Suryanamaskar Relay Marathon a great success in USA

via HSS published on February 3, 2007

24 hour Suryanamaskar Relay Marathon a great success in Bay Area and across the country


The much awaited Suryanamaskar ‘Lahar’, the 24 hour Relay Marathon of Suryanamaskars or Sun Salutations, swept through the seven chapters of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) in Bay area,California on 26th and 27th of January.

Suryanamaskar Lahar was part of the concluding program of the Suryanamaskar ‘Yagna’ that started on Jan 13th on the auspicious day of Makara Sankranti, which marks the day the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn or Makar, paving the way for longer days. So much was the enthusiasm for the Lahar program that around 300 people in the Bay Area performed a total of over 19000 Suryanamaskars in the 24 hours. Surya Namaskar is a combination of yoga postures that form a set of well-balanced movements that will stretch all the muscles in the body, thus keeping the body and mind healthy. A common practice of performing Surya Namaskar in a set of
ten yoga postures provides exercise and several advantages to body muscles and internal organs.

Suryanamaskar “Lahar” meaning ‘Wave’ started in San Ramon, the northern most chapters of HSS in the Bay Area, at 5:00 pm on Friday, Jan 26. The wave of enthusiasm was so strong right from the start that the participants at San Ramon put to use 16 different Indian and other world languages to count through the 10 different Yoga positions that constitute a full set of Suryanamaskar. This motivation and dedication was seen from chapter to chapter as the Lahar moved South through Ardenwood, Fremont, San Jose and Evergreen chapters at their scheduled hours. These chapters saw participants perform Suryanamaskars in the late hours of the night through early hours of January 27th morning non-stop.


 Volunteers of all ages, children to seniors alike took part with great vigor, enthusiasm and inspiration. From the 3 year old to the 70 year old – age was no bar for participants to immerse themselves in Suryanamaskars with devotion. At many locations children competed with their friends to do as many Suryanamaskars as they could and coordinators had a tough time dissuading them to slow down. For the 8 year old Prateek who had come to participate in Ardenwood, even after completing over 200 counts of Suryanamaskars, he had ample energy and desire left to continue. Latha, a parent of two from Sunnyvale said, “I am amazed at myself having completed 65 counts of Suryanamaskars.” Such was the overwhelming passion and drive with which each and every participant took part in the event. On the morning of January 27th, Cupertino and then the Sunnyvale chapter joined the relay marathon which at times saw over 40 people perform Suryanamaskars at any given time.

After the Lahar concluded at 5 pm at the Sunnyvale chapter on January 27th, Mr. Ved Prakash Nanda, President of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA, addressed the gathering and reflected upon the remarkable efforts that participants at the various chapters in the Bay Area as well as those across United States put in to not just actively participate in the Suryanamaskar Yagna but also involve friends, family and their community around. Mr.Nanda said, “Suryanamaskar Yagna was a unique way of educating many in the United States about the benefits of Suryanamaskar, which is
one of the many wonderful treasures of Hindu culture.” The 24 hour Suryanamaskar Lahar thus turned out to be an event that generated enthusiasm of epic proportions through out the Bay Area. The two week long Suryanamaskar Yagna saw about 500 participants in Bay Area doing around 90,000 Suryanamaskars!

Across United States, more than 3600 participants performed close to 375,000 Suryanamaskars in the 2 weeks of the Yagna. When asked about the successful completion of Surya Namaskar Yagna, National Project Coordinator, Dr. Siddhesh Shevade said, “Our biggest achievement for this project was to make individuals understand the easy cardio-respiratory training to the body that one can regularly perform in minimum time and space and with no equipment. Surya Namaskar Yagna, as a project, has concluded for this year, but we are sure that many individuals who developed this habit in the past couple weeks will make this individual sun salutation offering life-long.”

He further added, “Governor Brad Henry pronounced January 28, 2007 as ‘Yoga Awareness Day’ for state of Oklahoma and Mayor Kathy Taylor did the same for her city, Tulsa.”

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh is a non-profit cultural organization runs over 100 chapters throughout the country.  For Media Inquiries, please contact the HSS National Public Relations Coordinator, Mr. Khanderao Kand,by email at [email protected] or by phone at 408-737-7930

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