Yoga, with roots in ancient Hindu philosophy, is slowly, but surely finds itself growing and embedding itself into New Zealand. Held annually over two weeks, Yogathon NZ - Health for Humanity sees New Zealanders participate in the surya namaskar, sun salutation, challenge. 

“We have been seeing a tremendous growth in the number of participants registering, attempting, and continuing to practice yoga all across New Zealand,” said Ajay Agrahari, National Coordinator Yogathon NZ. “This year we have a record number of participants, majority online due to covid-19, and we exceeded the target of 108,000 sun salutations collectively as one country.”

For the first time, entire yoga sessions were hosted online in Te Reo Maori. The integration of the ancient philosophy of yoga with our local community in New Zealand is heart-warming. The Yogathon team thanks all the participants, teachers and Yoga schools for participating in 2020 Yogathon NZ - Health for Humanity. 

“This year’s event was different. A 12-hour-mega online event was hosted and received overwhelming attendance. As with everything in April, we decided to go online as well”, said Mamta Bhikha, Yoga teachers coordinator.

“We had 3-4 daily classes online, in multiple languages and catering for multiple abilities. There were some classes in person - all with the objective to try and bring yoga to everyone regardless of where we are and regardless of age and ability.” 

“I heard that Yogathon was about getting more people to learn about yoga and to get people participating. It was an easy decision for me to jump on board and volunteer as well to promote Health for Humanity in Whangarei,” said Cornelia Pike, coordinator Whangarei. 

Ajay Agrahari shared, “2020 saw more than 80 different sessions online and in-person. More than 60 teachers from different styles and organisations offered sessions for people. We promised last year to bring different components of Yoga to New Zealanders. We are pleased that we were able to deliver. The two weeks saw Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Art Yoga, Mantra, Bhakti, Meditation, Music, and talks from the teachers and experts and from all parts of New Zealand.”    

Yogathon 2020, is also pleased to announce that New Zealanders have collectively done ~ 134,000+ sun salutations over the two weeks of the national challenge. This success belongs to every participant, every person in New Zealand who decided to try a sun salutation and submitted their number to contribute to the target that was set. 

“More than 30 organisations, over 20 committed volunteers assisting with the administration from all corners of New Zealand made this event successful. We acknowledge participants, yoga schools, studios, gyms, school, community organisations, teachers and volunteers who made Yogathon 2020 a success,” sai Ajay Agrahari. 

Yogathon - Health for Humanity, is a division of Hindu Council of New Zealand. In its 9th year of operation, this is the consecutive second year the target has not only been reached, but exceeded. The organisers are positive of the future prospect the event holds. 

Yogathon - Health for Humanity was a two-week event across New Zealand, encouraging all New Zealanders to learn, participate and incorporate yoga in their daily lives. Participants registered online, attended online and in-person sessions, individually or as groups, learned and practiced different components of Yoga, did Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) at their own pace and in their own time. They counted the number of times they did the cycle, a combination of 12 asanas and submitted their total count to the organising team. 

Yogathon will keep working towards the objective of making yoga more integrated in people’s lives. Our journey doesn’t stop here. Yogathon will keep bringing all elements of yoga. Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and others for the wellbeing of Kiwis. 

“This achievement would not have been possible without the support of all participants. We are grateful and thankful to all the yoga teachers in all New Zealand cities for offering free yoga classes and raising awareness of the importance of yoga to our health. The overwhelming support for this event makes us delighted that yoga is indeed mainstream in New Zealand.” added Ajay Agrahari.