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BONUS: What does 108 Mean? Sober Talks with Alex and Cathy

Updated: Sep 12, 2022

What is the significance of the number 108 in yoga? In this episode me & Cathy record live in the Facebook Group. We share the significance behind the number 108, why we chose it for the Challenge to Recovery Program. The 108 Day Recovery is a four month program for women more than two months sober. It digs deep into emotional recovery. The next 108 Day Recovery Program begins this weekend and there are a few spots left. Here is the link to join!

Listen here!

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You can join the Sober Girls Yoga Challenge to recovery program here. Follow me on Instagram @alexmcrobs and check out my offerings in yoga, meditation and coaching at


Alex: Hi friend this is Alex McRobbs founder of the Mindful Life Practice and you're listening to the Sober Yoga Girl podcast. I'm a Canadian who moved across the world to the Middle East at age 23 and I never went back. I got sober in 2019 and I now live full-time in Bali, Indonesia. I've made it my mission to help other women around the world stop drinking, start yoga and change their lives through my online sober girls yoga Community. You're not alone and a sober life can be fun and fulfilling, let me show you how.


Alex: All right, here we are. Good morning everyone, welcome back to Sober Chats with Alex and Cathy. It is um Monday for those of you in North America, it is Tuesday for those of you in Asia and um we're super happy to be here. How are you doing today Cathy?

Cathy: I'm doing well. Today is Labor Day in the States so I had the day off. I did not labor at all and uh I went grocery shopping which is laboring for me because I don't like to grocery shop but I got my, I got and I meal prep so that was laboring but not the typical laboring so yeah. I'm good, I'm gonna feel organized and that'll last for like about a couple of weeks and then I'll be like, I need another day off to catch up so good. How are you?

Alex: That's awesome, I'm good, I'm good. Um you know I had a great sleep last night. I feel rested um I feel like um yeah I'm, I'm excited to to go about my day today. Going to yoga, going to visit the rice terraces in Bali um which is where I'm just taking my cousin who's visiting and um yeah I'm doing good. Another day another day in Bali.

Cathy: That's awesome. That's so cool. I love that picture of you and the monkey. It looks like the monkey is taking the selfie.

Alex: Oh my Goodness yeah okay so how they did that is they had the monkey sit on our laps and then they had the camera and then they fed peanuts to the monkey's hand who just reached out like this so it looked like it was taking a selfie like it was really cute but then so, the funny thing is I have not gone to that monkey forest ever because I've heard that the monkeys are aggressive and I said that to my cousin when, when she wanted to go. I was like you know, I don't want to go there because the monkeys are aggressive. They steal things from people and um literally like 20 minutes after we took that photo, the one of the monkeys climbed on her and tried to steal stuff out of her purse and then um put their mouth on her. Thank God they didn't break skin or bite but it was pretty bad and then she was like, okay I want to go and this is like the first time yeah this is your first day in Bali. Your first international trip so it was like a great start.

Cathy: Oh my Gosh.

Alex: But yeah, so those monkeys. If anyone watching comes to Ball you have to be really mindful like have all your stuff zipped up, no valuables like nothing shiny. Even like earrings because they're just like they just like grab and they you know, they have like human hands with opposing thumbs and they like yeah. So anyway, they're a bit scary that is so.

Cathy: That had to be so freaky.

Alex: Yeah, but at least the photo was good, so.

Cathy: Yes, the photo op was amazing. The story behind the story.

Alex: Yeah, the story about the story. Yeah, you guys give the back story. I did not put that on the truth on Instagram so I looked up sober news this week and there were a couple of really interesting articles and a couple of really interesting quotes in like big news outlets. So, there was a article in Vice magazine which said that alcohol was undergoing a PR crisis and there was also an article in Vogue magazine that basically said that everyone stopped drinking like the title is Has Everyone Stopped Drinking?

Cathy: Yes, where Chris Marshall was in.

Alex: Yes yes, I thought it was really interesting because it was like two major news outlets that were both giving the same message, which is like everyone is going sober which I thought was kind of cool.

