Hundreds Join Surya Namaskar Yogathon

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Participants performing Surya Namaskar.

HOUSTON: Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) concluded the tenth annual “Yoga for Health, Health for Humanity Yogathon” or “Surya Namaskar Yajna”. The 16-day event aims to create awareness about Yoga and its advantages in achieving a healthy body, mind and spirit. Surya Namaskar integrates simple Yoga postures in 10-steps that, along with easy breathing technique, can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind.

Each year Hindus worldwide celebrate January 14, as Makar Sankranti, a day that marks the change of season as the sun enters the sign of Capricorn or Makar. Makar Sankranti ushers in longer days; thus, the festivity symbolizes sunshine in life. To mark this occasion, HSS had organized the “Yoga for Health, Health for Humanity” Yogathon from January 16 to January 31.

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Participants from all walks of life performed surya namaskar.

HSS initiated this health awareness project in 2006. Since its inception, participants from 40 states actively took part via various Yoga Centers, community organizations, schools and colleges regardless of individual faiths and beliefs, have participated and collectively performed over 4 million Surya Namaskars. Community leaders and many elected officials across the nation have appreciated this initiative and encouraged their residents to participate and gain the benefits of an overall healthy life style.

As a part of this nationwide event, Houston HSS chapter had organized unique 24 hour “surya namasker” yogathon at Keshav Smruti in Southwest Houston.

At the Yogathon 215 young and not so young men and women and children participated, performing more than 15,000 Surya Namaskars. They were from 26 different organizations whose members participated in the event.

Vivek Singh from Sugarland branch of HSS , was the highest performer with 403 Surya Namaskars.

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Sharad Amin, National HSS PR incharge addressing the participants

Twenty-nine participants did more than 100 Surya Namaskars, twelve did more than 200, three did more than 300 and one did more than 400.

Night slot of the yogathon was covered by the youths. 12 youths performed nonstop suryanamaskar from 11:00 pm thru 6:00 am . Vivek Sharda , one of the youths attending the night shift said “The atmosphere was serene and peaceful during the night shift. Everyone got into a deeply meditative mood, moving the bodies in tune with the chants and following the natural rhythms of breathing cycles. The energy in group really motivated us. We were able to achieve 2210 rounds of Surya Namaskar during the night shift.

Surya Namaskar Yajna was a success because of the participation of a large number of yoga teachers and community members, “Every year the number is going up and general awareness about adopting a healthy life style with simple practice of Surya Namaskar is increasing”, said Manoj Rathi, Houston co-coordinator of this event.

He  also appealed to the audience not to just do suryanamskar for one day  but make it part of daily lifestyle  and also got assurance from them to attend 24 your yogathon next year.

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4 year old Charvi Damani was one of the youngest to perform surya namaskar.

Vaishali Sheth of Svyasa gave credit to yogic exercises for mind-body control and total relaxation for a satisfactory and contented life style. She does Yoga and also teaches it.

Sixteen-year-old Sarvani Desabhotla, asked young people to forget about their TV, cell phones and computers for some time and take to Surya Namaskar and other yogic exercises to make a change in their lives. She said since he started practicing Yoga her grades have improved and her attitude to life has changed. She also said that she is able to study well and sleep well and also stopped getting nightmares after started doing regular suryanamaskars. She attends Spring Branch shakha .

At the outset of the program, Sharad Amin, a dedicated HSS volunteer and national  HSS public relation in charge , said that “Yoga and Surya Namaskar are manifestations of great Hindu values that promote healthy mind in a healthy body. This is a great combination for healthy living and is now a part of a nation-wide campaign.”

Subhash Gupta , President of Houston HSS chapter and well know yoga practitioner Shekhar Agrawal from Patanjali Yog Peeth were also present during the concluding session of 24 hour Yogathon.

The program was concluded by Subhash Gupta by thanking every participating organization and coordinators of the event.

All the participants were requested to enter their count of suryanamskar into the specially designed smart phone app developed by HSS. The app offers not only ability to update the count but provides lots of resources related to suryanamskar and reporting.

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