The 54 Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) is sequence to give yogis a taste of the 108 we will be doing on the solstice. We also doing 54 Sun Salutations to celebrate the equinox, which means the sun is directly over the equator, therefore, we have exactly the same amount of light as dark. It is said that using the number 108 helps us coordinate the rhythm of time and space and we remain in harmony with the spiritual powers of nature. The mala is 108 prayer beads, half is 54, so on the equinox we practice half mala or 54 sun salutations. Along with the 54 Sun Salutations, this year we plan on doing all of the moon poses and will teach how to use a mala for japa chanting and meditation.
Reason for 108:
54 letters in sanskrit alphabet. Each has a feminine and a masculine, 54 times 2 = 108
there are said to be 108 earthly desires
in astrology there are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called chandrakalas, 12 times 9 =108
there were said to be 108 gopis or maid servants of Krishna
the diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of earth
108 names of each deity
atman, the human soul or center goes through 108 stages on the journey
108 energy lines converge to make the heart chakra
108 marma points in the subtle body
buddhist, hindu, islam, jainism, and sikh, all see the number 108 as holy. all use a rosary with that many beads to do prayers
1=god or truth / 0=emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice / 8=infinity or eternity
Hope to see you all for 54 Sun Salutations with Susan Taylor on 9/22!