People always ask me how it’s even possible to complete 108 sun salutations in a row?! More than five years of doing this practice four times a year, I can tell you that the intense part is not so much the physical aspect of moving through all these sun salutations. Integrating the intention of this practice into our daily life — or walking the talk — is the real butt kicker.
I have rewritten the nine dedications I have been using with my yogis in the 108 practice several times since I originally wrote them in the winter of 2011. (Each dedication precedes a round of 12 sun salutations, and nine dedications and rounds of sun salutations completes a cycle of 108.) This year has started off with a sense of foreboding that major changes are taking place. Change is never easy for us change-resistant humans, so I felt rewriting the first two dedications into a less soft and fluffy and more in-your-face statements was going to serve us better. A splash of lukewarm water in the morning may feel good on our faces, but ain’t nothing like cold water to properly wake us up! 2017 also carries an energy of auspiciousness, mystery and surrender to the emptiness of not knowing, and trusting that the heart will never lead us astray, like the mind has been doing for who knows how long. See how 108 chaturangas isn’t even a big deal compared to digesting all this?!
For my fellow yogis who practiced with me yesterday, I hope these dedications help you in your integration of this powerfully transformative practice. And if you were not with us yesterday, please consider joining us again in the fall, and every season after that. I don’t see a reason to stop doing this practice (as long as my body cooperates) because life shows me every day that there are new lessons to be learned, that there are more ways to forgive myself and others and most importantly, that there is never a moment where any of us are not loved and supported. When we feel unloved and unsupported, we’re always reminded of the opportunity to “open mind for a different view,” a very useful mantra courtesy of Metallica. Nothing else truly matters as long as we forever trust in who we are.
Below are the dedications for each of the nine rounds of sun salutations, followed by the playlist we practiced to yesterday.
Thank you and love you all!
I open my heart and offer my light to waking up to my true nature, and making this process of awakening my priority. Until now, I have been living with spiritual amnesia, seeing myself as just a separate human being, and looking out at this imperfect world as my only home, which made it easy to judge, blame and alienate others who appear different than I am. But from now on, I resolve to wake up from this collective hallucination and I trust that my own awakening will serve as the catalyst for the awakening of others. I have lived too many lifetimes believing to be just a human, a mere mortal, a shameful sinner. It’s time to wake up, reclaim my own divinity and start seeing it in everyone else, whether they see it in themselves or not. This is my only mission. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to the process of unbinding myself from so many external authority figures and institutions to which I gave away my power through blind, fear-based trust, and replacing them with the only authority I can rely on and will ever need: the wisdom of my own immortal being. As I look out into the world and see a land of confusion, insanity and division, instead of picking sides and blaming “the other” for what I see, I choose instead to consult my own heart, which will always advise me to dig deeper and deeper and deeper yet, until the only response I get, regardless of the question, is to give love, show love and be love. If darkness is simply unawakened light and fear is nothing but a confused expression of love, the only guide I need is my own inner being, which is light and love. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to every obstacle yet to appear on my path. As I look back on my life, I can see that every seeming hurdle eventually provided impetus for my own growth and was therefore a gift. Bravely embracing my fear of the unknown — not pushing it away — I fully trust that whatever hardship and pain are yet to appear on my path are simply part of my path, remembering that ultimately, all of life is the path. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to all those who have ever shown me love. Every expression of love, no matter how small or infrequent it may seem to occur, completely imbues my being with the totality of All That Is, which is love. I give thanks to each and every being whose love fills my heart with the ancient song that reminds us all that love is all there ever was, is and will be. May we all be overwhelmed with love. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to all those who have hurt me, including myself. I know that every act that doesn’t come from love is simply a disguised call for love. Lack of love is evidence of the hurt we all carry in us, the hurt that stems from our ignorance of our true nature and the forgetfulness of our joint source, which is love. I ask love to show me the way every time I’m tempted to believe that I can be hurt. And as I give love and forgiveness to others, no matter what they have given to me, I know that I’m graced with love and forgiveness. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to the uncertainty every day brings. I give up whatever illusion of control I think I have over life, and instead choose to courageously surrender to the gifts of grace that abound in each moment. Knowing that who I am in reality can never be hurt or damaged, and that I can’t possibly ever fail or fall short, I allow life to come to me as is does. Expecting nothing and welcoming everything, I now promise to stop fighting with life and instead fully cooperate with what is. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to the eventual death of this temporary human form I inhabit. I open my mind to the possibility that any fears I may have regarding death are fears of my ideas of death and not death itself. As I listen to the whisper of my soul, which constantly reminds me that I have been on many such journeys countless times before, I remember that reality is infinitely larger than my human side can ever perceive. As a brave soul who chose to temporarily forget its immortality, I celebrate life and embrace my fear of death until that fear itself dissolves into my timeless recognition that life does not start or end, but simply changes form. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to all teachers that have appeared on my path and those yet to appear on my path, knowing that everyone and everything that teaches me about myself and helps my growth is my teacher. My heart is full of gratitude for those who have taught me through love as well as for those who have taught me by withholding love. How blessed I am to have been graced with teachers in human form and beyond, those born and unborn, and even those only my subconscious can perceive. I now can see clearly that this earth life, which seems full of suffering, is a school and that teachers and teachings abound in every moment, and I choose to learn as much as I possibly can, ultimately remembering that the only lesson to be learned is that love is all there is. And so it is.
I open my heart and offer my light to the ultimate source, the divine creator, infinite spirit, God, All That Is. How can I possibly live in suffering if I choose to connect to that which I’m never disconnected from? How much longer do I want to live in ignorance of my true nature, seeing myself as a separate little body when all the glory of God has been inside me all along? Once I was blind, and I forgive myself for that, but now I have opened my eyes and I see that I am That which I seek. My search for God has always been my yearning to know myself, and now that I realize what I am, I can’t help but lift my head and laugh at the sky. And so it is.
108 Sun Salutations Summer 2017 Playlist
- Humanity — Scorpions
- Bring Me To Life — Evanescence
- Land of Confusion — Disturbed
- Under Pressure — David Bowie & Queen
- Coming Home Pt. II — Skylar Grey
- Times Like These (Acoustic Cover) — Leo
- All You Need is Love — Jim Sturgess & Dana Fuchs
- Stand By Me — Florence + The Machine
- Time After Time — Sarah McLachlan & Cyndi Lauper
- I’m Still Standing — Elton John
- Forgive (feat. Luka Lesson) — Trevor Hall
- Man in the Mirror — Glee Cast
- Here Comes the Sun — Glee Cast
- The Middle (Acoustic Version) — Jimmy Eat World
- Aerials — System of a Down
- Nothing Else Matters — Metallica
- The Show Must Go On — Queen
- Down to the River to Pray — Alison Krauss
- Stairway to Heaven — Led Zeppelin