The Number 108 in Religion, Mathematics and Yoga

Why did we choose August 10 (10/8) as the date of Prana Day?

Well, did you know that the number 108 has many important and symbolic meanings in mathematics, religion, spirituality and yoga? It has long been considered a sacred number in Dharmic religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, and also in the practice of yoga and martial arts. 

So why is this number that is sacred to so many cultures and religions? 

Dharmic religions use a string of prayer beads, called mala, which are similar to rosary beads of the Catholic religion. The mala, which are used for counting as you repeat a mantra, comes as a string of 108 beads, plus one: the Meru, or ‘guru bead’, around which the 108 beads turn like planets around the sun. The Meru bead marks the beginning or the end of the mala/mantra/chant. There are 108 pithas (sacred sites) throughout India, 108 Vedic Sankskrit texts and in the body, 108 marmas (pressure points) and 108 nardis (energy lines) in the body. 

The number 108 has significance to the connection between the Sun, Moon and Earth, too. The distance from Earth to the Sun is 108 times the sun’s diameter and the diameter of the sun is 108 times that of Earth’s diameter. Similarly, the distance from Earth to the Moon is 108 times the Moon’s diameter. 

If you’ve practiced Vinyasa Flow, you’ve probably experienced sun salutations, which help to bridge the connection between the mind and body. Practicing 108 sun salutations is believed to build fire or internal heat in the body, which cleanses, detoxifies and gets you more in touch with your body and your mind. 

Pranayama, the breathing technique employed in yoga, is also often completed in cycles of 108.

The number 108 is special to Prana Chai in many ways. It also takes around 108 seconds for the aromatic spices of chai to start release their magic, as part of the brewing process!