In yoga culture, the number 108 holds great significance. From the 108 Upanishads to the 108 beads on traditional mala necklaces, the number has become a symbol to count mantras with faith, love, and compassion.
Yogis have taken the number to their mats, doing 108 rounds of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations) as a way to give thanks and meditate. Most Vinyasa yoga classes feature at least one Surya Namaskara as a way to salute the sun, and if you’ve done them, you’d know that even just a few of them require concentration and endurance.
108 salutations calls for serious dedication and strength, and provides an elaborate form of meditation.
Celebrating the New Year with Yoga
To welcome in the New Year, I decided to take part in the tradition. I performed 108 Salutations at The Giving Room in Southold, NY, a yoga studio that I've begun to call my home. It was an incredible experience that provided me light and clarity to my yoga practice.
Since it was my first time doing more than even a handful of Salutations, I decided to ease myself into it. Splitting the 108 into four sets of 27, I allowed myself just a minute between each to grab a drink of water, take a few deep breaths, and, for the sake of video aesthetics, change my pants.
My dog Sailor, who appears to steal the show throughout the video, gave me some moral support in the form of kisses and company, and reminded me of things to be thankful for during my meditation.
I thought about how grateful I am to have my family and friends, health, and happiness, and most importantly, the desire and ability I had to be on my mat in that very moment. Every yogi’s journey is different, and mine, which led me to that studio to repeat the same sequence over a hundred times, is one that I am eternally proud of.
Find what brings you to your mat, and be sure to love it, treasure it, and, of course, salute it.
- Yogi: Kaitlin Daddona
- Director and Editor: Zachary Smith
- Dog: (My baby) Sailor
- Music: The Gallery by Muse; Ovary Stripe by Kasabian; Meeting in the Aisle by Radiohead
- Wardrobe: Blackmilk Clothing, Lululemon Athletica, and Nike