Please join us in celebrating the equinox, by breaking out of the darkness of winter and welcoming spring as we offer our first seasonal yoga mala! The equinox occurs twice yearly (spring and fall) and means ‘when daytime and night are of equal duration’. Spring is a time when new growth and change occur, a perfect time to invigorate your practice and set new intentions.
Monica McDowell will lead us through the “mala” – a practice of 108 sun salutations (in this workshop: 4 progressive rounds of 27 surya namaskar A). This workshop will include a brief discussion on the importance of the auspicious number 108. The practice will begin with a seated meditation and offer a resting yin posture between each set. The four rounds of sun salutations will be separated to allow students to choose how they wish to participate (asana or seated or standing meditation). Each round will begin with a specific intention/dedication that will help build energy and keep students present throughout the entire Mala. The practice will end with a short meditation and a nice long savasana.
The yoga mala is a powerful and physically challenging moving meditation. It has been described as a spring cleaning for the body, allowing students to clear out what no longer serves them while uniting with the global yoga community. Often the greatest obstacle to completing 108 rounds of sun salutations is not the body but the mind. This workshop is appropriate for all levels and ages; however, students should have a good understanding of Surya Namaskara A prior to attending to ensure a safe practice. Modifications will be provided throughout the workshop.
The benefits of practicing Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) are numerous. Healthy digestion is promoted by providing increased oxygen to the blood and decreasing carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. The practice improves flexibility, particularly in the spine, which improves grace and ease of movement. Muscles are strengthened through the repetition, particularly the abdominal muscles, which further strengthens the spine. Secondary benefits include a calmed nervous system, leading to better sleep, better memory and less anxiety.
Students are encouraged to bring their individual malas (prayer beads, rosary) to use as a Drishti (point of focus), as well as enough water to stay hydrated throughout the workshop. Students may also choose to bring a notebook and pen to take notes.