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!

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.

To Learn our yoga and Surya Namaskars and their variations to suit your needs, visit our Yoga Page

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.

SNY 2013 Report

Feb 17th 2013

Yoga Bharati completed yet another successful SuryaNamaskar Yagna (SNY) in 2013. The closing ceremony for the yagna was held simultaneously in two locations in the Bay area – Sunnyvale Hindu Temple and Fremont Hindu Temple on Sunday Feb 17th at 7am. Close to 100 enthusiastic Suryanamaskar yagna participants attended the SNY closing ceremony at both locations.

The program began with the invocation Sahanavavatu followed by a yoga class conducted with the focus on performing Suryanamaskars with Beeja mantras. This was followed by the announcement of key statistics related to the SuryaNamaskar Yagna participation and performance for SNY 2013. Yoga Bharati is pleased to report that more than 120,000 Suryanamaskars were performed by over 600 dedicated participants throughout US and Canada. Additionally, over 100 people participated in Suryanamaskar Cohort Pilot Research study as research subjects. Several people came forward to share their experiences with the yagna and some of their testimonies are listed at the end of this article.

To highlight Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary, youth yoga teachers of the Bay Area presented a short panel discussion at each location on some of the most popular quotes of Swamiji. They were guided by YIC Faculty member Savitha Nanjangud.

The youth selected the quotes that appealed to them the most and that were most applicable to their daily lives. They took turns explaining the quotes and relating them to real life examples and how Yoga Bharati was attempting to apply these ideas through all its activities. For example, one of the quotes they presented was “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success that is way great spiritual giants are produced”. The youth connected this idea with Yoga Bharati’s recent event – Yoga Sangam – International Yoga Conference, Sep 2012, which was a remarkable success. They explained how the volunteers took up one idea – the Conference – and how they lived and worked on that one idea until it was a grand success.

Youth panel discussion was followed by the announcement of Yoga Bharati’s events and activities such as ongoing free public classes, Yoga Teachers Training for adults and youth, Sevathon Run, Yoga for various ailments, prenatal and kids yoga classes offered by Yoga Bharati. Snacks were waiting for the participants at the end of the event. This was followed by the collection of Anthropometric measurements from SNY research subjects by Yoga Bharati research coordinators.

SNY 2014 Closing Report

SNY 2014 Closing Ceremony and Testimonials

Feb 9th 2014

Yoga Bharati organizes a Surya Namaskar Yagna (SNY) or Sun Salutation Marathon every year from Jan 1st to Ratha Saptami Day which was on Feb 6th this year. Ratha Saptami is a festival celebrated by Hindus to mark the birthday of Surya or the Sun and symbolizes the change of season to Spring. Surya Namaskar (SN) is a yoga practice comprising of an integrated set of 10 asanas or poses done in a flowing manner with breath synchronization. This constitutes one cycle.

Yoga Bharati (YB) Bay Area Chapter conducted a closing ceremony on Feb 9th 2014 at BAYVP temple, Milpitas to mark the culmination of the six-week long SNY. The theme of the closing ceremony was group practice of 108 sun salutation cycles (yagna). More than 60 people from age 3 to 75 years, donning meditative blue YB T-shirts, participated in the closing ceremony yagna. INDTVUSA covered the entire event and will be broadcasted on their channel.

The participants began the yagna by aligning themselves into a formation that mimicked the radiating rays of the Sun. Participants who had trained to practice 108 cycles of SNs formed the innermost circle and led the line of people that were part of their respective Sun ray. People constituting the rays outside of the inner circle were free to practice as many SNs as they were capable of with the option of dropping out or retiring to rest when they needed to. More than 30 people including 10 year old Diya completed the 108 cycles of SN while the remaining completed anywhere from 24-48 cycles. While the majority of participants practiced the traditional SN sequence, a subset practiced less intense variations of SN prescribed either due to age or health conditions. One of the variations was the practice of SN while seated in a chair and a senior participant with no prior SN experience successfully completed 108 chair SN cycles. A second SN variation was indicated for participants with health conditions such as back, neck or shoulder pain and a subset of participants with such conditions successfully completed108 SNs without any difficulty.

In addition to energy derived from community participation, a rock style, background music of the Totakashtakam chant by the famous A.R. Rahman helped build a significant amount of contagious enthusiasm and energy into the yagna. Additionally, each set of 12 SN cycles was interspersed with a quick relaxation in Shitila Tadasana (loosened standing pose) and reading of quotes from spiritual masters by youth volunteers Devaki and Sushant. All this served to create a positive and spiritual environment to the entire event. As a consequence, several adults and young children who had not expected to proceed beyond 12-24 cycles ended up completing more than 50 SN cycles.

