Hi! This is Kelly, the founder of Ma Wovens, and creator of The Ritual Rug. Things are pretty tense in the world right now, and it's likely you've chosen to stay home until things cool off, and are looking for ways to stay grounded.
I'd like to introduce a very special ritual to you all that I practice 4 times a year, on every Solstice and Equinox, The Great 108.
With the Spring Equinox just around the corner, I hope we can all take a brief pause from the media, and turn inwards, to reignite a sense of hope and healing. The Great 108 refers to the ritual of performing 108 consecutive Sun Salutations. With ancient roots in the practice of yoga and Hinduism, traditionally this ritual is carried out 4 times a year all around the world, on the Summer and Winter Solstices, as well as Fall and Spring Equinox. Because of the purifying, and detoxifying nature of the practice, it is a wonderfully energizing way to reset your body and mind, while setting intentions for the upcoming season.
Although 108 repetitions sounds like a lot, and it does get challenging, by pushing through you will find how worth it it is. Some things you will discover can include:
You are stronger than you think.
Negative energy does not define you.
You have the power to shift your perspective.
You can find grounding amidst any challenge.
I recommend that you try and make the practice technology FREE. Below are step by step written directions. If you write them down on a piece of paper, you won't need to have your phone or computer with you. This makes it all the better!
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GREAT 108
With this practice, we break the 108 sun salutes into 6 sessions. 5 rounds of 20, and a last round of 8. We will pause to make a dedication and intention for each set.
1) Grab your tools: a Ritual Rug a Ritual Rug (or yoga mat) and your handwritten instructions.
2) Decide on where you'll practice. Some ideal locations would be: outdoors in the grass under a tree, or inside in a quiet room where nothing can disturb you.
3) Settle down on your mat, sitting either on your heels or crosslegged. Close your eyes and breathe for at least one minute, coming into your body.
4) Now begin to focus your mind. This round is for dedications to personal transformation, realization, and healing. For the manifestation of the potency of one's life. Focus the mind on compassion, love, creativity, and specific areas and projects that are part of the transformative fabric of ones' life.
5) Carry out your first 20 Sun Salutations. I typically use Surya Namaskar A (shown in diagram.) Depending on your practice, you can choose to jump back, and jump forward, or step back and step forward. You may also choose to lower down on your hips and raise up into cobra, rather than upward dog, for a less intense practice. Be sure to breathe deeply in each posture.
6) After the first round of Sun Salutations, pause in standing mountain pose for 30 seconds. The next round is dedicated to family, friends, and precious jewels (anyone you might have unresolved conflict with.) Bring this into your heart, and continue.
Round 21-40: repeat Sun salutations 20 more times.
7) Pause for 30 seconds. This next round is for dedications to the World. Set an intention for what you care about, and are active in transforming; from war to peace, healing mother earth, feeding our hungry, and for happy hearts everywhere.
Round 41-60: repeat Sun salutations 20 more times.
8) Pause for 30 seconds. The next round is for dedications to The Source. This is a conversation with you and your higher Self. Cultivating praise, joy, and gratitude.
Round 61-80: repeat Sun salutations 20 more times.
9) Pause for 30 seconds. This final round is for dedication to PEACE; peace in our words, peace in our actions, peace in our thoughts, peace in our family, peace in our community, peace in our relationships, peace with nature, and peace with all living beings.
Round 81-100: Repeat Sun salutations 20 more times.
10) For your final round, you will only perform 8 more sun salutes. For this final round, you will create your very own mantra, something healing you need to tell yourself right now. Repeat this mantra to yourself repeatedly throughout.
I truly hope you are able to take the time out of your day for the Great 108, and remember it can be on your own time, and does not necessarily have to be on the exact day of the Equinox!