International Yoga Festival Concludes with More Than 2000 Participants From 97 Countries Around the World
RISHIKESH- The world-renowned, 29th annual International Yoga Festival concluded today, having been attended by more than 2000 people, who came from 96 countries across the world to take part in inspiring lectures and courses by over 80 revered saints, yogacharyas, presenters and experts who taught nearly 200 offerings throughout the week.
After the last yoga sessions ended, the Closing Ceremony of the International Yoga Festival took place on Parmarth Niketan’s ghat on the banks of the River Ganga. The concluding ceremony was led by Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President of Parmarth Niketan ashram, and graced by Pujya Swami Ramdevji, Pujya Prem Babaji, Director of The Yoga Institute Smt. Hansa Yogendraji, Director of The Art of Living’s women and child welfare programmes and sister of Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Smt. Banumathi Narsimhan, renowned Sufi singer Kailash Kher, and all of the divine yogacharyas of the IYF.
During the ceremony, The World Book of Records, London (UK) presented Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Director of International Yoga Festival, with the official certificate for the World Record for Biggest International Yoga Festival for hosting a record number of hours of Yoga classes from world-class Yoga teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga, including Kundalini Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Kriya Yoga. International Yoga Festival 2018 truly united yogis of every culture, colour and creed together in a one-world yogic family, expanding global consciousness, and bringing healing to the planet.
The International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan will be listed in the official World Record book and Pujya Swamiji and Sadhvi Bhagawatiji were congratulated by the officials from India and the United Kingdom – Shri Virendra Sharma (Member of Parliament, England), Dr. Diwakar Sukul (Chairman, World Book of Records, London), and other international dignitaries.
Sadhvi Bhagawatiji’s new book entitled “Satsang: In the Presence of Truth” and a new translation into Chinese of Pujya Swamiji’s book “Peace” by yogacharya Mohan Bhandari were officially launched and blessed by the present dignitaries. The Concluding Ceremony was followed by Divine Ganga Aarti.
The evening concluded with a special, memorable Sufi music concert on the banks of the Ganga by the world-renowned Sufi singer Kailash Kher. Kailash Kher, who is now known throughout the world for his soulful voice and inspiring songs, is a former Parmarth Niketan Rishikumar (student).
Said HH Swami Ramdevji, “Through yoga, we can achieve anything. Through yoga we can achieve the Divine. All of you here are ambassadors of yoga…and nothing that a yogi does should be impure, we should live a life of purity and truth through yoga. You are not just a representative of yourself, but you are representatives of yoga around the world.”
Divine Activities During Seventh Day of International Yoga Festival
On the seventh day of International Yoga Festival, 4am Kundalini sadhana was led by Gurushabd Singh of USA, followed by other early morning classes including “Awaken the Bliss Body” with Dayna Seraye of USA, Lila Yoga with Erica Kaufman of USA, Yuvaa Yoga with Yuva Dayalan, Ashtanga Yoga with Sandeep Desai, Power Yoga & Pranayama with Yogiraj Vishwapal Jayant, and Nada Yoga with Setsuo Miyashita of Japan.
After a light breakfast, yoga classes continued with Kia Miller of USA leading Kundalini Yoga, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan leading Traditional Hatha Yoga, and Ana Forrest of USA and Jose Calarco of Australia leading Forrest Yoga. Saul David Raye of UK led a sacred sound healing experience focusing on the power of Om, and Cheryl Friedman of USA led the Sanskrit mantra workshop, focusing on the mantra “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.” Mert Guler of Turkey led a meditation on Rumi and love. Mert is a well-known Yoga teacher, meditative guide and lecturer in Turkey, influenced by the teachings and the mystical beliefs of Rumi. He emphasizes inner awareness and a feeling of completion in his classes, drawing inspiration especially from the meditational works and experiences he has received through Rumi’s teachings.
Following the morning’s classes, the yogis were blessed in the Spiritual Lecture series with the presence of Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasenaji, who spoke on Buddhist yogic philosophy, and Srila B.A. Paramadvaitiji, who spoke about environmental-focused yoga. Pujya Mooji, who has attended the IYF for the last several years, sent a video message to the participants, allowing them to still imbibe his words and feel his
presence in the festival.
After lunch, IYF participants were treated to a series of talks and experiences, including Inner Yoga Therapy through Chakra Alignment with Satya Kalra of USA, Kirtan Chanting with Adam Bauer of USA, and Alchemic Sonic Environment with Satya Hinduja. Renowned scientist Dr. Bruce Lipton gave a special talk entitled “The Honeymoon Effect: The Science of Creating Heaven on Earth.”
The last session of the 2018 IYF took place in the later afternoon, which included Osho Meditation with Chandanni Miglino of California, Sattva Yoga with Anand Mehrotra, and Kirtan 101 with Harinam Anand. Jivamukti Yoga was led by Jules Febre, an internationally acclaimed Advanced Certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher from New York, USA.
Yoshi Aono of Colorado, USA led a class entitled “From Vision to Devotion to Liberation: Awakened Entrepreneurship in the Western Paradigm.” Yoshi founded the Hanuman Festival and Hanuman Academy in Colorado – uniting yogis in the name of Hanuman. Sadhvi Bhagawatiji will be going later in the year and speaking at the Hanuman Academy.
Quotes from Presenters & Participants
Gloria Latham: “The International Yoga Festival is a unique experience not only for the students but for the teachers. As teachers we are given the opportunity to teach students from over 100 different countries. It is a rich experience to share what we love about this tradition that we honour and respect… a tradition that has no borders.”
Roberto Milletti: “Coming back to the IYF always opens our hearts and our souls. It makes us ponder about the miracle of life and the power of transforming our life into a living blessing. Here on the banks of Mother Ganga we soak in the sacred source of our souls and we create, all together, a better world. A world made of positive vibrations and vibrant transformations and a world where we can be our best Selves. Inspired by the ever flowing, Ganga, humbled by the presence of so many Acharyas and our beloved Guruji we step into our journey to empowerment. The journey may be arduous but it is an important step in the road to becoming your best self. The festival is a wonderful medium that combines physically calming exercises while opening a channel for motivation and deep understanding. Here you find: opportunities to grow, a reason to stay; inspirational people, people to connect with who are dedicated, diverse, and multi-talented. We are reminded daily of who we are destined to be and inspired by our Divine Guruji, Sadhvi and their amazing vision.”