The program ended with a chanting of Surya Namaskar Mantra (Hiranmayena Patrena from Ishavasyopanishad) and the 12 beeja mantras (mantras used for awakening spiritual centres) followed by Deep Relaxation for all participants and a hearty healthy snack.

Most of the yagna participants had also enrolled in the 6 weeks of pre-yagna SN practice wherein they practiced between 12-108 sets on their own at home and logged in their counts. Yoga Bharati conducted SN training in all their public yoga classes for students wishing to participate in the yagna. Yoga Bharati also provided one-on-one advice for people who needed variations or had questions or concerns.

This year’s SNY was a different experiment by Yoga Bharati. “We tried SN variations for various health conditions including chair SNs”, says Ashwini Surpur, the Director of YB’s Yoga Therapy initiative. Classic SN may not suit everyone and hence we provided two more variations for people with chronic back, neck, shoulder and hand pain and for seniors. This led to increased participation and people reported great improvement in their health with the SN practice. The focus of Suryanamaskar practice is the synchronization of breath and body movement with integration of the two as the goal. Muscles stretches in combination with breath work to promote good circulation and respiration as well as the overall stimulation and relaxation that are all part of SN practice enables the mind to become peaceful. “We felt that this year’s SNY will become our model going forward”, said Ashwini.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————TESTIMONIALS————————————————————————————————————————————————————————When we were warming up I felt shy. When we were done with 6 suryanamaskaras I thought I could not do 108, but I knew I had done it when we were done with 108 suryanamaskaras. I felt happy and good and I really liked suryanamaskaras.

Sinchana (6 yrs)

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-The suryanamaskara yagna was truly a delightful experience. Four weeks before the actual event I made it a goal to discipline myself by finding time after my school work was complete, and do twenty suryanamaskaras a day.

Gradually I increased my count to thirty, then forty. Finally, when the time had come to lay down my mat and join the group of mostly adults in order to start the event, doubt arose. I was determined to reach my goal but deep in the back of the mind, my conscience persuaded me that I would not be able to complete it. Still, I wanted to try to the best of my ability. In order not to disrupt the event if I happened to get tired after 50 suryanamaskaras, I migrated with my mat to the outer circle. Someone started the music and we all began. There was a sense of peacefulness to the postures. Maybe it was the music, or the synchronized movement of all the participants that created this sense. To tell the truth, I am not sure why. You would think doing these postures repetitively might be arduous, even boring, but it was not. The more I progressed, the more energized I felt. Time flowed fast and before I knew it, I had completed 108 suryanamaskaras. As I folded up my mat, I felt an emotion that I rarely feel: I felt accomplished and proud of myself. This activity showed me that I really could do it. I would love to keep on continuing to do suryanamaskaras everyday, whether there is asuryanamaskara yagna to practice for or not, in order to benefit from that calmness and exercise every day.

Aria – 13 yrs

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-I was introduced to chair suryanamaskara’s by Ashwini at Yogabharati for the first time during the opening day of thesuryanamaskara yagna. I hadn’t thought that doing suryanamaskara’s at my age was a possibility until then. I attended the closing day ceremony of the yagna with the hope of listening to the chanting and doing a few counts of SN. But I realized that breathing into the poses correctly and maintaining a steady pace helps keep up the practice. I was able to complete 108 SN at the closing ceremony without any strain. It was definitely a positive and pleasant experience. Thanks to the YB team! Also, I would like to spread awareness to my friends and siblings back home who can also benefit from this chair yoga variation to SN.

Bhagya (Senior)

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Over the past six weeks, enrolling in the Suryanamaskar Yagna was a great experience. Throughout this period, I was consistent and did my 36 count SN practice every day, except for one. However, I made up for the missed day by doing 72 the next day.

Soon enough, doing suryanamaskars became a habit. The 6 weeks of preparation helped me build core strength and the stamina required to hold through and complete the 108 suryanamaskars on the day of the SNY closing ceremony. I didn’t even feel tired or sweaty after completing the 108 SNs, which means that the 6 weeks of practice really paid off.

I started the SN practice feeling tired because of being woken up at 6 am. However, as I continued through the sets ofsuryanamaskars, I started to feel more energized. When we finished all 9 sets, I did not feel tired anymore. Instead, I felt sharp and awake. The remnants of whatever fatigue I felt were totally gone as I finished the 108th, the final, sun salutation. As I think back from January, I felt that the 6 weeks of practice served as a prerequisite that led up to the final test, which was the 108 suryanamaskars on the closing ceremony day. Overall, the one month journey was exhilarating, and I am ready to sign up for the Surya Namaskar Yagna again next year.

