Autumn: my favourite season of the year. The combination of falling leaves, crisp weather, and sweatshirts brings warmth to my heart. Another reason I like autumn? Global Mala. This is an event that marks this seasonal transition, appropriately taking place on the weekend of the Fall Equinox. In the international yoga community, Global Mala is an important movement that has inspired many to create positive change.
My first Global Mala experience was in September 2007. I had been practicing yoga for just under a year and a friend invited me to a nearby studio to do 108 sun salutations in celebration of peace. One hundred and eight! I had just learned to do one sun salutation without breaking a sweat!
With each other’s support, we grabbed our mats and packed ourselves into the beautiful studio for two hours, one sun salutation after another. The energy in the room was incredible. Just under 60 people in a room meant for 40, we were moving and breathing in harmony with each other. Our four fearless yogi leaders brought their own special piece of inspiration to our practice that day, sharing what gave them peace in their lives and how we could share peace with those around us. As we finished, the final leader explained the significance of this yoga ritual.
Based around sacred tradition, a popular form of Mala is through 108 sun salutations, also known as the dynamic asana sequence Surya Namaskar. The importance of saluting the sun is to pay respects to its power in the universe as a source of energy and life. The number 108 is significant in many cultures including the number of beads in the mala (meditation prayer beads), as well as the diameter of the sun being 108 times the diameter of the earth! In deeper understanding of yoga, we learn that chakras are intersections of energy lines – there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. There are even 108 holy temples of Vishnu! With my limited experience in yoga at that point in time, the history learned that day inspired me to continue participating in this movement.
The simple vision of Global Mala is to collectively cause a positive shift in global consciousness through bringing more peace in the world. Through several yoga practices around the world, thousands of people will participate in their local Global Mala on Sunday, September 20, 2009 of this year. Interested in taking part? Visit www.globalmala.org to see what is taking place in your city!