Why 108 days?

Many have asked me why 108 days?  The number 108 has multiple significances in many eastern traditions. Its presence in mathematics, nature, and spirituality has drawn the attention of many yogis. Some choose to focus on the geometric significance of the number—108 equals 1 to the first power, 2 to the second power, and 3 to the third power, it also has 10 factors and is divisible by three which is a stable and balanced number. It is also the average distance of the Sun and Moon to the Earth. Some choose to focus on more spiritual significances- there are 108 beads on a mala (string of beads) that is used to help count mantras in meditation, it is believed that there are 108 energy lines that stem through the heart chakra. And these are just a few of the connections to the number 108. For all the reasons, it is not uncommon for a group of people to do a yoga mala, or 108 sun salutations in honor of a celebration or for a special cause.

Having a special cause of my own, I was always attracted to the idea of doing 108. I first aspired to do a yoga mala as a fundraiser to fight MS, but as the idea sat with me, something never seemed quite right. While the competitor in me grew excited with the challenge, it didn’t seem to honor the meaning behind my yoga practice or the cause I was fighting for. Since yoga, to me, is about being able to shift, adjust, and provide myself with whatever it may need to feel good, strong, and healthy, I felt it more appropriate to be kind to my body, and commit to my yoga practice.

Committing to 108 days of yoga, just like the number itself, provides many possibilities. I can give my ever-changing body the ever-adapting practice it needs. I can recruit a community to practice with me and strengthen our voice about fighting MS, practicing yoga, and keeping people healthy. I can share my practice as I travel with family, friends, new studios and teachers. I can raise a ton of money for MS that will hopefully lead to better treatments and a cure. Doing 108 days is not about rallying to complete a strenuous physical challenge, it’s about finding the patience to engage with my body on a daily basis and keep myself healthy.

For more about the significance of the number 108, check out these sites:

http://www.swamij.com/108.htm

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/the-number-108/

http://satyayoganorfolk.com/uncategorized/yoga-fundamentals-the-meaning-and-mysticism-of-108-and-furthermore-a-little-explanation-of-malas-and-mantras/

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