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Health for Humanity Yogathon: Stretching the Limits to Reach 1 Million Supporters

As Hindus worldwide celebrated Makar Sankranti, marking the change of seasons, one organization, inspired by the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, took the opportunity to usher in a brighter season of health and wellness. Hindu Swayamesvak Sangh USA, HSS, a voluntary, non-profit, social and cultural organization that aims to preserve, practice and promote ideals and values of the Hindu community, expanded on the traditional celebrations of the ritual to promote healthier lifestyles and physical fitness by teaching participants about yoga!

HSS launched their 6th annual Health for Humanity Yogathon from January 14-29. The initiative encouraged over 10,000 people from across the country to unite under the goal of reaching more than one million repetitions of the sun salutation yoga routine. With participation expanding across 37 states and 204 cities, HSS surpassed their goal, with a total of 1,003,000 repetitions in just 16 days!

Through the Yogathon, HSS expanded their reach beyond the Hindu community, focusing on outreach to yoga centers, community groups and student organizations across the country. Various groups reported the number of participants and the total repetitions of the sequence they completed over the course of the entire Yogathon, allowing for a total number to be tallied from more localized events and gatherings.

Health for Humanity Yogathon Moves Sugarland, TX

Yogathon participants in the Sugarland, TX town square.

DAV Montessori Students during the 2012 Health for Humanity Yogathon

Students at the DAV Montessori School in Houston, TX participate in the Yogathon.

From improving health to reducing stress to imparting a sense of well-being, the Yogathon exposed participants from all walks of life to the benefits of yoga. From elementary school classes to entire cities, the Yogathon encouraged participants to get experience in yoga! HSS Yogathon National Coordinator, Praveen Dhir, said: 

We felt the Health for Humanity Yogathon shared a common vision and goal with the one set by the First Lady’s Let's Move! initiative, to encourage healthy and active lifestyles for children, parents and everyone—as well as an opportunity to bring yoga to new communities across the country.

In recognition of the vast impact of the endeavor, the Health for Humanity Yogathon has received proclamations of support from notable political figures across the country, including 21 Mayors, several Governors and Members of Congress. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City signed a declaration in support of the Yogathon, recognizing yoga as a great means of physical activity and relaxation.

With this increasing awareness and support, HSS is already planning their 2013 Yogathon, setting their goal marks even higher as they seek to introduce more people to the healing powers of yoga, and inspiring people to continue to practice yoga every day year-round.