Happy Summer! It’s officially here as of June 21 and the Summer Solstice.
It was the longest day of the year and the annual maximum amount of sunlight day made me happy.
In yoga it’s customary to d0 108 Sun Salutations on solstices.
Why you ask?
The practice of sun salutations honors the change of seasons, as they help remove toxins in the body. We honor our primary source of energy: the sun.
From this source:
Why is the number 108 special? It is considered sacred in many Eastern religions and traditions. The mala beads (a string of 108) are often used for rituals and worn either around the neck or wrapped around the wrist. Here are some of the significances and facts of 108:
- 1, 0, 8. 1 stands for higher Truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, 8 stands for infinity or eternity.
- Hindu deities have 108 names. Mala beads are used to count each one of the deities in meditation.
- In Advaita Vedanta, there are 108 authentic doctrines in the Upanishads aiming to approach the truth and to destroy ignorance.
- In the Hindu chakra system, there are a total of 108 energy lines converging from the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna, leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.
- In Tibetan Buddhism, it is believed that there are 108 sins.
- In Japan, at the end of the year a bell is chimed 108 times to finish an old year and welcome a new.
- In Indian relgions, nirvana is only reached once you overcome 108 earthly temptations.
- In Ayurveda, there are 108 pressure points in the body.
- In karate martial arts, the 108 figure is prominent. Suparinpei literally translates to 108.
- In astronomy, the diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
- In the Sanskrit alphabet there are 54 letters, each having a masculine and feminine, totaling 108.
- With time, some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to past, 36 related to present, 36 related to future. 36X3=108.
- In Astrology, there are 12 constellations and 9 arc segments. Also, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 9×12=108.
- In Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism, atman refers to the Self, or the soul. Atman goes through 108 stages on the journey.
So there are many reasons to celebrate the Summer Solstice and the number 108.
When it’s officially summer, it’s also time for easy meals that use what’s in seasonal abundance like:
I like to dip mine in 60-second homemade creamy honey mustard dressing
Or try Raw Taco Salad with Raw Taco Nut “Meat” for a quickie and fresh meal.
This “meat” always impresses even those meat-loving die-hards and takes 30 seconds to make.
Or if zucchinis are coming out of your garden like crazy, or they’re cheap and plentiful at your farmers market like they are at mine,
And for dessert, Vanilla Avocado Banana “Ice Cream”
And from my last post, it was fun reading what Smells Good to you and if you have a sensitive sniffer or not.
1. Have you ever done 108 Sun Salutations or did you celebrate the Solstice in any way on the 21st?
I did about 54 sun salutations (half) at home. I ran out of time to do any more!
I also don’t hold my downward dogs, but move continuously through each sun saluation, one into the next, until I feel I really need a breather, and then I’ll hold a downward dog, catch my breath, and then repeat continuous loop style, so to speak.
And I have been to solstice parties before. Usually with yogis, free spiritis, and creative types. The food is always vegan and potluck style and delicious, the conversation is groovy, and the vibe is mellow.
But this past solstice, no such parties for me. I had a flat tire I was dealing with! No time to party.
2. What foods are you loving now that it’s Officially Summer?
P.S. Thanks for the continued support and entries for the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Giveaway.