30th Anniversary of International Yoga Festival Inaugurated on Banks of Sangam
Prayagraj: Today marked the inauguration of the International Yoga Festival’s 30th Anniversary. An inaugural celebration took place at Parmarth Niketan’s camp in the Kumbh Mela on the banks of the holy Sangam where Pujya Chidanand Saraswati, President of Parmarth Niketan, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Director of the International Yoga Festival, were joined by Pujya Swami Ramdev, Shri Subhash Ghai, and Smt. Malini Awasti. It was a beautiful occasion to draw attention to the important role of yoga in not only Indian culture and history, but also in all our lives. The inauguration was attended by participants from nearly 40 countries from around the world, showing visually the true union “yoga” of cultures and colors.
As Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati emphasized, “Yoga is for all. It is beyond region and beyond religion.”
Pujya Swami Ramdev added, “We are all divine souls here. Every divine action is yoga. Yoga is our basic nature. With yoga you can stay fit physically. You can stay fit mentally. Yoga is a practice to do every action with purity. Commit to become a yogi, nirogi (someone who is without illness) and upyogi (useful to society).”
The International Yoga Festival (IYF) has been taking place in Rishikesh since 1989 when it was first organized by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Since 1999, Parmarth Niketan has been hosting this festival. After the state of Uttarakhand was established in 2000, Parmarth Niketan partnered with the new Government to jointly organize the event. The festival has achieved international acclaim, growing in size year-after-year. By bringing some of this year’s events to the Parmarth Niketan Camp in Prayagraj during the Kumbh Mela, the origins of the festival in the state of Uttar Pradesh are being honored.
Over the next six days, renowned yoga teachers, such as Deepika Mehta, Tommy Rosen, Kia Miller, Anand Mehrotra, and Dr. Yuva Dayalan, will be joined by Dr. David Frawley and others, who will lead yoga talks and meditation. Kailash Kher and other musicians will perform. Individuals from more than 40 countries around the world will participate. Due to the importance of the Kumbh, the festival will also be attended by more than 30 tribal elders and leaders from across Latin America. It is truly a momentous union.
Parmarth Niketan will be hosting the annual IYF in Rishikesh during the first week of March as per annual tradition. Each year, yogacharyas, teachers, students and seekers come from every corner of the globe to participate in this unique celebration in Rishikesh. Last year, we welcomed more than 2,000 participants from 100 countries to Rishikesh.