Surya Namaskar gaining popularity in US

Washington: Surya Namaskar (Sun salutation) that has been practiced in India for years has now found a whole lot of takers in the US, with several cities endorsing this ancient Indian exercise for its health benefits.

Over 10,000 people participated in the public Surya Namaskar exercises held in 225 cities from 40 States in January, according to Hindu Swyamsevak Sangha (HSS), which organises annual `Health for Humanity Yogathon`.

Mayors of Tampa in Florida, Milpitas (California), Cupertino (California), Normal (Illinois) and Bloomington (Illinois) declared"Health for Humanity"also known as Surya Namaskar Yajna (SNY) day and encouraged their residents to participate in the locally held Yogathons.

Famous for his health conscious agenda, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg integrated this Yogathon with `Shape up New York` programme and asked the residents to actively participate in it.

Seventeen public schools in California, 25 universities, 14 Yoga studios and many temples actively participated in this project.

Surya Namaskar yoga routine integrates simple postures of well-balanced movements in ten steps with an easy breathing technique to provide immense health benefits for everyone from beginners to yoga enthusiasts, HSS said in a statement on Friday.

"I certainly notice a difference in my health, especially my energy and stamina, plus it helps motivate me," said Vedic Friends Association president Stephen Knapp.