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International Yoga Festival begins at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh

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AS MANY AS 1,200 yoga lovers from 75 countries are expected to participate in the International Yoga Festival (IYF) at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India, which started on Friday (8).

Governor of Uttarakhand state, Lt Gen (Retd) Gurmit Singh, will inaugurate the event on Saturday (9) which is being organised with the support of India’s tourism, culture and AYUSH ministeries.

HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati Ji, president of Parmarth Niketan and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji, director of the festival have welcomed the delegates. As part of the event a special Mahashivratri celebration was held on Friday.

Wellness champion Luke Coutinho, founder of Sattva Yoga and the Sattva Yoga Academy Anand Mehrotra and founder of ACT Yoga Dr. N Ganesh Rao will speak on Saturday.

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Pujya Saraswatiji said, “This year we are so glad to be coming together as a global family when much of the world is torn apart with divisiveness.Yoga is not what you do. Yoga is who you are. To perform actions without any expectation, just as an instrument of divine grace, is Yoga. To me, yoga is beyond religion, yoga is for all. With this Festival, we illustrate India’s ability to connect people from all walks of life through and with Yoga.”

During the festival, attendees can take part in over 150 sessions covering diverse topics such as various Yoga styles (like Kundalini and Hatha), Yog Nidra, Pranayama, sound healing, ayurveda, meditation, ancient Indian philosophy, vedanta, classical Indian dance, and music instruction.

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Participants at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh

Sadhvi Saraswatiji said, “In this sacred land, where the saints, sages and rishis have come for thousands of years, the participants of International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan receive the highest excellence in teachings. But along with teachings from yoga experts from across the world, the participants also receive the divine touch and transformation of Mother Ganga and the Himalayas, and this energy of awakening in the Birthplace of Yoga. It is that confluence of teachings, touch and transformation that is so special and draws people here from every corner of the globe.”

Participants in this year’s festival include, Pujya Maa Hansa Jayadeva, Gauranga Das Prabhu, Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi, Dr. Chinmay Pandya, Gurmaukh Kaur Khalsa, Seane Corn, Kia Miller, Tommy Rosen, Kailash Kher, MC YOGI, Gurnimit Singh, Visvambhar Sheth, Sivamani and Runa Rizvi.

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