Yogathon – Health for Humanity with a nationwide collective target to do 108,000 repetition of the Surya Namaskar, sun salutations, is back with a twist this year.

“In 2019, we were successful in meeting and exceeding our national target with participation from over 20 cities around the country. This year we are planning to make it even more accessible by making the event online,” said Ajay Agrahari, Yogathon NZ National Coordinator.

Adjusting to the environment we found ourselves over the past month, we have seen an increase in demand of online access to yoga classes, enabling people to practice in their own space and time.

Yogathon NZ - Health for Humanity will be running from Saturday, June 12 until Saturday June 27.

Participants doing Surya Namaskar at Anahata Retreat, Golden Bay

People can look into ‘The Yogathon NZ’ Facebook page (http://facebook.com/YogathonNZ) and website www.yogathon.org.nz for more details and information on a centre near them as well as the online session timetable.

“There has never been a more appropriate time to talk about Health for Humanity and this event presents us with a unique opportunity to participate in, as well as create a time where the essence of Yoga can be shared with as many New Zealanders as possible,” said Auckland coordinator, Komal Shah.

For the returning teachers, participants, schools and hosts, thank you so much for your continued support over the past 10 years. It is due to your contributions that this event has gained such momentum in our country.

Volunteers performing Surya Namaskar Nritya at closing ceremony

For our new teachers, volunteers, schools, participants, hosts… WELCOME.

“This year, in addition to participating studios and teachers opening their doors to people, our team is bringing daily, free yoga classes. There will be Facebook Live and Zoom sessions daily – in different languages including Te Reo, Mandarin, Hindi, Tamil and of course English,” added Ajay Agrahari.

“Along with Hatha Yoga, the physical yoga as we know it, other forms of Yoga such as meditation, mantra chanting, silence, laughter yoga will all form a part of the two weeks sessions that we offer online.”

Closing ceremony in Auckland with participants, volunteers and event coordinators with Members of Parliament Hon Kanwaljit Bakshi, Members of Parliament Hon Parmjeet Parmar, Ranjna Patel Board Member of Mental Health Foundation NZ and Renowned yogini Sannyasi Pragyadhara

“Making our classes and sessions relevant to everyone is important to being true to our theme – Health for Humanity. So will have sessions that allow people of all abilities to join in and participate,” said Kiran Thakrar, Wellington coordinator.

What is Yogathon

For the past 10 years, Yogathon has been creating awareness about Yoga and its benefits for health and wellbeing.

During the two-week event, individuals participate in performing Surya Namaskar (sun salutations), counting the number of the times they have performed a cycle of the sun salutation with the aim of collectively performing 108,000 repetitions as one New Zealand.

During the 2-week, Yogathon NZ organises free Yoga classes at participating Yoga studios, venues, etc. to introduce people of all abilities to yoga, providing a safe and comfortable environment in which to learn.

Yogathon NZ Coordinators: Komal Shah (Auckland), Ajay Agrahari (National Coordinator), and Dr Kiran Thakrar (Wellinton)

The Surya Namaskars can be done as groups or as individuals either at home, school, classes conducted by yoga teachers, public venues, work places or anywhere where there are willing participants.

Yogathon 2020

In addition to the ways Yogathon NZ has previously been conducted, in 2020, online classes will also be hosted. These will allow participants to learn about Yoga in the comfort of their own homes and in line with physical distancing guidelines as well.

Additionally, a 12-hour online Yogathon NZ mega event is also planned as a New Zealand-first event.

“We have also got very exciting new things for our future yogis and an announcement for that will be coming soon,” commented Ajay Agrahari.

How many sun salutations can you do? Participating is easy as 1, 2, 3:

1. Register online as an individual or a group

2. Do sun salutations every day of the 2-weeks

3. Tell the Yogathon NZ team how many you have done from 13 – 26 June.

There are several in-person and inline sessions available. Please stay tuned with the Yogathon NZ Facebook page to get the most up-to-date information and see what is happening every day.

Invited guests at 2019 Closing Ceremony in Auckland