Cathy: That is so cool which is interesting because the one thing I saw was was this: I'm reading it from my phone. The non-alcoholic beverage market has grown by over 50% since 2015.

Alex: Wow.

Cathy: alcohol lost it's cool advice stop so thought that that goes hand in hand with that so interesting.

Alex: That's so cool, yeah it feels like to me I remember when I was first getting sober and first going on the sober journey. I remember saying like, oh maybe in 10 or 15 years alcohol is not going to be cool anymore and I feel like it's happened like boom boom boom boom you know?

Cathy: Well and I wonder, how much of it played in with the pandemic? I mean you and I were both sober by the time the pandemic hit but it seems like so many people that's when they ramped up their drinking and there was like no threshold and all that and now people are coming out of that like fog and it's like oh my gosh I'm going back into the world and you know maybe there's I don't know. It's just a thought but like a push towards that is.

Alex: Totally, yeah yeah.

Cathy: I and it's interesting because when I first, I mean it took me almost two years before I had a non-alcoholic drink. Like I I was too afraid like a like out like a, actual like heineken zero type of a thing.

Alex: Yeah.

Cathy: Um, because I really buy it. I was buying into and I don't know if buying into is the right word but I really was afraid to have any triggers, you know? That I would want something I have not had, not alcohol-free wine, which wine was my thing so I don't know for sure I feel. Like the ones that I've seen I feel like they would. I think there's really quality ones out now but at the top of my thing i think it was still like the one time I actually did try it once and it tasted like grape juice and I'm like why bother?

Alex: Yeah, the alcohol-free wine market in Canada that I've seen is not great. There were some good ones that were imported into um Dubai and Abu Dhabi towards the end of my time there. Which I really enjoyed and I was like a Heineken zero fan but um I could totally get the fear around it. I think for each person it's different because for some people it can be triggering for them but for me it's been a really, it's like a really great resource.

Cathy: Yes and I really believe that, I like, I really bought into this you don't do that now, you know? I encourage, when I'm coaching like, have you tried this or put things in a wine glass? Things that I was afraid to do that I think would have helped that all or nothing mentality. Um, towards it, you know? Like the ramping down or you know the cutback and things of that nature. So, I actually find myself encouraging you know, so that you get used to it in in a different way now but I I was so afraid so afraid when I first started.

Alex: I love that share because it shows how you can like grow and transform over time you know?

Cathy: So true you know, like the beliefs I think I you know and it's interesting because I I rearranged my my desk today so like all my journals are back like right there. It's like some of my beginning journals and the paranoia like, it was interesting to read some of the like I have like one like there's a whole series of something I did about limiting beliefs and I don't know like I I was just so scared so scared that I was gonna mess up so and I think that's, I think that's where the, the growth for me but I also think like the sober world has come too you know and getting away from labels and all that kind of stuff too.

Alex: Someone okay someone Trina's commenting who's watching, she would never touch um uh I think she's meaning to say alcohol-free products, maybe says, never touch an alcohol product. For me most important thing is be safe and truly not get myself into the safe state of what brought me to the place. I am and that's great you know if that's for you um you know what works for you to just not have any alcohol free drinks then that's amazing because that means that you know she says yeah that means you know yourself really well and you know what's gonna be triggering and harmful for you and you're like setting that boundary around your alcohol-free journey I think that's amazing.

Cathy: I agree and I feel like you know, for me like not doing it for two years and then like, then I tried the different beers like um when I was the alcohol rep for Non-Alcohol Rep. I should say for better roads, they sent me one that tasted like blue moon like the orange beer. it was so good you know, like i really liked that um but i haven't really like you know like I I didn't really like the liquors like tequila and stuff like that myself did i tell you the tequila story how i had tequila and my son came home and he was like mom, why do you have tequila? Um you know out and I'm like oh it's non-alcohol tequila and he was like so it's dirt in a bottle. Oh my God but I couldn't, like for me, like a lot of people have made margaritas with those and all that I can't tell the difference but I was more of a wine drinker so I don't think I'm like a good you know person to say but yeah it'll be interesting to go to Austin because Chris will be making different drinks and I really want to try like different things because I'm ready now you know so and to be around all sober people who will be trying it too I think will be really cool.

