Mala is a term used for a rosary, or prayer beads, worn on the neck, or wrist, and counted with the fingers. (source)
Last night I participated in Mala Yoga for Peace which consisted of 108 sun salutations to inspire positive change with the changing of seasons. This is a common practice in the yoga community and is often done in studios globally on the equinoxes and solstices.
What is a sun salutation?
A sun salutation is a series of postures done in a flowing manner and each movement is coordinated with the breath.
And why 108? (source)
- On Mala, mantra counting beads, you will find 108 beads or some fraction of 108. A larger bead called Meru on Mala is not counted as one of the 108 Mala bead, rather it is the guiding bead, a bead that marks the beginning and the end of the mala.
- Sanskrit alphabet has 54 letters, each has masculine and feminine form called shiva and shakti respectively. 54 times 2 = 108.
- It is said that if one can be so calm in meditation to have only 108 breaths a day that enlightenment will come.
- There are said to be 108 energy lines or nadis converging to form the heart chakra.
- The distance between the Earth and Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.
- The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth.
- The distance between the Earth and Moon is 108 times the diameter of the Moon.
To me it just seemed like a interesting thing to do for the Autumnal Equinox. The 108 were broken up into 4 groups of 27 … each group was dedicated to a different idea to focus on: family, friends, the world, etc.
It was very calming for the mind.
Here’s to making positive changes in the upcoming season.