Saturday, July 19, 2008

20 July 2008: 108 Sun Salutations

A few weeks ago, I participated in my first ever yoga fundraiser, organized by Yoga Aid. Yoga Aid hosts The Yoga Aid Challenge in venues across the globe (in the US in September), in an effort to spread the love of yoga and to raise money for various charities. This year marked the first Yoga Aid Challenge held in Hong Kong, at the Asia Yoga Conference. Starting bright and early at 6:30 AM, a couple hundred yogis gathered together for 108 Sun Salutations led by teachers from around the world, including one of my main teachers, Bryan Kest from Santa Monica.


In short, I felt truly honored to be a part of this beautiful event.


Each of the 12 teachers led us through a set of 9 Sun Salutations with their own personal touches. Generally speaking, each Sun Salutation was a traditional Surya Namaskar sequence, which goes something like this: Tadasana :: reach for the sun :: Uttanasana :: Crescent with knee down :: Plank :: Chattarunga :: Cobra :: Down Dog :: Crescent with knee down (opposite leg) :: Uttansana :: reach for the sun. A few teachers broke this mold, most notably my beloved teacher Bryan, who was the only teacher to bring us onto our knees (met by a unanimous sigh of relief) and the only teacher to not teach one traditional Sun Salute. It made me smile, and I think everyone’s wrists appreciated the reprieve. Two other teachers stood out to me personally: Duncan Wong, who led us through his Yogic Arts - Warrior Flow, which was the only time we turned around on our mats to face the back of the room or made a sound other than “Om”, and Jules Febre, who counted the transition from Tadasana to reaching the arms up as one Sun Salute, making me laugh out loud in glee and gratitude.


108 Sun Salutations is a LOT of yoga. I made it with the help of Child’s Pose and by dedicating my breaths to the children supported by my charity of choice – the India Heritage Research Foundation – and to those of you at home for your love and support. Below I’ve listed personal thank you’s to everyone who donated, representing both coasts of the US, Europe, and Asia! There are also a few yoga-related companies represented; please check out their sites if you’re looking for yoga clothes, accessories, or downloadable classes. Thank you so much, brothers and sisters. Because of your sponsorship, I was one of the Top 10 Fundraisers. I got to stand up and take a bow and everything! ;)


This month has been a powerful and abundant one for me. In addition to the yoga fundraiser and having Bryan in town (which in and of itself was such an amazing gift, representing yet another nudge of support from the Universe), I moved into my new home, visited family in Seoul (happy 80th birthday, grandma!), and booked my flight to the States for my first visit back in over a year. That’s right, this month marks my 1 year anniversary of moving to Hong Kong!


Giggling with glee and gratitude,

Leah


Big thanks and big love to…


Allison :: Annie :: Becky :: Bernadette :: Christina :: Dcho :: Em :: Frank (naturalhighlifestyle.com) :: Gilly :: Irene :: Jay :: Jimmy :: Karen :: Kyle :: Mark :: Michelle C. :: Michelle H. :: My Soy :: Nan :: Rich :: Rob :: Ruben :: Sara (yogichocolate.com) :: Silas :: Steph :: Steve :: Susan (yogitoes.com) :: Thomas :: Yen


in California :: Denmark :: Hong Kong :: NYC


…for your overwhelming, heartwarming, and inspiring generosity! How incredible to have a global network of support!


PS It’s not too late to donate! My page will be live and collecting donations through the end of July. Or better yet, sign up to participate at one of the next Yoga Aid Challenges!

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