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International Yoga Festival concludes at Parmarth Niketan

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THE week-long International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India, concluded on Friday (15). As many as 1,500 international guests, including saints, spiritual masters, yogacharyas, artists, and musicians from over 75 countries have participated in the event.

The festival, under the guidance of Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, president of Parmarth Niketan Ashram and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, director of IYF, was organised with the support of India’s Ministry of Tourism, in association with culture and AYUSH ministries.

International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan

The highlights of this year’s event include Maha Shivratri celebration, wellness session by Luke Coutinho and YOGIC Holi celebration, among others. There were sessions on topics such as environmental awareness; living Yoga for peace and sustainability; power of Ayurveda to heal and bridging the divide.

Global artists like Sivamani, MC YOGI, Kailash Kher, and Daphne Tse have performed at the festival.

HH Pujya Chidanand Saraswati Ji said, “Today the world is suffering. Eleven-year olds are stressed and depressed. At eleven years old? Yoga gives the answer. War is not the way. Peace is the way. Russia and Ukraine, there is fighting there, but we have participants from Russia and Ukraine and they are not fighting here. You want to be in peace, then you choose peace.

“The true cause of our land shortages, water shortages, or food shortages comes from a greater problem: We have a shortage of consciousness. In the land of yoga, where saints and rishis and sages of Rishikesh gave these sacred practices to the entire world, and sacred mantras, we can come back together. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam: That is India’s message to the world. The World is one family. That is the message of yoga.”

HH Pujya Chidanand Saraswati Ji and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji with participants.

Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati Ji said, ” “Yoga is not about the teaching, it is about the touch and about the transformation. And what people are looking for is not just instructions, how to breathe, do the asanas and to be healthy in our bodies. Yes, it is critical as the body is our temple.

“We take care of our bodies and we realise that it’s the medium through which we experience consciousness. The body is the beginning not the end. It’s the tool, the instrument so we need it to be healthy. But where we’re really going is somewhere much deeper and for that we need the touch, the energetic experience of being in the presence of sacredness. The transformation happens when our heart finally expands and explodes out of who we thought we were.”

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