Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh launched its 9th annual “Surya Namaskar Yagna - Health for Humanity Yogathon” at multiple locations in New Jersey Jan. 16. The programs, attended by HSS volunteers and yoga enthusiasts, were held at Parsippany, Iselin, Edison, South Plainfield, Kendell Park, Chesterfield and Pamona.

HSS has been organizing this two-week event since 2006 to promote the idea of fitness among people of all age groups and to propagate simple ways to achieve health through ancient Hindu yoga techniques. Attendees performed ‘Surya Namaskars,’ a form of yoga postures that involves 10 simple steps and breathing exercises.

A six-hour marathon session was held in South Plainfield, where hundreds of volunteers participated and performed a total of almost 5,000 Surya Namaskars. Kids were a big attraction during this event and did yoga on par with the adults.

At the South Plainfield yogathon, Namrata Dixit, a physical therapist from Central Jersey, emphasized the need to keep ourselves fit throughout the year, especially during the winter. She stated that research has proven Surya Namaskars have great health benefits and only take 15-20 minutes a day to help us stay fit. Not only do we burn calories by performing them, they are an easy and simple way to fight obesity and balance all the metrics of the human body. Surya Namaskars should be performed early in the morning for the maximum benefits, as they help us to maintain a balanced body, mind and spirit.

At the Edison event, chief guest Shri Upendra Chivukula, commissioner of the N.J. State Utility Board and ex-Congressman and deputy speaker of the N.J. General Assembly, lauded the efforts made by HSS in promoting Surya Namaskar for the benefit of society and was pleased to see so many kids and adults enthusiastically performing Surya Namaskars. Shri Andhra Dev, a senior physics professor and yoga teacher from Hyderabad, also attended the program as a chief guest and elaborated on the benefits of doing Surya Namaskars.

The closing ceremony was held Jan. 30-31 at Parsippany, Edison, South Plainfield, Kendell Park, Princeton and Pamona. The programs concluded with everyone taking a pledge to continue doing Surya Namaskars throughout the rest of the year. Certificates of participation were given to kids who successfully did two sets (26 Surya Namaskars) a day from Jan. 16-31.  

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