Alex: That's so cool.

Cathy: There's only 11 tickets left for Sober in the City.

Alex: Oh my Gosh, that's amazing. Yeah, by the way everyone, Sober in the City um Cathy is going to be going Sober in the City in Austin and texas in November and she's going to be representing the Mindful Life Practice there and um yeah wearing a sweater being on some panels so um do you want to chat talk about Sober in the City briefly and just let people?

Cathy: yes i'm so so excited um so sober the city started with susie who does who has zero proof uh susie i'm sorry um because she just changed her i love her logo i will find it while i'm talking um but it's the concept is there'll be a guest speaker on saturday night of um jen couch who is with i'm going to think of the name of this is terrible um she is the guest speaker of the program that she runs but um susie has done this in sacramento with peggy with um this site of alcohol and she has done it in long beach as well um with with another author so she mixes it up with with different things but austin has been a big hit because a lot of people have always wanted to go to austin but the susie's whole um zero proof she's with zero proof experience.

Alex: Love it.

Cathy: which i think is cool um and uh so the the concept behind it is two fold that you learn that you can go and have a good time you know with your friends and learn how to do different things because we're gonna have all sorts of activities the last two that susie did it was just a not just but it was a dinner like a happy hour a dinner and the speaker this has got turned into a full-blown weekend because everybody is so excited about austin so like we're going to be providing yoga there's going to be all sorts of things all like for like two or three days um people taking tours doing hikes all that kind of stuff and then you'll also have the um the chris um who will be doing the i cannot talk today chris will be doing the mixologist stuff and um at the bar and then we'll have the dinner and then um we will go from there so um the dinner but uh yeah and so the whole purpose so the twofold is you learn that you can go have a good time and have a getaway weekend the other thing is the city gets trained and how do you provide this for for people like a zero proof um weekend you know and training restaurants and bars and coffee shops and things of that nature to make people feel more comfortable.

Alex: yeah that's amazing that's so incredible super exciting

Cathy: i hope i i did okay with that

Alex: Yeah.

Cathy: I I, I'm like sleeping on names like I I'm so zen like it's been like I think I've been sent since yesterday morning with your um your your yoga class you know with with Khaled. I I feel like that just put me into the zen for the rest of the weekend. It's been amazing.

Alex: Oh my God that meditation. Anyone who's watching, that was incredible.

Cathy: It was really seriously, like I had a massive headache last night and like this morning and I like I practiced what he was saying this afternoon and I'm like why didn't I do this sooner? It was amazing.

Alex: Yeah. No, he's incredible, so good.

Cathy: I really recomend all your classes but that one what what is that called.

Alex: The mindful um, I think it's Mindful Manifestation Yin & Meditation.

Cathy: Yeah, that was that's a good way to kick off a sunday for sure.

Alex: Yeah.

Cathy: Um, all right. What else?

Alex: So, Trina's asking do you have any events in Vancouver, BC, Canada? Um, we would love to. We've talked about doing these types of things and it almost kicked off this summer and then it just was like too much going on at the time but it's something that we've thought a lot about is like doing those live events. I think that would be amazing so if we have a big enough crowd in Vancouver we could definitely do um like a sober person. I think I like Susie's model. I think that's great, like getting a hotel in the city and doing like an event. I think that would be really fun.

Cathy: i know that would be a kind of like a cool different kind of retreat like weekend you could have like a different type of yoga retreat weekend maybe we could work with susie on that i've always wanted to go to vancouver so i'm in

Alex: yeah, let’s do it.

Cathy: There’s a huge like Vancouver and Seattle. I feel like there's a huge sober like communities there.

Alex: Yeah.

