice of 108 sun salutations is rigorous and knowledge of alignment is key to having a powerful practice and avoiding injury. So if you are brand new to yoga, we invite you to practice your sun salutations more before joining us for a future event. This workshop is best for yogis at an intermediate or advanced level.

Q. Do I have to do all 108 sun salutations?
A. The power of this practice is in staying with the heat we generate, but resting and visualization are highly encouraged. Take your time with the practice. Stay in child’s pose or downward dog, sit and breathe, do what you need to do to recoup throughout the practice.

Q. Do we actually do yoga for 3 whole hours?
A. The workshop will include an introduction and a reflection period at the start and end of the asana practice. You can expect to get your sweat on for 90-120 minutes.

Q. What can I do to best prepare?
A. Drink lots of water in the days prior to the event. Brush up on your knowledge of alignment for the postures in sun salutation A and B series. Relax. It is going to be fun!

Q. What should I bring with me?
A water bottle to stay hydrated, and layers for after the practice. You will get sweaty and then have a long savasana, so ensure you bring something cozy to enjoy the whole session with ease and comfort. Option to bring a journal for jotting down reflections, and a towel for this sweaty and deep practice.

Q. What is good self-care after the event?
A. Keep hydrated. Take a bath with epsom salts. Allow quiet, reflection time for learnings that will unfold. Go for a short walk or two, and stretch to reduce soreness in the muscles.