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Winter Solstice 108 Sun Salutations


Thu 21 Jun 2018, 8:00pm–10:00pm

Where: Our Yoga Kapiti, 90 Paetawa Rd, Waikanae, Kapiti Coast

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General Admission: $14.00
  • Additional fees may apply


Listed by: Our Yoga Kapiti

To celebrate the Winter Solstice, join us to practice the traditional 108 Sun Salutations by candlelight to honour the sun – Earth’s primary source of energy and light. A Sun Salutation, called Surya Namaskar in Sanskrit, is a bowing to the sun.

A Sun Salutation is a set sequence of poses that flow rhythmically from one to the next, with each movement linked to our breath. The sequence we practice contains nine poses, which when multiplied by 12, equals that auspicious number, 108.

Why 108? Theories abound, with many of them based in mythology. The number 108 is considered a sacred number that is found in throughout the natural world. The most common use of 108 is on mala or prayer beads. In Sanskrit, there are 108 letters: 54 honouring Shiva, the masculine energy, and 54 for Shakti, the feminine energy.

The distance between the Earth and the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the sun. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is 108 times the diameter of the moon. According to traditional Chinese medicine there are 108 pressure points on the body, and the Tantric system believes 108 energy channels converge at the heart chakra.

In Vedic astrology there are 12 houses and 9 planets which multiply to equal 108. The numbers themselves are considered to have meaning: 1 represents universal consciousness or higher truth, 0 represents emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 represents infinity or eternity.

From my perspective, this is a traditional practice that simply gives us the opportunity to practice together as one. By the way, Winter Solstice officially takes place at 10:07pm.

Of course, it would be wise to start preparing now for this event. See if you can work up to 20, then 40 rounds of Sun Salutations. Don't worry if 108 rounds seems out of reach. There will be opportunities to rest throughout, so don't worry about it being too much for you. I will give you a list of modifications to use, as well as a sheet that depicts each pose for you to refer to during practice.

Just being part of this event, witnessing yogis practicing together, breathing in unison, will be a special experience.

At the end of the evening, you are welcome to stay for a light supper and to enjoy a cup of green tea or mulled wine, or a glass of limoncello or kombucha. And Matamata business Daily Organics are sponsoring us by supplying their yummy Chai Spices & Ginger Kombucha! It will be delicious!

Please enter the Yoga Room in silence. This event is an opportunity to be part of a special experience. Silence allows us to fully absorb that experience.

Each participant will have a printout depicting each pose in front of them, so you will be able to refer to the sheet in front of you if you get lost at any stage.

I will be using counters to record the number of rounds. For the first nine rounds we will ‘flow’, linking our breath to our movements. Every 9th round, we will pause for five breaths in Downward Facing Dog. I will be practicing too, and rather than verbally cue each pose, I will simply let you know when it is time to take those five breaths. Having said that, if you need to stop at any time, then stop! Rest in Child’s Pose or Downward Facing Dog until you are ready to rejoin the group.

Please bring a hand towel and a water bottle (not glass) with you.

Shoes off at the door (please store in the cubby next to the door that leads to the bathroom), along with spectacles if you're not going to wear them during practice. Phones off (not just on silent).

Mats are provided, but you're welcome to bring your own.

The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year – a moment to be marked by both celebration and reflection.

Join us to commemorate this special time. All levels welcome.