Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Solstice = Buff Arms

Today, I greeted the dawn with 54 Sun Salutations in a meadow with about fifty other people.  It was incredible.

This is EXACTLY how I look when I do Sun Salutations.  It's amazing how I change color at each step.

Today is the Summer Solstice, and many yogis believe that the proper way to greet this day is with 108 Sun Salutations.  Why 108?  Why would anyone do this?  Look here for some pretty good reasons.

I registered for the session (which was free) at 5:30 in the morning in Howe Meadow in Merriman Valley.  The morning was cool, and the grass was wet.  A lady (who looked as hesitant as I felt) greeted me with a stick of burning sage to wave around and then pass on to another nervous novice, and I spread my mat in the wet grass next to the other people.

At 6:00 we started some Ohm chanting.  Keep in mind, please, that I have NEVER done yoga outside of my living room.  To chant with fifty other people was a little intimidating.  Once the Sun Salutations began, however, I forgot about the people around me, and I just tried to focus on my breathing.  As I followed along with three sets of eighteen sun salutations, with stretching breaks in between each set, the sun rose slowly through the trees, and I could feel it on my face as I turned my heart upward in Cobra position.  At that moment I felt so in tune with nature and aware of my connection to it.

Why am I writing about yoga, you ask?  Well, that connection I felt is the same connection I feel when I run outside.  I feel more spiritual when pushing my body to its limits, and I feel one with the Universe when I can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell the trees, grass, and life around me.  During these moments, I know there is a Purpose, and I know that I have a part in it.

I had to leave after the first three sets because I had to get home to my son before my husband left for work.  I would have loved to stay.  I will DEFINITELY do this next year.  Maybe by then my arms will stop trembling.

Have you ever done yoga?  Have you done 108 Sun Salutations?

When do you feel a connection to Nature?