Why 108 is a Significant Number in Yoga

Why 108 is a Significant Number in Yoga

I received the most beautiful necklace that has 108 beads on it.  A discussion followed why the number 108 is significant in the yoga community.

This number connects the Sun, Moon, and Earth: The average distance of the Sun and the Moon to Earth is 108 times their respective diameters.

In yogic tradition, there are 108 pithas, or sacred sites, throughout India. And there are also 108 Upanishads and 108 marma points, or sacred places of the body.

According to Sataya Yoga, “In the world’s most ancient religious traditions, 108 is held as a significant and holy number. In Islam, the number 108 is used to refer to God. In Jainism, 108 are the combined virtues of five categories of holy ones, including 12, 8, 36, 25, and 27 respective virtues. The Sikh tradition has a mala of 108 knots tied in wool, and as mentioned above, in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, a traditional mall is made of 108 beads of varying materials.”

And some other theories according to Elephant Journal:

The ancient Indians were excellent mathematicians and 108 may be the product of a precise mathematical operation (e.g. 1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108).

There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.

9 times 12: Both of these numbers have been said to have spiritual significance in many traditions. 9 times 12 is 108. Also, 1 plus 8 equals 9. That 9 times 12 equals 108.

The chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to Self-realization.

Some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.

In astrology, there are 12 houses and 9 planets. 12 times 9 equals 108.

What is your take on the significance of 108? Have you ever participated in a 108 Sun Salutations?  Or any other rituals with 108?  

You also might want to read about a relaxing epsom salt bath, yoga in airports and how to have your house smell like Pottery Barn. 

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Filed under: Uncategorized, Yoga

Tags: 108, Mala

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