Why 108?

10707013_924351350912559_1751746405_nEver done 108 sun salutations during a yoga class? Or wondered why there are traditionally 108 beads on a mala?The number 108 is auspicious and spiritually significant in many traditions. Here’s a few reasons why the number is so magical…

Heart Chakra: Chakras are the intersections of energy lines in the body, 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.

Upanishads: It is believed that there are 108 Upanishads, texts of wisdom from the ancient sages.

Desires: There are said to 108 earthly desires.

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

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

Goddess names: There are said to be 108 Indian goddess names.

Sun and Earth: The diameter of the Sun is 108 times the diameter of the Earth. The distance from the Sun to the Earth is 108 times the diameter of the Sun.

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

Chemistry: Interestingly, there are about 115 elements known on the periodic table of the elements. Most of those, around or higher than the number 100 only exist in the laboratory, and some for only thousandths of a second. The number that naturally exist on Earth is around 100.

Astrology: There are 12 constellations, and 9 arc segments called namshas or chandrakalas. 9 times 12 equals 108. Chandra is moon, and kalas are the divisions within a whole.

Breath: Tantra estimates the average number of breaths per day at 21,600, of which 10,800 are solar energy, and 10,800 are lunar energy. Multiplying 108 by 100 is 10,800. Multiplying 2 x 10,800 equals 21,600.

 

The Boho Girl’s Guide to Fail-Safe Meditation

tumblr_n11nqjet3D1qb7dwvo1_500This world is growing faster and more furious every minute. With all that we have on the agenda these days, it can become a huge headache to relax. Our ability to stay in the present gets jumbled up in technology mania; messages from all over the globe flashing across computer screens, cell phones, and television sets at a million miles a minute. What’s a Boho gal or guy to do when it’s time to zone in and focus up on some serious “me” time?

For centuries, people have used meditation as a way of zeroing-in on themselves, their desires, and the goals that they wish to achieve. It’s a spiritual practice used to elevate the understanding of our inner nature as well as a practice to establish a connection to the divine. It’s been clinically proven that meditation not only calms the body and mind, but also works to inspire creativity, improve the immune system, and even help to boost our relationships with everyone (and everything) around us.

I could list the benefits for days, but how do you get down to the crunch when there is so much that is seemingly “crunching” you? Meditation is not supposed to be difficult. By all spiritual accounts, it’s one of the simplest practices, which immediately makes it the most difficult. And it’s totally important!

To get you in the “OM” mode, here are some tried and true, bohemian certified ways to make your meditation practice as simple and consistent as possible:

1. Get comfortable. In a lot of traditions, practioners remain in a seated position, legs crossed, hands upon the knees, or in the lap. However, we’re in the new age, so as long as you are comfortable, you will find that it will be easier to connect with your practice. As such, lying down is perfectly acceptable.

2. Focus on the breath. Start off your practice by simply paying attention to the ebb and flow of your on breath (if you are a yogi, you’re already familiar with this attentiveness to the act of breathing). Notice how the breath fills your lungs, your torso, and your chest, and notice how it leaves your body. Remember, you are not in this to change these sensations. Just notice them and connect with the physical act of the sensation.

3. Get a guide. Some people find guided meditations to be very helpful. A guided meditation will involve specific breath work, or alternatively, some visualizations that will create something of a “meditation story” for your practice. If this is something that you think you will enjoy, do some research. There are several books and websites that will have some incredible guided meditations for any practitioner.

4.  Accept where you’re at. You’re going to get frustrated. Accept this. No one ever achieved anything on this planet without hard work and practice. This is the biggest thing to remember when you are meditating. Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself, and in time, the flow will come with less effort.

5. Breathe. When in doubt, just go back to the breath. I can guarantee that your mind is going to wander from time to time, and seriously, it’s no big deal. Even the greatest spiritual teachers in our world veer onto the mental fast lane! If your mind is starting to do its own thing, just bring your attention back to the breath. Notice the sensations again. Start counting the time it takes to inhale and exhale, and you’ll be on the right track again.

Once you’ve started your practice, it’s time to add in some consistency. Pick a time of the day when it is easiest for you to take a few minutes and enjoy the process of meditating. Some prefer the morning before they get up, while others like to wait until they are about to go to sleep. Discover what works for you and then commit yourself to doing it! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

As with all things, practice is key. Enjoy it, live it, and you will reap the benefits of meditation in every aspect of your life. I can guarantee it!

Namaste!

Lauren is a guest writer for the Huffington Post and Social Media Coordinator in Toronto.

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Confessions from a Boho Fashionista: Mala Break-Throughs

TDbohodailyEvery gypsy goddess, yoga fashionista and boho gal who wears a gemstone Mala knows how magical they are. Maybe you didn’t fall in love with them the first time someone told you about the 108 stoned treasures, but when you finally laid eyes on the unique beaded jewels, you knew you had to have one. They weren’t just a beautiful statement piece that enhanced your oh-so-natural stunning appearance; they helped bring out your inner beauty by pulling you back to all of the important intentions you set everyday.

I fell in love with the first Mala I adorned myself with. The African Jade Mala. It was gifted to me by a yoga teacher of mine right before I set out on journey west that would lead me to a series of big, boho girl life lessons. The Mala had a beautiful jade guru stone and dark cacao rudruksha seeds. Right before I left the studio to go West, my teacher told me that this Mala would give me strength in challenging times and the courage to follow my dreams.  I wandered west, as gypsies do, and kept The African Jade Mala close to me.

There were moments when all that I had planned for on my journey had fallen into little tiny pieces, and I wondered how I would ever pick them up again. I’d cross my fingers over the seeds of my Mala and remember my teacher when I looked at the precious jade guru stone. The Mala she’d given me was a reminder that I was always safe, even when it didn’t appear that way.

When my trip in the mountains finally came to a close, and I made it back to the summer humidity of the lake house that I call home, something remarkable happened.  July’s air was thick, and I moved heavy as I straddled bags, yoga gear and gifts to the front door. When I reached the front porch, I heard a gentle snap: 108 small beads and one beautiful jade stone danced in front of me, off of my neck and onto the sand.

“You’ve had a Mala Break Through” My instructor said, as I listened in tears.  “This is fabulous. You know what this means, darling? It means you’ve come to a new chapter! You’ve learned your lessons and you’re ready for what’s coming. Fantastic!”

whitejadeSince my first “Mala Break Through” I’ve had plenty more, and several exciting chapters in my life, each with unique intentions. Today I’m wearing a Jade Mala, but this time the White Jade Highest Potential Mala, because through all of these karmic break throughs and sweet little lessons, I’ve realized that I have bravery of a goddess to reach my highest potential (and you do, too!)

Peace, Love and Magic from Bohemia xx