What is a Yoga Mala?

”Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” ~ Jason Crandell

On Saturday June 21st, Katie Nesbitt and I are leading a Yoga Mala.  You may wonder, “What is a Yoga Mala?” and, “could I really do 108 sun salutations?”  A Yoga Mala is an ancient yogic tradition of doing 108 sun salutations.  It is usually done in connection with a change in season, in this instance from spring to summer.  A Yoga Mala is an auspicious day to take stock in your life and set new goals in conjunction with the changing season.

What is so special about the number 108?  108 is a sacred number in many traditions.  There are 108 Mala Beads (an eastern rosary used for meditation).  In the yogic tradition there are 108 sacred sites in India.  It is said that if you meditate so deeply that you only have 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.  In Ayurveda there are 108 pressure points.  There are said to be 108 earthly desires, 108 lies humans tell, and 108 human delusions.  1– 0- 8 is the emergency number in India (like 911).

Generally, a Yoga Mala is broken down into series.  Katie and I have organized the 108 sun salutations into 4 groups of 27.  Each group is labeled individually as one of the 4 elements - Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.  Before commencing each set, we will give you the opportunity to write an intention associated with the upcoming element.  This is a great way to infuse your Yoga Mala with personal meaning.

Students are often intimidated by the prospect of doing 108 sun salutations.  You should not be!  In our opinion, all you need are heartfelt thoughtful intentions to have a successful Yoga Mala.  Numerous modifications will be offered should you get tired or fatigued as well as periodic rests.  However, you may find that the power of intention setting carries you through the Yoga Mala as well as the community energy and the meditative quality of repetition.  We would love to have you join us on the 21st.  It should be a beautiful event, and we hope you will attend.

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