ISU Yogathon aims to introduce yoga to all


Amanda Wymore/Iowa State Daily

Nora Hudson, program coordinator for Recreation Services and a collaborator with Hindu YUVA, performs a cobra position at State Gym on Jan. 26.

Danielle Gehr

Whether someone is a yoga master or has never done a downwards dog in their life, Saturday’s night’s annual Yogathon is open to all. 

Iowa State’s Recreational Services, Hindu Y.U.V.A. and the Yoga Club have teamed up to spread awareness of yoga and its benefits. The event goes from 12:10 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the second floor of state gym in the East Basketball court. 

Ashwanth Padmanabhan, a graduate student in molecular cellular and developmental biology, is a coordinator for the event. 

Padmanabhan said the event is their annual sun-salutation (surya-namaskar) yoga campaign. A group does sun salutations everyday for two weeks leading up to the event.

“We like to call it yoga for health, health for humanity campaign, so the whole idea is to kind’ve bring together all the yoga enthusiast people on the campus there and you know kind’ve have an interaction,” said Madhav Pathak, a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering and former coordinator of the event. 

The sun salutation consists of 10 different yoga postures that people practice separately. For the sun salutation, the postures flow together during one set. 

The idea is to get some qualities that the sun has, Pathak said. He said there are 13 of them and described one of these qualities. 

“Sun is friends to all. Like, sun does not discriminate while giving its energy to anyone, right,” Pathak said. “So, we want to become like that. We want to be friends with all.”

By keeping these qualities in mind while going through the postures, Pathak said yoga has both a physical and mental benefit. 

Yoga originated with Hindu culture, but now is practiced all around the world. Pathak and Padmanabhan wanted to emphasize that yoga may have origins with Hindu, but it still isn’t particularly religious.

Padmanabhan said he has seen people from all over the Iowa State community come out to the event. Even yoga enthusiasts from Des Moines have made it out in the past. 

Pathak gave a few reasons why he feels people should attend.

“I think it’s more about Yoga awareness, so that is one,” Pathak said. “Two is learning about sun salutations. This is a kind’ve yoga technique that is a main thing of [Saturday’s] event.” 

Third, he said is learning how to bring yoga into a person’s everyday life. The coordinators have made a 30-minute schedule which people can take from the event and bring into their everyday lives. Pathak said people can take this routine and practice yoga sans instructor. 

“When you tell people about yoga, the first thing they picture is all those weird posters and inhuman flexibilities,” Padmanabhan said. 

He said they want to convey the fact that the abilities needed to enter the world of yoga aren’t as high has people tend to think. He added that this event would be especially beneficial for beginners who are unsure where to start. 

Registration for the event open at 11:45 a.m. at State Gym and the event is free.