One of the main reasons that the Trek Nepal experience is a great personal challenge for me is that this is my first ever time fundraising. I was brought up with that terribly British mentality when it comes to the foibles and faux pas of discussing money, therefore truthfully, I find the idea of actively asking people to sponsor me a little bit awkward/ cringe making. I managed to get through school and university without partaking in any fundraising events and I have always felt much more comfortable supporting others in their endeavours rather than organising my own. Whilst I deeply admired my various friends and contemporaries, I was happy to cheerlead from the sidelines (until now).
When I was first trying to think up fundraising ideas, my first port of call was the ever reliable “good old google”, which threw out the classic feats that people traditionally undertake. I scoured lists of ideas including marathons, triathlons, sponsored silences, and cake sales. All exceptionally worthy but none of them made me feel that little spark of excitement or felt particularly personal to me.
It was while I was at home in Dublin over the Christmas period that I had that ping; that magic aha moment. I recalled hearing people talk about what is essentially the yogic equivalent of a marathon, which is doing 108 sun salutations – Surya Namaskar A – in a row. I decided there and then that is what I would do as my personal fundraising event. Not only is yoga something that people who know me associate me with, but it also deeply aligned with Nepal. Thus the idea began to take shape.
For non-yogis, the sun salutation is a sequence of postures that the yogi flows through. In yogic philosophy the sun salutation is a way to honour the sun; surya means “sun” in Sanskrit and namaskar means “to bow to”. The sun salutation is also a way of acknowledging our light side, in that everyone has a light and a shadow side. The light side is our inner wisdom and our heart’s consciousness. The tradition of completing 108 is for various reasons: there are 108 sacred points on the body; 108 beads on a mala meditation necklace; and the diameter of the sun is approximately 108 times its distance from the earth. It is also an extremely challenging mental and physical undertaking, not only with regards the repetitiveness but also due to the physical strength required for some of the postures. Typically the 108 sun salutations takes about 2 and a half hours for an experienced practitioner to complete.
I am hugely excited to announce that I now have a date and time for my “108 for WaterAid”: Sunday, 29 March, which is incidentally the first day of British Summertime. I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received thus far from my friends. One owns a yoga studio and he is generously allowing me to use the space. Another friend is a qualified instructor who has been teaching for almost 20 years and she is going to take me through the sequences and help me to count them. It is incredibly meaningful to me that through their kindness, I have been able to turn my idea into a reality and that these friends have become a part of my Trek Nepal challenge.
There are 18 spaces in the studio so I will create an event for those who might like to join me in completing “108 for WaterAid”, and of course I most gratefully welcome sponsorship for this endeavour.
I am putting the link to my JustGiving page at the end of every post – if you have enjoyed reading and would like to sponsor me, then you can do so here (but absolutely no pressure if you just want to check out the content!). Please copy and paste the link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katesnepaltrek