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International Day of Yoga at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Jun 23 2019

International Day of Yoga at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh

Yoga Participants from Across the World & Across India Come Together in Yoga
Pledge for Environmental Protection & Water Conservation

June 21st, 2019 – RISHIKESH: The 5th Annual International Day of Yoga celebrations took place at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh today, as more than 500 people from across India and from more than 30 countries across the world – ranging from 2 years to 84 years of age – participated in a refreshing and rejuvenating Yoga session, on the banks of Holy Mother Ganga, in the lap of the Himalayas, in the Yoga Capital of the World.

The event was organized with the blessings and inspiration of HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji (Pujya Swamiji), President, Parmarth Niketan, and was led by Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Secretary-General, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and Director, International Yoga Festival and Pujya Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji (Mataji), head of Parmarth Niketan Yoga Centre. The celebrations were joined by respected Monks from the Jain and Buddhist Tradition, Faculty and Members of the Seema Dental College, Anand Mehrotra, Founder of Sattva Yoga, as well as participants and leaders from more than a dozen local Yoga Centres across Rishikesh. *

The call for an International Day of Yoga was first proposed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, during his speech at the UN General Assembly on 27 September 2014. “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition,” he declared. “It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being.”

Today, Hon’ble Modiji is being lauded and celebrated for his leadership in bringing about the International Day of Yoga, an initiative that resulted in an historic consensus which, today, has led to citizens of over 170 countries across the globe celebrating by practicing yoga asanas in their embassies, their capitals, their parks, their schools and public facilities. International Yoga Day is an initiative that crosses borders and boundaries, uniting people to work together to bring greater harmony and health to the world.

At Parmarth Niketan, which provides year-round offerings in the Yoga discipline, today’s celebrations are reminiscent of the International Yoga Festival, which is held each year from March 1-7th. The annual, world-renowned festival, now in its 31st year, brings together participants from over 100 countries, attracting celebrities, spiritual leaders, musicians and artists to present the best of Yoga in the sacred and peaceful surroundings of the Ashram.

In addition to the International Yoga Festival, Parmarth Niketan Ashram offers year-round courses ranging from Beginner to Intensive and Teachers Training to Kriya, as well as other diverse classes and programs as part of its ongoing contribution to the field of yoga. The ashram is best-known for its Karma Yoga, Yoga Off the Mat and Into the World service-related projects and initiatives, which continue to touch and transform communities across India and the world. Organizers of International Yoga Day honored that rich heritage and history of service by offering a special pledge to work to provide clean water for all, and to protect our rivers and environment to ensure health and harmony within ourselves, our community and our world.

IDY at Parmarth began with the traditional chanting of mantras by Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji, followed by a practice of India’s Common Yoga Protocol done by visitors from dozens of countries. The celebrations included prayers, sacred mantras, pranayama, yoga asana, meditation, inspiring message and sankalpa by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji.

Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji who celebrated International Yoga Day in Badrinath, gave the following message: “Yoga is beyond religion. Yoga is for all. Yoga promotes not just asana, but also shows us how our lives can become assan (easy). It makes us flexible in our body and in our daily lives. With yoga, we can learn to become bridges and not barriers in our communities, building stronger relationships and foundations out of which greater service to humanity and to the world and to the planet can happen. And by which we can live more conscious, more connected lives and become agents of change, agents of positivity in our community.”

Sharing her blessings during the celebrations at Parmarth Niketan, Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji stated: “Yoga is the union of ourselves to the divine, the Self to the Divine. So, here on this sacred day, in this sacred place, where for thousands of years the sages and the saints have been praying and meditating along the holy banks of Ma Ganga, let yourself experience that divine union. Yoga is not just about the body. We’re not the body. We’re Spirit. We’re Soul. We’re Love. We’re Consciousness. And Yoga is the process that gets us in touch with that.”

And, according to Sattva Yoga’s Anand Mehrotra, “Yoga is the most phenomenal, the most powerful movement in the world right now. It is the technology of Peace. As we all gather here for this incredible event, it’s a testimony for the human species, how each and every one of us longs for Peace, and is ready to take a stand for Peace. Yoga does not just label Peace as a nice belief or a label on a T-shirt. Yoga lays a very systematic technology for us to realize this Peace as a living experience, and with our hearts and minds.”

With a historic and memorable IDY 2019, Parmarth Niketan focuses its attention on its first ever National Yoga Week, taking place from December 1 – 7, 2019, as well as its International Yoga Festival, Early Bird Registrations opened today, for its annual festival to be held from March 1-7 next year. According to event organizers, the Festival is off to a strong start, with advance bookings already outpacing last year’s event.

*Yoga Centres participating in the celebrations today included:

  1. Sattva Yoga Centre
  2. Drikung Kagyu Institutes
  3. Travel Agents and Tour Operators from Across India joined with ITCTA Travel Trade Group’s Director Shri Ajay Guptaji, ICM
  4. Arogya Yoga School
  5. Aadi Yog Peeth
  6. Om Shanti Om
  7. Shiva Yogpeeth
  8. Akshi Yogashala
  9. Ekatva Yoga
  10. Aatm Yogashala
  11. Samatva Yoga
  12. Hariom Yogashala
  13. Ekam Yogashala
  14. Yoga Anandam
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