Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Yoga Mala - 108 Sun Salutations at the Solstice
Photo credit: http://www.spiritofchange.org/community/circling-for-the-solstice
Today's home yoga practice was 108 sun salutations at sunrise on the solstice, 4 rounds of 27. Started at 5:10 AM and finished at 7:30 AM. Kept count with 27 beans in a bowl; transfered one to an empty bowl with each salutation. It was not an easy session, left me pretty well soaked with sweat by the end. I was prepared to make modifications as I tired, but was able to hold upward dog through 108, instead of going to cobra. I did go to bent leg chaturanga toward the end. Set a relaxed spiritual atmosphere with the "Devotion" CD by Rasa (info at http://www.rasa-music.com/). Nice. Feels great afterwards; hope I can bask in the aura the rest of the day.
The event brought to mind this passage, written by the great Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in his amazing book "Peace Is Every Step."
"The Sun My Heart"
"We all know that if our heart stops beating, the flow of our life will stop, and so we cherish our heart very much. Yet we do not often take the time to notice that other things, outside of our bodies, are also necessary for our survival. Look at the immense light we call the sun. If it were to stop shining, the flow of our life would also stop, and so the sun is our second heart, a heart outside of our body. This immense 'heart' gives all life on Earth the warmth necessary for existence. Plants live, thanks to the sun. Their leaves absorb the sun's energy, along with carbon dioxide from the air, to produce food for the tree, the flower, the plankton. And thanks to plants, we and other animals can live. All of us-- people, animals, and plants-- consume the sun directly and indirectly. We cannot begin to describe all the effects of the sun, that great heart outside our body.
Our body is not limited by the boundary of what is inside our skin. It is much more immense. It contains even the layer of air around the Earth, for if the atmosphere were to disappear for even an instant, our life would end. There is no phenomenon in the universe that does not intimately concern us, from a pebble resting at the bottom of the ocean, to the movement of a galaxy, millions of light-years away. Walt Whitman said, 'I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars....' These words are not philosophy. They come from the depths of his soul. He said, 'I am large, I contain multitudes."
Om shanti shanti shanti