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Yogathon Aims To Boost Physical And Spiritual Health

on 2010/2/13 8:02:01 ( 949 reads )


PEORIA, ILLINOIS, January 30, 2010: Yoga is touted for its benefits, physical and mental, by celebrities, doctors and fitness experts alike. But for Dr. Mandar Pattekar, director of the Hindu Temple of Central Illinois, it's also a spiritual experience.

Pattekar and the temple participated in Health for Humanity, a two-week national event that ends Sunday, sponsored by U.S.-based Hindu organization Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh. During the two-week period, yoga centers and community organizations such as the temple work to complete 1 million Surya Namaskars, or Sun Salutations, to increase nationwide awareness of yoga and its advantages in achieving physical, mental and spiritual health. Last year, participants across the country completed 800,000 repetitions.

The Surya Namaskar has been practiced for thousands of years and consists of a set of 10 movements. Practitioners complete 13 sets each day. "This has been done by ancient Hindus, but we want to share it with everyone," Pattekar said. "We feel we are a trustee of a wealth of knowledge."

Pattekar said traditional practitioners perform the Surya Namaskar in the morning to greet the sun because Hindus view the sun as a manifestation of God. The movements also produce benefits that last the entire day.

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