Cathy: So I think there would be a raw for sure.

Alex: Totally, the interest. Yeah.

Cathy: I love that you asked, that's awesome.

Alex: All right, so let's talk about the um two upcoming things which the registration ends this weekend for the 108 Day Recovery Program and then also the deep dive into sober yoga so let's talk a little bit about those.

Cathy: Yes, all right. So, what do we want when you say this weekend like in my mind this upcoming weekend is that what you mean?

Alex: Yeah, yeah so September 11 is when the next 108 Day Recovery Program starts and it's when the next deep dive into yoga starts.

Cathy: Yay, because in my mind it's still the weekend so I just want to make sure because I think people in the states might think that way too so.

Alex: True, yes yes yes, true see I'm already midweek, I'm on tuesday.

Cathy: I know, I know you're already like you're like yes this weekend Cathy like your face was like I'm like well in my mind. Um so the 108, Alex you explained it to me once the whole reason we chose 108 is because there's a meaning behind um two things, I want to say or one thing I want to say about the 108 is the question has come up whether because you have the 30-day challenge, you have the 60-day challenge and then the 108. The 108 is literally 108 days; it's not the another 30 days added on to the 30 and 60. So I just want to address that first and the reason we chose 108 Day um recovery. You explained it so well during um yoga teacher training and I was wondering if you would explain the meaning behind 108?

Alex: Yeah absolutely. So, the number 108 it's a sacred number in yoga. Um so, it's also sacred number in the traditions of uh Hinduism and Buddhism and basically the Malas. So, I wear a lot of mala bead necklaces and those include 108 beads and they're used for devotional meditation for mantra and so what you're doing is you're repeating something a number of 108 times and then there's a bead at the bottom um which just marks the beginning and the end and there's also a lot of practices of 108 salutations um to celebrate a season transition. So, the Winter Solstice or the Summer Solstice and so this is a time to flow and breathe and just kind of connect to this ritual and there's also a bunch of other different relevant um reasons for the number 108. So, the Sanskrit alphabet which is the language that um was traditionally spoken and written in India at the time that yoga originated. Sanskrit has 54 letters and each letter has um a masculine Shiva and a feminine Shakti which makes 108, which makes the number 108. Um in astrology, there's 12 constellations, nine arc segments um, 12 houses and nine planets. So, 12 times 9 is 108 and the diameter of the sun is 108 times the earth. So, there's all of these really beautiful and cool meanings for the relevance of the number 108 and so when we were discussing like you know what should we do with our our programs that was where we got that idea of the 108 Day recovery.

Cathy: And it's so funny because I'm not a numbers person. I joke with my students that I'm allergic to numbers but what I hear, I mean I was raised Catholic and I love the beads concept for for you know, all the the different religions you know, and spiritual beliefs um but what I really hear is the transformation of a person you know by journeying for 108 days the spiritual um you're letting go of yourself and like what you're trying to control and you're trying to give, give a higher power of meaning to to your purpose in life and that's what I took away really when when I thought of the 108 days which I thought was pretty powerful.

Alex: I love that and I think it's so cool and it's so unique and it's so different than any other um offerings out there.

Cathy: I agree. I feel like 108 kind of stands out and you know the the interesting thing about the month coming up with September and October is will really be hitting the hot. You'll be so well practiced with being alcohol free or you know journeying towards self-love. That when the holidays hit that, you'll have more of a groove and you know not saying things can will go perfectly but you'll have more of the support. You'll have more of a practice and you'll have more of a toolkit that you might not have had if you if you don't start practicing now is my my thing with 108 days which I.

Alex: Totally,

Cathy: Is is really important to think about boundaries and triggers and all those kind of things but then also having the support and the in the tools, you know? This weekend I was really just had come off a hard long time of work but I didn't think about drinking but my emotional state was so ah but I knew I had to keep digging and I had to keep coming into community and I had to keep doing like yoga, different things. Those were the two things that I know in journaling, I I had to use my tools a lot this weekend even three plus years into sobriety and not because I wanted to drink but the emotional sobriety the mental health with it was was really lacking because I wasn't, I wasn't feeling my face. I was filling other people's faces in that line.