-Sushant Thyagaraj (13)

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- I am sooo happy to be part of this. It was a great experience and amazingly, I had more energy in the 9th round than what I started with. I came mentally prepared to do just 50 as I hardly practiced, but with everyone helping each other in a such a positive way, I was able to complete 108.  Thank you all so much.

Music helped and facing each other helped me smile while practicing.

-Rekha ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- I was not prepared for 108.  I had planned to leave early but instead completed 108.  It was an amazing experience!   Truly felt that my inner strength was complemented by the energy in the room and kept going till end.   The music was great and pace was perfect.

Now this has to be the way we conclude Surya Namaskar Yagna very year!

-Parul ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- Due to some shoulder problems I was going to only practice 20 or so and watch the rest :). But the combined energy and enthusiasm in the room was infectious! I skipped only one set to talk to the Indtv folks but otherwise I kept going and the last set was just as strong as the first one!  Thanks to all the volunteers who organized the event and helped make it so successful.


————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-My experience with the modified version of the SN practice for neck/shoulder pain

I have been participating in the SNY from 2007 and used to practice SNs fairly regularly. However, I had to abort my participation in SNY 2013 after a couple of weeks of practice because of issues related to cervicalspondylysis and other joint-related pain. I had to discontinue my regular practice of SNs as well because of the ongoing pain.

When the announcement for SN 2014 initially came out, I thought I would not be able to participate this year either because of the continuing neck and other joint pain issues. However, thanks to the SN variation module formulated by Ashwini Surpur and the YB Yoga Therapy team for neck/shoulder pain,  I could not only resume my daily practice of SNs but also work up to reaching the goal of completing 108 SN cycles. This year’s SNY experience with the modified sequence made me realize that the practice of SNs does not have to be all or none for people with health conditions.

-Vidhya Gopalakrishnan


Surya Namaskar Study Pilot Initiative

Suryanamaskar Yajna 2013 – Pilot Research Initiative

Yoga Bharati conducts Suryanamaskar Yajna every year from New Year to Ratha Saptami – usually for a duration of 6 weeks and this year, we are conducting research to showcase the benefits of Suryanamaskar. We conducted an informal pilot study on the effects of Surya Namaskar practice for 6 weeks.

Goals and Objectives

The main goal of Suryanamaskar Yagna is Yoga Awareness and spreading the wealth of yoga and Surynamaskar in the community. In addition:

  • Publish population and cohort studies towards bringing greater awareness about health benefits of yoga to the community.
  • Build interest in the community about scientific approach to ancient sciences and to look at yoga in a new light
  • Contribute in creating yoga as an evidence-based science so that yoga will be looked up as a preventative and complementary health care by governments and healthcare industry.


What is the Study?
Simple: You will begin Suryanamaskars on Jan 1st and end on Feb 17th and practice everyday a pre-determined set of Suryanamaskars (10 count)

Volunteers who are committed to yoga and health and would like to showcase the benefits to the community will be a part of this group. We will do some tests and have you answer some questionnaire in the beginning(before Jan 1st) and at the end of the yagna (after Feb 17th). You will enter daily log of your diet and your activity including the number of Suryanamaskar cycles you performed that day. No special diet will be recommended. Your physical activity will consist of a pre-determined set of Suryanamaskar performed in a specified time period.

You will practice a pre-determined set of Suryanamaskar followed by relaxation in loosened standing pose until the breat and heart rate comes to normal. This should be followed by 2 mins of Shavasana (Supine Resting Pose). The style of Suryanamaskar is fixed for the study. Please note that you need to strictly adhere to this style for us to be able to demonstrate the benefits in a scientific manner. Follow the below two links to find out the instructions and youtube video to practice along.
Instructions (Yoga Bharati):

Note: Please note that if you are new to Suryanamaskar practice, Yoga Bharati will be happy to teach you. Please contact us and we will be able to point you to the classes/workshops near your area.

Broad Idea about the tests conducted:
Parameters to be collected at the beginning and end. All data is kept confidential.
Teachers or Physical Therapists would collect the parameters. Alternatively you could ask your partners/family/friends to help with tests. We will explain and help you with the tests and questionnaire.

    • Height, Weight, BMI, Waist, Hip, Mid-arm, Mid-thigh, Mid-Calf circumference
    • Breath Holding Time, Bhramari Time & Respiratory Rate. Also Pulse rate & Blood Pressure for your ownpersonal assessment
    • Questionnaire to measure your Rajas/Tamas/Satva Score and Doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) , SF 36 questionnaire, personality tests, etc
    • Other parameters – Sugar if diabetic, thyroid levels if they have thyroid condition etc.

