Photo: eUttaranchal
International Yoga Festival. Photo: eUttaranchal

International Yoga Festival (IYF)

Every year the International Yoga Festival (IYF) is organised by the world-famous yoga ashram Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, India. Rishikesh is popularly known worldwide as the birthplace of the traditional yoga. This town at the foothills of Himalayas is the abode of several traditional sages, yogis, and seers.

IYF is an opportunity for the masses across the globe to learn and practice yoga under the guidance of traditional yoga Gurus. Events in this festival not only allows you to learn from the Indian yoga masters but also the best yoga masters from every nook and corner of the world. Every year people from approximately 35 countries attend this event to attain the true essence of spirituality and balance.

History of International Yoga Festival

It has been more than two decades now that India introduced the concept of celebrating the International Yoga Festival. For the very first time, this international event conducted at Hotel Ganga Kinare, in Rishikesh. Those were the days when less number of participants used to be part of the IYF.

In the year 1999, the Uttar Pradesh Government of India took an initiative to introduce this event in the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, in Rishikesh. With the change in the venue, the International Yoga Festival came in the spotlight and attracted the huge crowd. However, the event used to be held in the first week of February.

Though all the participants used to stay in the hotels yet all the sessions and classes were observed in the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The meditation sessions were guided by Pujya Swami Veda Bharati Ji whereas Yogacharya Bharat Bhushan Ji and his team were in charge of the asanas, according fitsri.

Festival Details

The International Yoga Festival is an event that keeps the legacy of Yoga, the ancient science alive. Every year the state tourism department along with Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board in Rishikesh takes effort to bring together the practitioners of Yoga. In the midst of the beautiful Himalayas in Rishikesh along the banks of river Ganga, many learned saints and yogis have practiced yoga and now in this serene sanctified lands, crowds from international locales practice the holistic science.

Yoga is the holistic science of health and wellness of body, mind and soul. The science comprises the union of the self with the divine. With various postures and exercises yoga practitioners enjoy enhanced peace of mind. Not only the body gets fit after the rigorous training you feel joyous in the heart. The practice of yoga is attaining divine connection.The birthplace of Yoga, Rishikesh, the Yoga Capital of India organizes a week long annual International Yoga Festival.

When is the Festival held?

Photo: Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd.
Photo: Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd.

The 17th edition of the International Yoga Festival is held between the 1st and 7th March in 2020. After the departure of the chilly winters and the coming of long warm days, Rishikesh buzzes with crowds from all over the world participating in the holistic science of health and wellness.

Where is the Festival held?

The holy land of Rishikesh plays host to the International Yoga Festival. A paradise located on the bank of the Holy Ganga, at the base of the Himalaya, Paramartha Niketan is site of this grand festival. Thespiritual haven lies on the holy banks of Mother Ganga in the lap of the lush Himalayas. The scenic setting of the serene ashram add to its charm and turns it into the best Yoga Ashram in modern India where not only one can feel the divine connection but can rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. Tourists seeking mental peace and willing to explore the hidden gems of spiritual India should not miss out this chance of the yoga festival for 2018.

What happens at the festival?

The International Yoga Festival is one of the largest event of its kind. Rishikesh buzzes all week long during the festival with an unparalleled experience as time-tested masters of Traditional Yoga Lineages from India. Yoga lovers and practitioners participate in different sessions of Yoga classes where you can get all authentic lessons and information regarding Yoga. Apart from India, the masters of global Yoga schools and styles will also be here to take yoga and meditation classes.

Total 60 hours of classes will be taken by the world-class yoga practitioners. Learn about the actual way of practicing some of the most useful meditational poses, asanas and particularly multiple style of Yoga like Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, and Kriya Yoga. The sessions are full of spirit motivating the crowds and empowering them with the knowledge of the holistic science.

Religious teachers and saints of India like H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, H.H. Pujya Swami Dayanandaji, H.H. Dr. Pranav Pandyaji, H.H. Pujya Swami Ramdevji, H.H. Radhanath Swamiji, H.H. Pujya Mooji, and H.H. Pujya Prem Babaji would bless with their presence.

Rishikesh is the holy land through which the most sacred river of India the Ganga flows. Since ages the land was visited by saints, yogis and spiritual people. The town has acountless number of temples and ashrams lying on the banks of the holy river. In your spare time, try exploring the nearby attractions of Rishikesh. Not far from Paramatha Ashram, the Yoga Meditation Camp, there are temples of Kunajpuri Devi, Neelkanth Mahadev, Tera Manzil and Bharat Mata. Attend the divine Aarti at Triveni Ghat. Other major sightseeing options in Rishikesh are Swarg Ashram, The Beatles Ashram, Laxman Jhula and Gita Bhavan, according to Tourism-of-india.

Who will be the presenters at the International Yoga Festival this year?

Photo: Travelogy India
Photo: Travelogy India

International Yoga Festival due to its broad dimensions assumes universal importance and appeal and a number of exalted personalities as well as experts in their respective fields adorn the venue as presenters and guest speakers. These personages, from national and international locations share their cumulative experience for the benefit of the visitors. Some of the presenters during IYF 2021 are H.H Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, Swami Ramdevji, H.H Pujya Radhanath Swami ji, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Sharon Gannon, Dr. Vandana Shiva, Padmashri Bharat Bhushan, Dr. Fharzana Siraj, Akira Watamoto and many others, as cited by Indianholiday.

What is the significance and importance of Yoga in life?

Yoga, the age old Indian science and tradition has been described by many as the elixir of life. This science was initially written down by the sage Patanjali, who carefully laid down the minute rules and techniques of the activity. Yoga was primarily developed as a medium to attain unity with God through the method of disciplining body by the way of different yogic postures and breathe control.

However, those still not advanced in the process have also found Yoga highly beneficial for their holistic health and the results have correspondingly and consistently proven this fact. Yoga not only helps in improving muscular flexibility and maintaining overall fitness but it also acts as an effective cure for a number of other ailments such as blood pressure and depression.

The benefits of Yoga have changed many a lives, around the world in this way. International Yoga Festival is a great opportunity to garner these benefits and make a smooth introduction of Yoga in one’s life.

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