Yogathon New Zealand ushers in Health for Humanity

Hindu Council of New Zealand events over 14 days next month

Venkat Raman

While Yoga is fast becoming an accepted form of mental and physical fitness, its significance as a movement for the entire human race will be underscored at various events that would be held during June 2019.

Of these, ‘Yogathon,’ a fourteen-day event scheduled to be held in various cities and towns throughout New Zealand from Saturday, June 15 to Friday, June 28, 2019, would perhaps be a trendsetter, incorporating the ‘International Day of Yoga.’

Hindu Council of New Zealand is organising the ‘Yogathon’ which is now in its ninth year. Since 2011, the annual event has been organised with ‘Health for Humanity’ as the theme.

A notification said that Yogathon will help promote yoga widely in a scientific perspective of health, to help introduce it as part of the school curriculum, encourage healthy living, and connect yoga schools and practitioners in New Zealand through participation in this planned annual event.

India’s great contribution

While Yoga is being practiced throughout the world (in some places erroneously followed as aerobics and workouts), it is a gift of India conditioning the mind and body, channelising energy through positive vibes. In essence, Yoga is a Science that provides for healthy thoughts which translate into healthy actions, turning into a healthy world.

Peace and harmony are central to true Yoga practitioners, a factor that is highlighted by ‘Yogathon New Zealand’ and the Hindu Council.

Participating Organisations

Among the organisations that are corroborating with the Hindu Council are Yoga Education in Prisons Trust, Yoga in Daily Life Wellington, Art of Living Foundation, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu Elders Foundation, Hindu Youth New Zealand, Bharatiya Mandir, Hanuman Mandir, and number of Yoga schools including Datta Kriya Yoga, Kawai Purapura, and Minds over Mats Yoga.

International Yoga Day

The Hindu Council of New Zealand will present jointly with the ‘Yoga Education in Prisons Trust,’ 108 Surya Namaskara in Wellington’s Civic Square from 1230 pm to 130 pm on June 21, now celebrated as ‘International Yoga Day.’

This Programme will be a fundraiser for ‘Yoga Education in Prisons Trust’ who provide Yoga and meditation classes and courses for prisoners.

The participants aim to collectively perform 108,000 repetitions of ‘Surya Namaskara’ (Sun Salutations) over a period of 2 weeks.

“A repetition of Surya Namaskar consists of a series of yoga postures of well-balanced movements linked with simple breathing techniques. If you are a first-time practitioner, trained instructors will be available at specific locations to help you get initiated in Yoga through Surya Namaskar,” the notification said.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who started the movement with a suggestion during his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014 (the world body adopted a Resolution on December 11, 2014 making June 21 as the International Yoga Day), leads thousands of people in Rajpath, New Delhi on that day.

Mr Modi said that Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition.

“It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day,” he said.

In suggesting June 21, which is the Summer Solstice, as the International Day of Yoga, Mr Modi had said that the date is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and has special significance in many parts of the world.

Yogathon Invitation

The Organising Committee of Yogathon New Zealand has invited Yoga Centres, schools and tertiary institutions, social, cultural, and spiritual and community organisations and individual to register for participation.

“More importantly, all of them should continue practising Surya Namaskar beyond the Yogathon Programme,” the notification said.

For Registration and further details, please visit;


National Coordinator: Ajay Agrahari (022-3419447); Joint coordinator: Komal Shah (021-0353591); Wellington Coordinator: Nidhi Bhargava (021-02744489).

Indian Associations Yoga Session

Indian Associations are to get together to participate in the ‘International Yoga Day’ being organised at Mahatma Gandhi Centre, 145, New North Road, Eden Terrace, Auckland on Sunday, June 16, 2019, from 930 am.

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