It was still dark in Panama when I unrolled my mat and set up my computer on Day 108 (April 18) to lead a yoga practice on Facebook Live. We did 108 sun salutations together online and by the time we finished, the sun was high in sky, Koji was miraculously still sleeping and over 500 people had tuned in!
I am loving doing yoga practice on Facebook Live! So cool.
In various ancestral traditions, and particularly in the yoga tradition, 108 is a sacred number which represents union, spirituality and infinity. The 108th day of the year is the perfect occasion to celebrate this tradition together by joining in a practice of 108 sun salutations. This day is also the anniversary of my 108 days of 108 Sun Salutations. This epic adventure led to becoming the first woman to break the Guinness World Record in 2010 for the Longest Yoga Marathon (32 hours) and raising nearly $15,000 for charity.
(Side note: My Guinness World Record was recently broken by an Indian woman who practiced for almost 60 hours. I just found out and I’m actually pretty happy about this. It’s about time the record was broken and good on her. It’s an unbelievable experience and I am happy to share it. )
This year’s Day 108 practice was really beautiful. Despite being far away, I was so happy to connect with students online via live boardcast. If only this technology had been around in 2010, I might have been able to share my yoga marathon on Facebook Live and maybe we would have raised more funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Isn’t it crazy how fast things change? Who knows, maybe one day, after I’m gone, people will be able to practice yoga with my hologram!
Click here to see the video of the yoga practice on Facebook Live. (I have some technical difficulties, and the video recorded sideways, but I am working on editing.)
Timeline of Day 108 Celebrations
2010: Yasmin begins a 108 sun salutations for 108 continuous days with the intention to study the yoga practice in the microcosm of surya namaskar. This was life changing.
2011: Yasmin teaches a quiet candlelit practice at her former studio, Om West Holistic Centre in Pointe Claire along with 25 close students. This is also the last day of 54 days of 54 Moon Salutations, her second long practice.
2012: It’s a Leap Year, so Day 108 is on April 17 this year. Yasmin co-leads a smallish but powerful group practice at Lululemon Athletica on St Denis along with several other yoga teachers from around Montreal.
2013: Yasmin organizes a big multi-studio 108 practice connected by video conference. Yasmin is at Studio Wanderlust in Plateau Montreal and there are five other locations around Montreal (Le Studio Wanderlust, Naada Yoga, HappyTree Yoga, Viveka Yoga & H~OM) hosting simultaneous community practices of 108 Sun Salutations.
Yoga teacher David Good also organized a practice in Toronto. Over 30 yoga teachers led sets of Surya Namaskar and we had nearly 200 participants joining us. There are also several online participants tuning in some as far away as Europe and Vancouver!
2014: H’OM Yoga Centre and Moksha Yoga NDG join Yasmin and offer yoga mala practices. More than 100 people participate. Gigi Cohen formerly of Café Juicy Lotus caters a delicious dinner for after the yoga practice.
2015: There is a full house at Loft108 for a yoga mala practice led by various Montreal Yoga Teachers, but Yasmin is in Las Vegas for a conference and practices in the dessert with four friends. She sends a greeting video and more than $600 of donations are collected for la Fondation du Dr. Julien, a Montreal-based organism which ensures the development of Social Paediatrics in Community for the benefit of as many children as possible.
2016: Yasmin is pregnant with Koji. She offers a recorded 108 Sun Salutation practice for free and encourages students to ‘pay it forward’ by donating to their favourite charity or doing some other random act of kindness.
2017: Yasmin is in Panama and sees an opportunity to connect to her community anyway by offering the yoga practice on Facebook Live. The feed reaches close to 3,000 people and more than 500 tune in. Moksha Yoga NDG in Montreal do their own Day 108 practice. Out in Victoria, British Columbia, Carlo Kuhlenschimdt, Yasmin’s senior student and sometimes teaching assistant, organizes 108 sun salutations for charity.
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