108 Sun Salulations on a purple day

Several years ago my yoga studio sponsored 108 sun salutations to support the teachers' friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. A large group gathered- many of us did not know the woman who had been diagnosed, but we wanted to support her and support our teachers and support our community in helping her to get well.

Sun salutations are a series of yoga poses. The bowing or bending from the waist and the rising up are considered a "salute to the sun", thus the name "sun salutations." The number 108 is a sacred number in yogic circles because it is viewed to be a number of the wholeness of existence. As I was doing my own sun salutations today, I thought about whether it was necessary to do 108 sun salutations in a row, or if there was a way for us each to do one or two sun salutations and offer those to our friends and family, to people we've never met and to people we barely know, in an attempt to shine just a little more light into someone else's life. Taking on 108 sun salutations is a tremendous task, but if we break it down into 1 or 2 each, I think we can do something to contribute to the whole. We can, without much effort, make a difference. We can feel a part of something bigger than ourselves. We can help those in pain, in need of a strong shoulder to lean on. We can help those who feel hopeless to feel comforted, if even just for a moment.

There is a campaign that I support to let gay and lesbian teens know that "It gets better." As a "straight ally" I support this message. People need to know that they are loved for who they are, that they are accepted as they are today and as they will be tomorrow. We should not be afraid to let our children express themselves and be confident in themselves and grow to be true and honest and fulfilled adults; and their sexual orientation should not be a factor in that. I hope that in the future we will all love and accept each other for who we are and whom we love and what we look like and what we feel like and what we say and do.

So today I offer my sun salutations to those teens who are struggling. Today is a "purple" day. It is a day where we say to our youth that, if you are gay or lesbian and if you are struggling, you are not alone. You are loved. You are accepted. You are worthy. I honor you and the being you are and look forward to the adult you will become.

This is the life.
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