SNY Pilot Research Initiative 2013 – Announcement


Dec 26th 2012
Surya Namaskar Yagna 2013

Yoga Bharati is excited to announce Surya Namaskar Yagna (SNY) – Sun Salutations Marathon 2013 and a pilot Research Initiative in Surya Namaskar 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.

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. Surya Namaskar is a series of 10 or 12 poses in a seamless flow; synchronized with one’s breath and typically performed at sunrise and sunset every day. It is ideal for people with busy schedules as it provides various benefits packaged as one routine within a small duration of time.

Surya Namaskar is a wonderful energization technique that combines both stimulation and relaxation to bring voluntary control over stress and release responses. It is also an excellent way to get cardiovascular exercise and build endurance with the least chance of injuries to muscles and joints due to the continuous variability of muscle length. Surya Namaskar practice also produces hormonal balance and burns calories to aid in weight management. Regular practice results in regulating and deepening the breath, builds body awareness and brings mindfulness into all our daily activities. In addition there are several psychological and spiritual benefits for true seekers.

Unique Surya Namaskar Pilot Research initiative for 2013
This year Yoga Bharati is launching a pilot Surya Namaskar Research Initiative in conjunction with the Surya Namaskar yagna. Yoga has been studied and practiced for centuries in traditional ways. It was the vision of Swami Vivekananda to apply the scientific research methods of the West to the ancient practices of the East to develop the best of both worlds for the benefit of mankind. Generating statistically convincing data by following rigorous research methodologies is the best way to convince the modern medical community of doctors and therapists and the community at large to adopt yoga for both preventive and curative solutions.

A chosen set of committed volunteers will practice a pre-determined set of Surya Namaskars for 6 weeks per a scientifically developed protocol and record their observations daily. No other changes in diet or physical activities are prescribed. Volunteers will answer a few questionnaires and allow some health parameters to be recorded at the beginning (Jan 1st) and at the end of the research duration (Feb 17th).

The study participants will be diligently tracked by assigned research coordinators who will be trained on all the research methodologies of protocol assignment and parameter collection.

By conducting this research project Yoga Bharati hopes to achieve the following goals

1) Publish population and cohort studies towards bringing greater awareness about health benefits of yoga to the community.
2) Build interest in the community about scientific approach to ancient sciences and to look at yoga in a new light
3) Contribute in creating yoga as an evidence-based science so that yoga will be looked up as a preventative and complementary health care by governments and healthcare industry.


SNY 2011 Concluding Report

Feb 12th, 2011

Sun Salutations

Yoga Bharati, USA concluded their annual six weeks Suryanamaskar yagna (Sun Salutations Marathon) today.  More than 1000 people all over America participated in the yagna and performed  close to 100,000 Suryanamaskars.  About 250 individuals submitted their logs for a healthy competition.  Yoga Bharati teachers made Suryanamaskars as the focus of their free public classes at various centers in different chapters such as SF Bay Area, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Diego and Atlanta.

Yoga Bharati Bay Area chapter arranged a concluding program at the Sunnyvale temple where more than 50 people gathered to perform Suryanamaskars in a synchronous  group practice. The program began with a chanting of Aditya Hrudayam by Sharat Joshi. This was followed by a talk by Ashwini Surpur on the background, philosophy and significance of Sun worship by different cultures around the world. She explained the significance of Ratha Saptami and of practicing Suryanamaskars, how Suryanamaskar practice works at the body level through various asanas, at the prana level when breathing is synchronized with body movements, and at the mind level when mantras are chanted and their vibrations contemplated upon. Finally she said, with a yagna like this, the entire society comes together to celebrate health and harmony of the society and it becomes a festival for the entire society.

Surya Namaskar

This talk was followed by yoga practice session by Binta Patel. After the initial demonstration and corrections, thirteen rounds of Suryanamaskars were performed with music giving them a sense of synergy and enthusiasm. Binta conducted a deep relaxation session, the yoga nidra, followed by pranayama and meditation. Then was the session where Suryanamaskar statistics were read out and the names of the leading people in different categories such as men, women and children were announced. During the feedback session that followed, people expressed their benefits and how this practice helped them.

Sharat Joshi, who performed an average of 100 Suryanamaskars for the last six weeks said his energy level was very high and he was very efficient at work. ‘When I went for a ski trip with a group at work, everyone else was tired the next day, but I was totally fine’, he said. Prajwala Darog who performed an average of 40 Surayanamaskars per day said she felt healthy and happy throughout the six weeks and most importantly, she felt calm and peaceful within. Anil Surpur said with Suryanamaskars, he can do his marathons without trouble and he has increased his mile time.  Another regular Saturday public class attendee who participated in the yagna said, her planter fascias was much better now.

The programconcluded with Shanti Mantra and people enjoyed healthy snacks provided by Yoga Bharati volunteers.