Surya Namaskar Yagna (SNY) 2015 Report

Surya Namaskar Sun Salutations

On Jan 1st 2015, the chilly New Year Day morning, approximately 50 people including children visited Sunnyvale Hindu Temple to participate in the Surya Namaskar Yagna (Sun Salutations Marathon). People also signed up for the online inauguration for the first time this year. Close to 400 people have signed up for the Marathon from different chapters across United States and Bengaluru, India.

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The program started with Aditya Hrudayam chanting, a beautiful rendition of the praise of Sun from Ramayana where Lord Rama is supposed to have chanted this to be able to gain courage and strength to win over the demon king Ravana and get back his wife Sita.

After the chanting, Siddu Rati, SNY 2015 coordinator introduced the guest speakers. Everyone listened to the online webinar telecast of Sri. N.V Raghuram and Dr. Naveen.K.V at the gathering from Bengaluru India. Sri N.V.Raghuram is the chairman and spiritual founder of Yoga Bharati. He talked about the Philosophical basis of Surya Namaskar. He explained the importance of Uttarayana – the period of the year where the days start getting longer and how it signifies the upward movement of our spiritual energy and growth. He talked about health at all levels of personality – the Annamaya Kosha – the physical body, Pranamaya – vital energy, Manomaya – the mind, Vijnanamaya – the intellect and finally the Anandamaya – the peace personality. He explained how Surya Namaskar elevates us at all these levels of personalities. He commended the announcement of International Yoga Day by the UN on June 21st and said that over 180 countries have signed up for this announcement. He blessed us all and wished a Happy and a holistically Healthy New Year 2015!

Dr. Naveen, the medical director of Yogaksema Stress and Lifestyle Clinic in Bengaluru, India, with a 20 year background on research in yoga talked about the Scientific Basis of Surya Namaskar. He explained the difference between isometric and isotonic exercises and how SN help in providing isotonic exercise to various muscle groups – 5 upper body muscles, 4 muscles at the trunk and 5 lower body muscles [Complement The Med. 2014; 22(4):662-9]. He quoted research papers that showed the energy expenditure during SN was 13.91 kcal and a set of 10-12 SNs would amount to the same expenditure as an hour log run on the treadmill.

As an aerobic exercise SN seemed to be ideal as it involves both static stretching and slow dynamic component of exercise with optimal stress on the cardiorespiratory system – said Dr. Naveen. A separate yoga class was conducted for children and the kids were seen with bright smiles on their mats doing 24 rounds of SNs. The specialty of this year was Yoga Bharati’s invention of three variations of Suryanamaskars the classic 10 steps, the tiger stretch and Shashakhasana variation and the chair 10 step SN. These three variations can be practiced depending on the need of the individual or a mix and match of these variations can be practiced to achieve optimum exercise and asana benefits. The entire group practiced all three variation sequences.

After the breathing and loosening practices, 24 Suryanamaskars were practiced, first 12 rounds with Baja Mantras and then with Yoga Bharati’s classic 12 rounds with A.R.Rahman’s music for Totakashtakam. The entire group was energized with the practice of classic SNs interspersed with the other two variations of SN. This was followed by Deep Relaxation. Anil Surpur, the president of Yoga Bharati gave the benefits and limitations of SN and also talked about Yoga Bharati activities. Sharat Joshi gave the vote of thanks. The program ended with a peace chant wishing the health and happiness of all – Sarve Bhavantu SukhinaHa.

Apart over 400 members of Yoga Bharati practicing SNs in their homes, Savita Joshi conducted an online teaching of SNs and Shailesh Basani conducted Surya Namaskar Yajna with recorded listening of Raghuramji’s and Dr. Naveen’s talks followed by SN training and practice in Milpitas, CA.

It was a great beginning of year 2015 with SNY!!

Yoga Bharati SNY team.