Today, Friday, Sept. 28, is the Autumnal Equinox. (You’ll recall Tim Miller wrote about it earlier this week.)
My first Ashtanga teacher (I think it is fair to classify her as such) was Shayna Liebbe. Very sadly, she passed away a couple of years ago. She was a student of Tim, and thus the line from Guruji to Tim to me really includes an important stop at Shayna.
She always celebrated the solar passings with a class of 108 sun salutes. My first-ever class with her, in fact, was one of these hamstring and arm busters.
The way she ran this class was that the first five Suryanamaskara A’s were done as you always start practice, with five breaths in down dog. After that, just one breath as you moved along pretty rapidly.
It definitely is one way really to get up the heart rate, if that’s a concern.
She’d divide the practice into four sets of 27 (I’ll do the math for you, that equals 108). Yoga mala, indeed.
This, of course, isn’t traditional, but Shayna — God bless her — wasn’t traditional. She did have a beautiful practice and was a marvelous teacher, who led classes with wit, insight and a profoundly held love of the practice.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull such a practice off today; I’m going to try. And if I do, I know to whom I can dedicate the practice.
If you’ve already practiced today… you always could sneak this in tomorrow. I won’t tell.
Posted by Steve