Alex: Mm-hmm and so the 108 Recovery, it's for anyone that is a little bit further along on their sober journey. So, the way we have it structured is you would start with the 30 Day Challenge the 60 Day Challenge and then move into the 108 Day Recovery and the 30 Day Challenge is for people that are more in initial sobriety and the 108 Program is more for people that are a little bit further along in their sobriety. So, if you're watching this and you're like over two months alcohol free this is the program for you. It starts on September 11th. Is it going to be running on Sun, Sunday?

Cathy: Sunday, 11 Eastern Standard Time and Wednesdays at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Alex: Yeah and Cathy's going to be leading the meetings on the weekend and Leigh is going to be offering that yoga practice so um, it's going to be incredible.

Cathy: I'm so excited. The other thing is

Alex: And.

Cathy: If you have, if you're not alcohol free but yet like you've been practicing for two months or more, it's still a good program. Not a good, it's a great program right? We had people who you know, women that it's all women for the other part of that but the other part is um but we had women who were still cutting back but they had been practicing a while and it just it went er deeper for them in in their practice.

Alex: And I love that idea practicing sobriety, I think it's a beautiful way to phrase it.

Cathy: Yeah softer.

Alex: Mm-hmm. So um the last thing is the Deep Dive into Sober Yoga and this is coming up this weekend. We're starting on September 11th um this is a program that is actually a yoga teacher training. It's a 100 hour Yoga Teacher Training. It's going to give you the coaching qualifications from the Sober Curious Yoga Teacher Training and it's going to give you Module 1 and 2 of the Yoga Teacher Training plus, if you do the Deep Dive into Sober Yoga, you get a chance to be an assistant facilitator in one of these programs that we're talking about. So, you can assist and facilitate in the 30 Day Challenge, the 60 Day Challenge or the 108 Day Recovery. So, if you're listening in and you're someone who wants to like take a leadership role in the sober world but you don't know how and you don't know what um, if you're someone that wants to give service in sobriety then I would highly recommend um checking out this program. We're starting again on the 11th and um basically as being part of that you get to be a leader in in one of these sober programs so I think it's going to be really fantastic and really exciting and we have a few women already signed up few women signed up for the 108 so um yeah jump in and join us.

Cathy: That's awesome and you know it's so incredible because I, I had two years when I, I joined your your training and you know I've been leading some things but I gained so much like I didn't know I wanted to serve but I didn't know how I wanted to serve and with with the program I, it was so empowering because I learned what my strengths were and what I, that's how this 108 came along you know and I feel like you find yourself and what maybe you want to give back but you're also given tools in a very structured way that I just really felt confident leading others and you know because we were we were being trained on how to do that and I think you know that to me now that I've been in this and you've been in this I think to me having people who are trained is a really important aspect of the alcohol free or sobriety world that's my two cents.

Alex: Yeah, absolutely.

Cathy: All right.

Alex: All right, here we go.

Cathy: How is the time go so quickly? How does that happen?

Alex: I know, it's seven in the morning now for me so for anyone um that's tuning in, if you have any questions for us shoot us a message. We're always here and we will be back every week we're doing it now at 6:30, not six. It's gonna give me a chance to sleep in a little bit. That's going to give Cathy a little bit of transition time after work so we'll see you at 6:30 every Monday um in the Facebook group.

Cathy: Awesome, have a great week everyone.

Alex: Bye everyone, see you soon.

Alex: Hi friend, thank you so much for listening to this episode of Sober Yoga Girl podcast. This community wouldn't exist without you here. So thank you. It would be massively helpful if you could subscribe, leave a review and share this podcast so it can reach more people. If we haven't met yet in real life please come get your one week free trial of the Sober Girls Yoga membership and see what we're all about. Sending you love and light wherever you are in the world.


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