'Surya namaskar' challenge in UK town

That is the challenge participants would face at the 'Yogathon' to be organised for the benefit of two charity organisations in Torquay, south-west England, on October 23. Yoga teachers will lead the way as up to 50 people attempt as many 'surya namaskars' as possible in one hour to raise money for charity organisations Action on Addiction and Shekinah Mission.

Participants can challenge themselves to 25, 50 or more 'surya namaskars' during a one-hour yoga session. A 'surya namaskar' is part of the ancient Indian practice performed at day-break and comprises a flowing sequence of 12 poses.

Organiser and yoga teacher Virginia Compton said: "A Yogathon works really well as a challenge event for Action on Addiction because of links between yoga and recovery. Yoga has qualities which can be extremely beneficial to individuals in recovery, because it creates a feeling of being in control of mind and body, giving structure to daily life, and provides much needed inner peace and strength".

She added: "Addiction is the biggest preventable killer in the UK. It breaks up families, damages communities and destroys lives. In some ways it touches us all". Virginia is a Yoga Alliance teacher, having trained with the Devon School of Yoga, and teaches yoga at the Leonard Stocks Centre in Torquay, a Shekinah Mission project for homeless and vulnerable people.

She also teaches regular yoga and meditation classes throughout Torbay. Chris Croft, who is one of the organisers, is a certified yoga teacher with more than 500 hours of training in the UK, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

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