Home Uttarakhand Gov inaugurates 35th International Yoga Festival (IYF) at Parmarth Niketany

Gov inaugurates 35th International Yoga Festival (IYF) at Parmarth Niketany

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By Our Staff Reporter

RISHIKESH, 9 Mar: Participants gathered in the evening on the banks of the Ganga at the Parmarth Niketan ghat for the official inauguration of the International Yoga Festival 2023 by Governor Lt General Gurmit Singh (Retd), Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati and renowned yogacharyas from across the world. After the Aarti an incredibly ecstatic drumming and mystic music session with renowned percussionist Drums Sivamani and Sufi singer Runa Rizvi had participants dancing in joy till late at night on the banks of Maa Ganga.

Earlier, in the morning, drum beats vibrated through the sacred Yoga Gardens as world famous percussionist Drums Sivamani and Soulful Sufi Singer Runa Rizvi sang Holi songs as delegates from more than 90 nations danced at Parmarth Niketan, here, on 8 March. Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Director of International Yoga Festival, applied sandalwood paste as tilak on the foreheads of all the participants, showering flowers of love and peace during the opening day of the 35th annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, here, being organised with the support of the Incredible India, Ministry of Tourism, in association with the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. Thereafter participants took out a rally to the holy banks of the River Ganga for a special Ganga Snan.

The morning asana class began at the break of dawn with Kundalini Sadhana led by Gurushabd Singh Khalsa from California, USA, followed by pre-breakfast classes including Yoga Vrksa (The Yoga Tree) by Stewart Gilchrist, founder of East London School of Yoga, Paula Tapia’s Therapeutic Yoga Flow and traditional Hatha Yogasana by Dr Indu Sharma, a dedicated teacher and practitioner at Parmarth for over 10 years as well as a special Naad Yoga chanting and meditation led by Ganga Nandini, also a senior Parmarth Yogacharya.

After breakfast, participants dove into intensive asana classes, which included a powerful Kundalini Yoga class with the theme ‘Open their Heart To The Light Within’, led by the founder of Golden Bridge Yoga Centre in California, and world renowned Kundalini yoga teacher, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa. Kia Miller, founder of Radiant Body Yoga, led a workshop on Radiant Inner Light – Healing Breath Sequence. Power Vinyasa – Sweat Meets Depth – Move Your Asanas to Influence Inspiration in Your World with Katie B Happy. The workshop on Lila Sun Salutations with Live Music by Erica Kaufman showed how the sun symbolises willpower, vitality, and courage in life.

After lunch, a talk on Veda and Vedanta was conducted by Swami Svatmananda. To shed light on the fundamentals of Ayurveda, María Alejandra Avcharian, a leading name in the field of Ayurveda and Yoga, delivered inspirational information on the subject. Dance and Yoga go hand-in-hand as they link self-expression and body awareness. A traditional Gujarati folk dance workshop – Morli Vala Re, was demonstrated by Nrityavali and it dazzled the participants and taught them to combine fluid moments of dance with yoga. Dr Eden Goldman, Director of the Yoga and Healing Sciences Program at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA, demonstrated how the art of yoga assists and touch is the Universal Human Language and how they help students practice surrender and move beyond self-imposed boundaries. Rishikesh-native and founder of Sattva Yoga Academy Anand Mehrotra guided students how to embody the cosmic self and “Access Prana”. In addition, Tommy Rosen, Founder of Recovery 2.0, offered students an opportunity to tune into the frequency of the divine and become one with the higher power.