108 Sun Salutes

Down Dog

You do not hold Downward Facing Dog for 5 breaths when you are doing 108 Sun Salutes.

We hold the 108 Sun Salute Celebrations on the Solar Equinox and Solstices.

These are the dates:

  • March 21
  • June 21
  • September 21
  • December 21.  This a special Karma class for the local food bank



Based on the name it is pretty obvious that you do 108 Sun Salutes. Is the Sun Salute in the 108 the sames as a regular Sun Salute. No it is not the same. First lets look at a regular Sun Salute.

What is a Sun Salute

A regular Sun Salute consists of 9 yoga postures done one after the other to the breath. Inhale you do one of the nine postures and exhaling you do the next posture and so on until you have done all of the 9 postures. When you get to Down Dog which is the posture in the middle you hold that posture for 5 complete breaths. How does this compare to the 108 Sun Salute.

How is a 108 Sun Salute different

A 108 Sun Salute is slightly different. The 9 postures are still there. You still move to the breath in the same way. The difference is that you do not hold the Down Dog posture for 5 breaths. You hold it for an exhale only and then you move on to the next posture.

When do you do a 108 Sun Salute Celebration

The 108 Sun Salute is done for special occasions. Traditionally the 108 Sun Salute Celebration is done at the change of the seasons. On the day of the Equinoxes and the Solstices you do the 108 Sun Salutes.

If possible the 108 Sun Salutes are done when the sun starts to rise in the morning.

Are the 108 Sun Salutes used for other special events

You can use the 108 Sun Salute Celebration for other significant events. At our yoga studio we celebrate the birth of our guru by doing the 108 Sun Salutes on his birthday.

How do we organize the event

The 108 Sun Salutes are broken up into nine groups of 12 Sun Salutes each. After each group of 12 Sun Salutes we take a break by holding the last Sun Salute of each group for the full 5 breaths just like a regular Sun Salute. This results in 8 rest breaks during the 108. How do we keep track of where we are at so that we do not miss our rest breaks.

We use 108 glass pebbles to keep track of the Sun Salutes. The pebbles are grouped into 9 clusters of 12. As you complete a Sun Salute a pebble is moved from the pile into a dish. There is no need to try and remember how many Sun Salutes you have done and how many are left when you use this method.

What if I get tired

You can take a break if you get tired. You should always pay attention to your body and the requests or demands it is making of you. If your body needs a break then definitely take break.

How do I take a break

You take a break by coming to child’s pose. Drop to your hands and knees. Lower your hips to your heels and your forehead to your mat.

Stay here with your forehead on your mat until your body has recovered and you are ready to resume doing the Sun Salutes.

How do I get started again

To resume the Sun Salute come back up into Down Dog and wait for everyone else to come to Down Dog as well. Once everyone is in Down Dog, start moving with them through the rest of the postures in the Sun Salute.

How long does it take to do 108 Sun Salutes

A 108 Sun Salute Celebration takes less time to complete compared to the regular Sun Salute because you do not hold Down Dog for 5 breaths.

The 108 Sun Salutes go a lot quicker than everyone expects. You can complete the 108 Sun Salutes including the 8 rest breaks in less than an hour.

Can anyone do the 108 Sun Salutes

Anyone that can comfortably do a regular Sun Salute will be able to do the 108 Sun Salute Celebration. It’s a fact that most people that try it for the first time are surprised at how easy it was to complete the 108 Sun Salutes and how quickly it went.

Why is it easier than you expect

One of the reasons that it is easier than you expect is that you do not hold for 5 breaths during each of the 108 Sun Salutes.

Another reason is that the body is in continuous motion and never stops during the entire event except for the 8 rest breaks.

And finally the breath is a significant factor.
Everyone is breathing at the same time and you can hear everyone else’s breath. The sound of the breath and the synchronized movement to the breath will give you a lot more energy and enthusiasm to complete the 108 Sun Salutes.


108 Sun Salutes are used to celebrate the change of the seasons and other special events.

A 108 Sun Salute is different from a regular Sun Salute in that you do not hold Down Dog for 5 breaths

You really do do 108 Sun Salutes and you will be finished a lot sooner than you expect.