Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) recently concluded its two-week-long 15th annual Health for Humanity Yogathon, also known as Surya Namaskar Yajna (SNY), on January 30. Surya Namaskar integrates simple Yoga postures in 10 steps that, along with easy breathing techniques, can provide immense health benefits to both the body and the mind.
The Illinois House of Representatives commended HSS in a State House resolution to recognize these efforts. While recognizing HSS for its year-round activities and social work in their neighborhoods, this resolution explicitly acknowledged over 52,000 repeated Surya Namaskar Yoga by 4000 individuals in the State. It further commended HSS for promoting all community members’ spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.
Nationally, this year, over 12,600 enthusiasts actively performed daily Surya Namaskar sets for the duration of this project. Over 3,000 students and teachers from various schools participated in this activity. Total 728,795 Surya Namaskars were collectively performed. Many participants acknowledged its benefits in attaining physical and emotional balance and committed to continuing this activity regularly. Additionally, 161 Yoga teachers attended special local events where they were felicitated for their work in the local communities. 129 elected officials, including several US senators, Governors, State representatives, and Mayors, issued proclamations to recognize this initiative and encouraged their constituents to participate in this valuable health awareness program.
Since its inception in 2007, participants from 43 states have actively participated. This includes individuals, families, Yoga centers, community organizations, schools, and colleges. Regardless of individual faiths and beliefs, enthusiasts have experienced and collectively performed over four 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 lifestyle. Health for Humanity Yogathon has received numerous proclamations from American mayors, governors, US Congressmen, and US Senators. It was recognized as a part of Congressional records in 2017. Acknowledging the community benefits of this initiative, the Let’s Move initiative of the then First Lady Michelle Obama declared HSS as a partner in 2012.
“Surya Namaskar Yajna has always been an inspiring and satisfying event. This year was more challenging due to the sudden surge in COVID cases, which led to several uncertainties,” said national project coordinator Mr. Srinidhi Sreepad. “But our team of dedicated volunteers made some quick changes, and we could successfully conduct this flagship program of HSS. We got an amazing response from the community, and it made all our efforts worthwhile,” he added.