Salute the sun 108 times! Why do they do this on the longest day of the year?

NEW ORLEANS -  The sun.

It's up there.

And they're down here with WGNO News with a Twist features guy Wild Bill Wood.

Where are they?

At Free To Be Power Yoga in New Orleans, Louisiana.

And it's not just any old day at Free To Be Power Yoga.

It's June 21.

It's the first day of summer.

It's the longest day of the year.

It's the summer solstice.

Scientifically, the summer solstice is when the earth's rotational axis or its geographical pole is tilting toward the sun.

It happens twice a year.

When it happens on June 21, there's another reason to celebrate.

It's the International Day of Yoga.

That's what Wild Bill and the crew from Free To Be Power Yoga are celebrating.

And they're partying it up with what people who do yoga call sun salutations.

In the Sanskrit language of yoga, it's called Surya Namaskar.

It's a series of poses designed to warm you up, strengthen your body and even get you into the right alignment.

It starts with the mountain pose.

All you have to do is stand tall like a beautiful mountain.

It's followed by a forward bend, relaxing deep and you melt your hands into the good earth (that's the yoga mat).

After the forward bend, you step back into a pose you've probably heard about, it's called downward-facing dog.

In Sanskrit, it's called Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Followed by plank, just a standard plank on hands and feet.

Hold your plank for a breath.

Then comes Chaturanga Dandasana or four-limbed staff pose.

After that, your dog moves up in the world. It moves into the pose of  upward-facing dog pose.

Salute the sun 108 times and you're officially celebrating International Day of Yoga.

You can join the yogis from Free To Be Power Yoga at Lawrence Square in New Orleans for 108 sun salutations.

The celebration starts at 6pm, Thursday, June 21.

It's free.

Just bring a yoga mat.






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