SNY 2013 Kick Off Report

Surya Namaskar Yagna 2013

Yoga Bharati, Bay Area Chapter arranged kick-off for Surya Namaskar Yagna (SNY) – Sun Salutations Marathon 2013 on Jan 1st through Online video call at Sunrise. Yoga experts from VYASA, Bangalore spoke for this online event that had more than 50 attendees. Yoga Bharati also arranged inauguration program on Dec 30th Sunday at 7:00 AM PST at Sunnyvale and Fremont Hindu Temples. This event also marked the kick-off for the pilot Research Initiative in Surya Namaskar (SN) that is a new addition this year!

The duration of the yagna is a total of 6 weeks, starting January 1st and ending on Feb 17th, the day of ‘Ratha Sapthami’. SNY has been an annual Yoga Bharati event for a few years now, with hundreds of people participating every year and performing more than 100,000 Surya Namaskars. SNY is a marathon where an individual sets a daily goal of Surya Namaskars and starts practicing, gradually increasing the count per day to reach that goal. The idea is to complete as many rounds of Surya Namaskar as possible during the yagna period. The main goal of the yagna is to spread awareness on the benefits of Yoga and Surya Namaskar in the community.

Jan 1st Online kickoff was a launch of SNY 2013 through video talks by Dr. H.R.Nagendra, Chairman of VYASA, Bangalore, Yogashree N.V.Raghuram, Chairman and Spiritual founder of Yoga Bharati and Dr. Naveen Vishweshwaraiah, Joint Research Director of VYASA and founder of FAITHS-Yogaksema integrative health clinic, Bangalore. While Guruji Dr. Nagendra and Sri.N.V Raghuram blessed us with their wonderful messages of philosophy of yoga and the health aspect of Suryanamaskar, Dr. Naveen elaborately spoke on the need for research in yoga and the background of Yoga Bharati’s first pilot research in studying the effects of SN on the overall health of the population. He also explained the entire research protocol while answering the questions from the audience.

The Dec 30th inauguration events at both Sunnyvale and Fremont locations had a great turnout of over 80 people in the combined locations even on a chilly winter morning!

The session began with a beautiful chanting of “Aditya Hridayam”, followed by an explanation of the historical and spiritual significance of Aditya Hridayam. The participants enjoyed the chanting at that early hour which brought their minds and hearts into the mood for Sun Salutations.

The spiritual, physiological and psychological benefits of practicing Surya Namaskar were discussed next. A quick demonstration and also the variations for people with different levels, for people with ailments such as mild backpain, mild arthritis, etc was explained. This helped some of the new comers in the session.

Surya Namaskars or Sun Salutations are performed to give reverence to the internal Sun, the creative force that radiates inside the body, along with the external Sun, which shines outside the body and is the source of all energy.

This year, Yoga Bharati has started a new initiative of conducting pilot research to study the benefits of Suryanamaskar on healthy individuals and people with lifestyle disorders. More than 100 people have signed up for this population study. The inauguration program focused on Yoga Bharati’s research initiative. The senior yoga therapists and the coordinators of SNY research explained the participants, what is expected of an SNY research subject.

The participants were then led through ten rounds of Surya Namaskars, guided by an instructor. Various rounds of Surya Namaskars were practiced where attention was drawn to awareness on breath, flexibility, variations of poses and right practices.

Every set was interspersed with ‘Bija Mantras’ that are chanted in praise of ‘Lord Surya’ or the Sun God. One could see and feel the energy in the room as the session progressed!

A deep relaxation followed by a peace prayer “Sarve Bhavantu” was an excellent ending to a great event!

A light breakfast was enjoyed after the session by all the participants and volunteers.  At the end of the session, more than 35 volunteers signed up for Suryanamaskar pilot research initiative and  got their health parameters measured by research coordinators.

The event and the entire SNY/research initiative are enthusiastically run by Yoga Bharati volunteers which also includes a note worthy contribution by the youth!