June 2014 – Celebrate Summer

IMG_0122Summer might prompt a change in your routine.  Enjoy the longer days to exercise a little more outside.  Studies show that even five minutes outside lifts our moods and reduces stress.  It is great to hear many of the people I coach reporting it is easier to get in that extra walk or bike ride.  Walk or bike to work, the store or other activities.  Fresh food might be easier to obtain from a farmers markets.  Have a picnic, read or meditate outside and reconnect with nature.  Take advantage of the free music, movies and outdoor dance found in most areas.  Make some great warm weather memories.  Enjoy the free yoga at the Lake Harriet Bandshell at 6:30 every morning.

For some yogis and yoginis it is traditional to perform 108 Sun Salutations upon the change of seasons. This is most often done in a large group, and sometimes practiced as often as  an offering of unity or peace.  Here are some meanings of the number.

– 108 is the number of names for Shiva.
– 108 is the number of names for Buddha.
– 108 is the Chinese number representing “man”.
– 108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
– 108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan “mala” (prayer beads, analogous to a rosary).

I did my first 108 a few years ago.  I was training for a race and not doing as much yoga as usual.  It was quite a challenge and many people did not make the full set.  I almost quit.  I knew it was not physical pain stopping me.  Yoga is about honoring where you are at and not injuring yourself.  It was a mental barrier as it was my longest yoga session ever.  I made it through the 108 Sun Salutations.  I got back into a regular practice and did the 108 again.  It was almost easy and more fun than my first 108.  Even if you don’t practice a 108, salute the sun this month.