Another 108 sun salutations under our belts and another beautiful reminder of why we come to our mats  and face this challenging and beautiful practice of meeting ourselves at our most vulnerable and, at the same time, our most magnificent.

To me, this practice of 108 sun salutations is kind of like a reset button, or a deep spring clean. We come back to what is true and what really matters. And it’s ok that in the months before we meet again we get a little lost in the human drama of our everyday lives. We are, after all, fully human AND fully divine. And this 108 practice is a reminder of just that: you are not just ok just the way you are (however lost or off center you feel you are), but you are perfectly whole, perfectly safe and perfectly provided for. Always! As Led Zeppelin sings in Stairway to Heaven: “If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now. It’s just a spring clean for the May Queen. Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

And there’s always time to change the road you’re on. Anything that appears to be an obstacle on your path is really just part of the path. And that seeming obstacle, that “bustle in your hedgerow,” even may be a “spring clean for the May Queen,” a preparation for something beautiful to emerge. We may not have the power to influence certain events in our life, but how we interpret those events is a matter of our perception, which we have the power to change.

The 108 practice just reminds us of that choice we always have. And even if you feel like you’ve messed up more times than you haven’t, seriously, just listen to the lyrics of Stairway to Heaven! “As we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our soul, there walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show that everything STILL turns to gold.” The lady we all know is our true self, our own inner wisdom, that part of us that’s been around before the beginning of time. And that inner guru is always telling us that everything is already perfect. “And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last.” All we have to do is keep practicing, and the tune will come to us, undoubtedly.

As many of you have asked (0ver the years!), I’m finally sharing the dedications from our 108 practice. I wrote those when we first started in winter of 2011, and have slightly rewritten them since. To be honest, I was a little weary sharing these on a blog because our experience in the 108 practice is so intimate and so hard to put into words. I guess I was a little afraid that the power, vulnerability, humility and grace we feel during our practice wouldn’t be felt by someone just reading these dedications. Which, I realize, is absolutely ok.

I’m also sharing the playlist. Music, to me, can be an extraordinarily powerful expression of spirit, just like other forms of art can be. I can only guess what the authors of the songs I chose intended to convey through their lyrics, but I know that what I hear in those words and, more importantly, through those words, inspires me in a profound way. And that’s what matters. Inspiration is everywhere because spirit is everything.

Keep practicing, my beloved friends!

With love and gratitude,

Jelena

108 Sun Salutations Dedications (intentions for each of the nine rounds of 12 sun salutations)

1

I open my heart and offer my light to my past. I accept my past, knowing that every moment of joy, happiness and love, just like every moment of pain, sadness and darkness, was a necessary part of my journey back home toward remembering that only love is real, and that I am love. As I fully accept my past, I release any attachments to it, knowing that the past is nowhere but in my mind and that only I have the power to free myself from it.

And so it is.

2
I open my heart and offer my light to my future. I embrace the unknown because I know that my life to come is a blank canvas on which only I can create. As I release any self-limiting thoughts, patterns and conditioning, I take full responsibility for creating my life the way I want to live it. I know that everything I need I already have, and already am. I resolve to choose love over fear, knowing that my only purpose here is to experience the love out of which I was created.

And so it is.

3
I open my heart and offer my light to the present moment. I trust that where I am right now is exactly where I need to be, and that everything happens for my best interest. I know that now is the only time that exists in reality, and that the present moment is the closest I can get to eternity, which is beyond time, and which is my true home. When I’m tempted to drift off into the past or future, I will remember that I exist only in the now, and that in the now, I am still as God created me.

And so it is.

4
I open my heart and offer my light to all those who have ever shown me love, knowing that every loving thought is true and real, and that all expressions of love are maximal and eternal. I bow in deepest gratitude to all those who encourage me to be my most authentic self. You show me that I am loved, lovable and loving, and you teach me to love myself. May we never forget that our love for one another is a reflection of our true nature, which is love. Only love is real, and we are love.

And so it is.

5
I open my heart and offer my light to all those who have hurt me. I release them and forgive them, knowing that they acted out of fear and in ignorance of their own true nature. I choose to see unloving acts of others as nothing but their calls for love. Instead of suffering in the prison of remembrance of their wrongdoing, I choose to release them, knowing that by releasing them I release myself.

And so it is.

6
I open my heart and offer my light to the Earth and to the physical realm. As a spirit appearing in a human body, I am grateful for the abundance of the material world and for endless opportunities it offers me to help me remember my true nature through this body. May this be an offering of my gratitude for having remembered that I am in this world, but not of this world. I am not a body, I am free. For I am still as God created me.
And so it is.

7
I open my heart and offer my light to all beings everywhere, knowing that I am another you, and that, ultimately, there is only one of us. I am nothing like you becomes I am something like you, and I finally see that I am nothing but you. As my perception shifts, may my actions reach and open many minds on our collective journey back toward self-realization. We’re one, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other.

And so it is.

8
I open my heart and offer my light to the sun. The eternal and tireless giver of life, you shine your light on all of us without judgment and without expectation. In times of darkness, may your undying light remind me of the everlasting light within my own being, given to me by my creator. We are all like rays of light that always have been and always will be connected to their source. Just like a ray of light can’t separate from the sun, so could we never have separated from our creator. There is a light that this world cannot give. But I can give it, as it was given to me.

And so it is.

9
I open my heart and offer my light to the Infinite Spirit, the Source, the Divine Creator, God. I shall not live in suffering and ignorance as long as I remember that I come from you, and that I am part of you. When I am one with you, I am shown a way out of darkness and into light, out of ignorance and into knowledge, and out of illusion into truth. When I am one with you, I know that I am that, and that there is no home but self-realization.

And so it is.

108 Sun Salutations Playlist

Gateway — Constance Demby

Coming Home, Pt. II — Skylar Grey

We Will Shine — MC Yogi

Small Moments — Above & Beyond

Unwritten — Natasha Bedingfield

Embryonic Journey — Jefferson Airplane

Dream On — Aerosmith

Be Here Now — Ray LaMontagne

Only Love (Reprise) — MC Yogi

Only Love is Real — MC Yogi

Love Shines Through (Vox Mix) — Lustral

Servant of Peace — Snatam Kaur

Heaven Will Come (Vox Mix) — Lustral

Sun Light — MC Yogi

Om Nama Shivaya — Sonicjoy

One — U2 and Mary J. Blige

Gayatri Mantra — Deva Premal

Stairway to Heaven — Led Zeppelin

Aad Guray — Deva Premal