Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Global Mala Day Unites the Sarasota Yoga Community

Sep 05, 2015 02:57AM ● By Cheryl Chaffee, ERYT-500

Yogis Unite! September is National Yoga Month, and people all around the country will be focusing on their yoga practice this month. One practice that has been a tradition at a few yoga studios in Sarasota is doing 108 Sun Salutations on Global Mala Day which usually takes place the weekend of the Autumnal Equinox and coincides with the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year, on September 20, many yoga studios and yoga teachers in Sarasota are coming together for a true community yoga gathering.  


Global Mala Day is widely promoted by Shiva Rea, an internationally known yoga teacher from California. Rea founded the project in 2007 which is now practiced annually in over 50 countries, creating a virtual “mala,” or string of sacred beads, around the Earth.  Practitioners around the world will do 108 Sun Salutations on the same day with an intention of promoting peace for oneself, peace for the local community and peace for the world. Together, they form an integral strand of mindful, peaceful intention that circles the globe.


What is the significance of the number 108? It’s a popular number in Indian and other religious cultures, and is also known as an auspicious number for several reasons including the following examples: 

There are said to be 108 “nadis,” or energy channels in the body, through which subtle energy flows.

108 is the product of a precise mathematical operation (1 power 1 x 2 power 2 x 3 power 3 = 108) which was thought to have special numerological significance in Ancient India.


 When breaking down 1, 0 and 8 into individual integers, 1 stands for the Absolute, 0 stands for emptiness or nothingness, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.


There are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet. Each has a masculine and feminine form, and 54 x 2 = 108.

There are 9 planets and 12 signs in the Zodiac.  9 x 12 = 108.


Sarasota’s Global Mala Day event is being organized by Cheryl Chaffee, director of Garden of the Heart Yoga Center. She is collaborating with other yoga studios and teachers from the Sarasota area to make it a truly community-wide event. Other teachers who will be participating are Regina DeWitt of Prana Yoga, Lynn Burgess of Yoga from the Heart, Liana Sheintal-Bryant of Rosemary Court, Kerry Tice of CircuSoul, Erin Geraghty of Thrive Yoga and many other yoga teachers will also be involved in leading the salutes. Live music on the beach including kirtan and gongs will help to create a festive atmosphere.


As previously mentioned, this event will take place on September 20, from 7:30-9:30 a.m., at North Lido Beach (zone 1) right at the end of John Ringling Blvd. All yogis and yoginis are invited to participate as much as they wish – doing all 108 sun salutations is not required.  The event will be a fundraiser, and all donations will be split among two great causes. The global charity is Solar Aid, endorsed by Shiva Rea, which brings solar and renewable power to developing countries. Our local cause is the Karma Yoga Outreach Program which brings free or low cost yoga classes to veterans with PTSD (and their family members), children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and people with Parkinson’s Disease.  


Pre-registration is not required. Participants should wear yoga clothes, bring a mat and either a large beach towel, tablecloth, blanket or sheet to put under the mat (to keep the sand off), and come equipped with water, sunscreen and sunglasses. Participants should also bring their intentions to create a more peaceful life for themselves, their loved ones, their community and for the whole world!  


For more information about this event, contact Garden of the Heart Yoga center via [email protected]


Natural Awakenings of Sarasota March 2020 Digital Edition