Yoga for Hope



Please join Yoga Sutra NYC and participating yoga studios all over the United States, the United Kingdom and the entire world, in participating in "The Great One-Oh-Eight" Yogathon, benefiting:

American Society for International Shanti

When: Saturday, October 22, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Yoga Sutra NYC, 501 Fifth Avenue (@42nd Street), 2nd Floor

American Society for International Shanti (ASIS) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to directly improve the lives of exploited, at-risk, destitute children and the forgotten, suffering elderly, enabling them to become "beacons of light" and share the same gifts of peace, goodwill, and generosity with others for the rest of their lifetimes. ASIS helps the poorest and neediest children and elderly, and the forgotten destitute, with the basic human needs: food, shelter, medical services and educational assistance.

"The Great One-Oh-Eight Yogathon" is the brainchild of ASIS, which has asked yoga studios all over the entire world to join together on one fine day this Fall to help India's poverty-stricken children and elderly by completing (or attempting to complete) 108 Sun Salutations. Your participation in the "Great One-Oh-Eight" Yogathon for those in need is an opportunity for you to practice "karma yoga" ("selfless service").


"The Great One-Oh-Eight" Yogathon will consist of 108 Sun salutations** led by yoga instructors, Michele Sonier and Lauren Cahn (see below for info). Class is expected to finish by 7:00 p.m. Finishing all 108 Sun Salutations is NOT important; all that is required is your presence.

Admission is by donation (suggested minimum of $15). All proceeds will go to fund the charitable projects of ASIS.

**The significance of 108 Sun Salutations.......

1. Why Sun Salutations....

The traditional Sun Salutation
(Surya Namaskar A) is comprised of nine vinyasas (a "vinyasa" is a specific movement linked to a specific breath):

  1. Urdhva Hastasana (inhaling and reaching the arms up overhead)
  2. Uttanasana (exhaling into a standing forward bend)
  3. Ardha Uttanasana (inhaling and looking up from the forward bend)
  4. Chatturanga (exhaling and jumping or stepping back to the bottom of a pushup)
  5. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (inhaling into upward facing dog pose)
  6. Adho Mukha Svanasana (exhaling into downward facing dog pose))
  7. Ardha Uttanasana (inhaling to bring the feet to the hands)
  8. Uttanasana (exhaling back down to a forward bend)
  9. Urdhva Hastasana (inhaling and reaching the arms overhead)
In some yoga traditions (for example, Ashtanga), the Sun Salutation begins and ends in "Samasthitti", also known as "Tadasana" or "Mountain Pose" (standing at attention, arms by the sides). In other yoga traditions (for example, Sivananda), the Sun Salutation begins and ends standing with hands in prayer at the heart.

It has been said that the nine vinyasas of Surya Namaskar A, together comprise the whole of yoga practice......

2. Why 108???

The number 108 carries spiritual significance throughout a wide cross-section of cultures:
  • 108 is the number of "Upanishads" comprising Indian philosophy's "Vedic texts"...
  • 108 is the number of names for Shiva in Hindu philosophy...
  • 108 is the number of names for Buddha...
  • 108 is the Chinese number representing "man"...
  • 108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary...
  • 108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan "mala" ...
  • 108 is twice the number "54", which is the number of sounds in Sanskrit...
  • 108 is six times the number "18" which is a Jewish good luck number...108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas in a Sun Salutation and eighteen times the number 6, which is the number of days per week that yoga is traditionally practiced.
And for all you baseball fans out there, 108 is the number of stitches on a baseball!

About the Teachers

Michele Sonier
, teaches Vinyasa yoga, emphasizing alignment and mind-body awareness, aiming to share the profound inner strength and healing powers of yoga within the framework of a fun, vigorous and safe class. Michele received her teaching certification from New York Yoga and has been blessed to study with many inspiring teachers including Baron Baptiste and Beryl Bender Birch. Michele also "daylights" on Wall Street, working hard to live her yoga both on and off the mat.

Lauren Cahn teaches Vinyasa yoga to students of all levels, ages and abilities, from Olympic athletes to octogenarians, and is honored to teach Yoga For Breast Cancer Survivors at Yoga Sutra. An Om Yoga-certified teacher, Lauren teaches an alignment-based flow imbued with a spirit of creativity and fun. Lauren maintains a daily Ashtanga practice and has also studied Kundalini, Jivamukti and Hot Yoga as well as Vipassana (insight) and Shamatha (tranquility) meditation. Along her path to the yoga mat, Lauren spent 12 years as a corporate attorney and became a mom to two boys, who, along with her students, are amongst her greatest teachers.