Since times immemorial Indian “Yogshashtra” or Yoga has been regarded as one of the keys to a healthy and tension-free life. With myriad exercises and asanas, Yoga teaches us not only the art of living a healthy life, but also a life of poise and discipline. Among innumerable events held nowadays, one event, which teaches the secrets of Yoga and their benefits to all is the International Yoga Festival held from 1st-7th March at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, Uttarkhand. Since this festival is unknown to many, let’s make an attempt to know about the specialities of this festival—
6. The 2nd Global Yoga Fest
This year the Yoga festival is in its second year, which precisely means that after the roaring applause they received in the first year, the festival is going to only get bigger and better, with newer Yoga gurus, instructors and even newer events coming in! In fact, more interesting seminars, lectures as well as newer types of Yoga therapy are being added on the list, making the whole festival one of the most sort after ones in not only India but around the world.
5. A Place for Saints, Yogacharyas and Teachers
One of the key reasons to visit this year’s International Yoga Festival is that this year, the festival would be visited not only by revered saints and Gurujis but also by famous instructors and even nutritionists around the globe, and meeting all of them under the same roof is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Among the known and distinguished personalities, who are going to give their precious time to the festival, you’ve got Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Madhav Priya Das, Radhanath Swami, Padmashri Bharat Bhushan, Swami Yogananda, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati (who cured a terminal kidney ailment through yoga!), Jeffery Armstrong and H.S. Arun among other dignitaries.
Further Reading: 7 Yoga Books For Beginners
4. A Place for All
Although held in the pious Hindu pilgrimage center of Rishikesh, this festival is for everyone, irrespective of caste and creed. In fact, that they are tolerant of people from all social and economic sectors and believe in ‘humanity’ is exemplified clearly in the list of dignitaries who are going to make their presence in the festival. From the Jeffery Armstrong and Trudy Godman to Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and the trained Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield, you are going to meet and come across innumerable people from all caste and creed in this pious festival.
3. A Conglomeration of Dancers and Musicians
According to Yogshastra, the art of music and classical dance forms not only rejuvenate and purge the souls of human beings but also has the innate capability of preventing and even curing certain diseases. With this in mind, the festival team has invited innumerable whos-who from the respective fraternities for hosting special shows and interactive sessions. Among these dignitaries, the more famous ones are Shivamani, Arushi Pokhriyal (the Kathak dancer trained under Birju Maharaj), Anandra George (internally known famed exponent of Hindusthani Classical music), Sharmila Bhartari (Odissi dancer) and the famous dancer Padmaja Suresh.
2. Celebration on the Bank of the Ganges
Being an Indian, you must have heard or even witnessed the famous Ganga Aartis held at pious places such as Varanasi, Hrishikesh, Allahabad and Haridwar. Being here, in the festival, will allow the opportunity of witnessing the Ganga Aratis and havans by the great gurus and the revered saints. In fact, you can even participate directly in these rituals—it’s again a lifetime opportunity gifted by the festival management team!
1. The Divinity of Hinduism
Although this festival is for all, they follow a deeply religious and pious ambience relegated by Hinduism. Likely, the aura and ambience of the whole festival is going to take you back to the bygone, “golden” ages of Hinduism. In fact, there are special learning and knowledge session for all where you are taught the basic ideologies of Hinduism and Indian tradition. At an age where people are on the verge of complete denial of the goodness of religions, this comes indeed as a boon.
Further Reading: Top 10 Hinduism facts you should know