Today I completed 108-sun salutations as the sun rose to support the 4 One World Charity. I am not a morning person, but I was not going to let that stop me from raising money for 4 One World and doing 108-sun salutations! So, I got myself up bright and early and by 7 am was starting the Yoga Aid Challenge at Pure Yoga on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

The moment I got to Pure Yoga I put myself into child’s pose on the mat and closed my eyes; I was still waking up when I got there. The conversations around me grew louder and louder as my fellow challengers piled into the room. The practice began, and soon we were all flowing and breathing together with the same intention and path, to offer compassion to those in Africa and the charities we were raising money for.

We moved through classical Surya Namaskara A and Surya Namaskara B, but what saved me from losing patience and my rotator cuffs from being strained were the modifications to these sun salutations. Multiple teachers rotated seamlessly over the course of 2 hours and 20 minutes. I enjoyed all the different styles the teachers presented. Some were more about the rhythm, the breath, or the smile. No matter their focus each approach was refreshing and kept me motivated throughout the challenge. I think today was the most delicious savasana that I have ever had; it felt so sweet to have my body melt into the floor. During savasana one of the teachers played her guitar and sang. She had the most peaceful and beautiful voice; the last thing I had wanted was to get up from that practice.

Needless to say, after doing the challenge and teaching two classes today my body is worn out! It’s good to know that I can complete that many sun salutations, but I don’t think I will be making 108 sun salutations part of my daily practice!

If you would like to learn more or donate, go to: www.yogaaid.com/lizalaird