This is my first post in my Yoga category! And what a great one to start with. I am excited to get this section of my blog going with lots of information, pictures and videos all about the beauty of Yoga.
For the last 36 days I have been practicing Hanuman (forward splits). After returning from my trip my teacher suggested it as she was doing it , and it felt like the perfect time. I wanted to commit to that time to myself everyday as well as dive deeper into Hanuman Asana. I am 1/3 of the way there and have had such an amazing experience so far and thought I should definitely share. So I will be doing 3 posts of my 108 day journey .
In this post I would like to talk about why 108? Quite a few people have asked when finding out I am doing this practice.
Mathematicians of Vedic culture view 108 as a number of the wholeness of existence. This number connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters.108 is considered a sacred number in Hinduism and yoga. According to yogic tradition, there are 108 pithas, or sacred sites, throughout India, there are 108 Upanishads and 108 marma points, or sacred places of the body.
Now that you have a bit more understanding about the meaning of the sacred number, I am going to speak about the last 36 days. In my next post I am going to dive deeper into Hanuman Asana Pose with more emphasis on the alignments and props that can be used.
I started my 108 day practice of July 1st 2015. I can go flat into Hanuman with my dance background as well as having practiced Yoga. But I can’t sustain the deepness it brings for very long, so bring in the props (: It’s one thing getting into a pose but sustaining it , with your breath and relaxation is another. So I generally use a small pillow under the glute, or a larger bolster depending on the day and how my body is feeling. Because of my dance background I have quite a bit of tightness in my thighs and hip flexor from all the turnout over the years. So keeping my back hip, thigh and leg facing down can be a challenge at times. The props really help keep that thigh facing down. And has really helped me deepen the opening of my hip flexor, they have come along way (;
The first few days were really great , I kept using a pillow connected to my breath and tried to relax and surrender to the posture. At about day 15 I started to really feel a deep release through my hips, I started to move the pillow aside and be flat on the ground and was so content there. That lasted a few days and then I started to notice quite a bit of tightness in my hamstrings and hips. Did I go too deep to soon? did I push myself? all these questions were popping up, as the posture was feeling quite challenging and my mind was busy.
I then surrendered to it , added an extra pillow or two and got comfortable. I realized it’s a lot for my body, it’s a really deep opening in the hips as well as thighs. Relax! This is the practice. Figuring out my body , finding the stillness, the quietness the surrender. Adding those pillows allowed me to relax more deeply and really connect to my breath and focus on my alignment. I think my hamstrings were tired and a bit overexerted. My pillows have now been reintroduced and added back into my flow and will stay alongside me for the rest (: I look forward to the next 72 days of practice and all it has to offer.