Finding Courage and Commitment with 108 Sun Salutations

by Jasmine Grace

This past weekend Yoga on High held an annual event for Yoga Stops Traffick -- a foundation set up to bring greater awareness to ending human trafficking in India and across the world. Teachers and students showed up in support of this event, and we all dedicated 108 sun salutations to the cause. Seven different teachers taught 12 salutations each, and Tom Griffith did 24 total as he had the honorary job of opening and closing the practice with the Ashtanga invocations. Thanks Tom! Each teacher brought their unique style and voice. It was a beautiful marathon of ujjayi breath.

We encouraged people to rest and modify poses when needed. It was beautiful to see people taking care of themselves this way, listening to their bodies and connecting with yoga as a mindfulness practice. Personally, I went in and out of focusing on human trafficking—sometimes well aware of the intent of this event, and sometimes absorbed in the beauty and movement of the yoga practice itself. Hoping that in some small way each inhale helped and each exhale dissolved some part of a problem or struggle – anyhow and anyway! Letting each sun salutation be a prayer of hope for someone in need. As I practiced faithfully listening to “inhale” and “exhale” cues, I definitely noticed how the endurance training for running showed up in the completion of this meditative task.

Something weird happened to me right at the beginning that I want to share – I felt like I was smiling the entire practice. It was like a Mona Lisa smile, very peaceful, and the smile held a large space for the courage and commitment to finish the practice. It was blissful. However, in the room I wasn’t the only one feeling courage and commitment. Two of the teachers who stepped up to teach for Yoga Stops Traffick are part of Yoga on High’s year long Teacher Training Program, Lindsey Wallace and Yuka Anderson, and in this class they found their voice and rhythm. My smile grew larger when I heard their voices. Being a new teacher myself I know the courage it takes to put yourself out there and teach, not only in front yoga students but other teachers too! They did a beautiful job and I wish Martha Marcom (Ashtanga Director and currently on vacation in China) were there to witness their accomplishment. I know she will be proud.

In closing I want to dedicate my 108 practice not only to stopping human trafficking but also to finding courage and commitment to follow your dreams and live your best life! Thank you Lindsey and Yuka for your inspiration.

Carpe Diem, Jasmine

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[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/29215510 w=400&h=225]

Graduates’ Experiences with the Yoga on High 200 Hour Teacher Training Program from Matthew J. Cline on Vimeo.

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One Response to Finding Courage and Commitment with 108 Sun Salutations
  1. Anyah Dagenfield

    Hi Jasmine,
    That was a lovely read. Thank you for sharing.
    ~Anyah