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Happy Summer Solstice - an unusual way to celebrate

I turned up to yoga class this evening not knowing what I was about to let myself in for. Our instructor, Keren, was talking about summer solstice and then explained that as it was the solstice, we would be joining in with the tradition of performing 108 sun salutations…

I think my eyes nearly popped out of my head!! 108?!?! Why?!? Keren explained that the number 108 is an important number and has long been considered a sacred number in yoga and Hinduism. There are many explanations as to why. Apparently it was going to take us around 45 minutes.

I was a little unsure about this I’ll be honest. My original thought was ‘would it get boring?’ Then I thought it wouldn’t be a challenge. How wrong I was – on both counts!

Keren led us through the first twenty or so, building into the salutation, developing the backbend, moving from stepping to downward dog to jumping etc. And it was great. After approximately 35 (this is a guess – I wasn’t counting!) Keren stopped talking us through it and we started going at our own pace.

We then stopped for a moment when we got to 54 – half way – phew!! This was by no way boring, and as we were only half way through and I was already sweating I realized it was definitely going to be a challenge! What was I thinking?!? 108?!? That’s a crazy amount, and definitely a huge achievement!

Then off we went for the second half. After around 70 I could feel myself starting to really get tired. My arms were trembling a little bit – I really had to focus on not letting my elbows drop out. And I was sweating! This is better cardio than going for a run! My hands were starting to slip on the mat. You would have thought with all the exercise I do for a living this would be OK.

And it was OK. It was more than OK. I feel amazing!! Tired – but amazing! Definitely going to sleep well tonight.

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