Sunday, January 1, 2012

108 Surya Namaskar on New Year's Day

I decided to sign up for the New Year Special Yoga: 108 Surya Namaskar organized by Breazy Yoga with a fellow yoga practitioner to welcome the first sunrise of 2012 and this is the first time I am taking part in such an event.

It was still dark when we reached the venue, Taman Tasik Cempaka, Bangi at 6.10 am this morning.   The organizer asked us to place our mats to face the east where the sun would be rising.  Before the start of the event, we were shown half a round of the sun salutations that we would be doing which consists of:

Stand in Tadasana with hands in namaste.
Inhale and raise the arms up and above the head.
Exhale and fold forward.
Inhale and step the right foot back followed by the left foot.
Exhale, knees down followed by chest and chin.
Inhale to cobra.
Exhale to downward dog.
Inhale and step the right foot forwarded followed by the left foot.
Exhale and fold forward.
Inhale and rise up with hands sweeping upwards.
Exhale and bring the hands in namaste in Tadasana.
The other half round would be the same sequence with the left foot first.

We were told to take it easy and rest in child’s pose when we feel tired or sick. 

At 6.30 am, the count started and we will led through the sequence by a leader.  At the start, there were some awkward movements of which leg to step backward and forward first and bringing my hands to namaste after rising with the hands upwards as normally, in my Ashtanga practice, I would bring my hands to each side of the body.

However, after a few rounds, I managed to co-ordinate my movements and it was a smooth transition with the breath being the main energizing force in flowing through the asanas.   After reaching the 70th round, I decided to skip a few rounds and take a rest in child’s pose to conserve some energy and joined back after the short rest.   

When the leader shouted that we have reached the last ten rounds, there was an air of excitement and all those who had stopped joined back for the last few rounds.    When we hit the 108th round, the leader told us to jump forward instead of stepping forward and all of us cheered and clapped as we finished the final asana.  

As I sat in easy pose after laying down in savasana, I made a silent prayer of hope that I would be able to face all the challenges in my life as I had courageously this morning.

It was an awesome experience and watching the sky being lit up by the sun as we were doing the sun salutations brought forth the significance of the practice of paying homage to the Sun-god and enjoying his blessings.

I stretch back up to the sky
Oh Surya Namaskar
To give many thanks for blessing me with your light

I say many prayers to you
Oh Surya Namaskar
For sharing with me your light

(part of Prayer to the Sun from The Pagan Library) 

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