Yogathon targets 250,000 Salutations to Sun God

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Staff Reporter
Auckland, May 30, 2021

Volunteers and teachers of Kawai Purapura Albany

 

The 2021 Edition of Health for Humanity Yogathon has set a target of 250,000 Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations).

The two-week Yogathon, scheduled to be held from June 12 to June 26, 2021, in several cities encouraging all New Zealanders to learn, participate and incorporate Yoga in their daily lives, will mark the International Day of Yoga, designated by the UN on June 20.

In addition, the programme will feature Yoga, Meditation, Mantra, Bhakti, Music and Talks from experts from all parts of New Zealand.

A decade of Yoga en masse

The annual event started in 2011 and has competed 10 years of promoting Yoga on a mass scale in New Zealand. Yoga, with roots in ancient Hindu philosophy, is slowly and steadily growing in this country.

The Yogathon New Zealand team is reaching out to all Yoga Schools, Yoga Retreats, Gyms, and Community Organisations to acknowledge and appreciate their contribution in teaching, practising and promoting Yoga. The team is also calling on all volunteers and Yoga teachers to join in this year’s special event.

Dr Guna Magesan, who initiated the Yogathon, said that Special Certificates will be issued to all volunteers and teachers.

Contributions acknowledged

“Their contribution will be acknowledged, respected, recognised, and make known to the community at large. It is important to share the history of Yogathon in New Zealand. In 2008, Hindu Council of New Zealand organised its second New Zealand National Conference with the theme ‘Yoga, Ayurveda and Meditation’ and the Conference was inaugurated by Maori King, Te Arikinui King Tuheitia,” he said.

Dr Magesan, who was the Coordinator of the Conference said that one of the outcomes was to form AROGYA (Aotearoa Research Organisation for Generic Yoga & Ayurveda).

“In 2010, the Hindu Council of New Zealand announced that the Health for Humanity Yogathon will be launched the following year. Since then, the number of participants and number of Surya Namaskars have been increasing steadily. It is important to note that we have been promoting Yoga nationwide much before the International Day of Yoga was announced in 2015,” he said.

Yoga Participants at Anahata Retreat

 

Hindu Council strikes Silver

The Hindu Council of New Zealand is marking its Silver Jubilee this year, the inaugural festival of which was held at the Apumoana Marae, Rotorua on May 15, 2021.

“Discussions were held with Maori Elders to share the health benefits of Yoga, and extension of Yogathon to various Marae in New Zealand. Free workshops on Surya Namaskars can be conducted if Marae is interested in knowing the health benefits of Yoga,” Dr Magesan said.

The Yogathon was organised online last year due to Covid-19. For the first time, entire Yoga sessions were hosted online in Te Reo Maori.

According to Dr Magesan, integration of the ancient philosophy of Yoga with local communities was heart-warming.

Obeisance to Sun God

“In spite of online Yogathon, a record number of yoga enthusiasts participated in the two week-long event last year. Yogathon 2020 completed more than 134,000 Sun Salutations over the two weeks of the national challenge. Yogathon 2021 is aiming at 250,000. To make it happen, two National Coordinators Ajay Agrahari and Komal Shah are working with National Joint Coordinators Mangalagowri H (Northern Region), Kiran Thakrar (Central Region) and Pavithra Ravi (South Island), and Several City Coordinators,” he said.

Dr Magesan said that the organisers are expecting many schools, childcare centres, community organisations, youth groups, Yoga schools and individuals to participate enthusiastically in Yogathon 2021.

Venues, timings, and contacts of city and centre coordinators will be announced soon.

Further information can be had from Ajay Agrahari (022-3419447), Komal Shah (021-0353591), Mangalagowri H (027-2441665) and Kiran Thakrar (021-1640832) and Pavithra Ravi (022-4699089).
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