Ongoing International Yoga Festival
The ongoing International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan has doctors, musicians and academicians sharing their experiences with the participants. Mornings and evenings are soaked in music by noted musicians and percussionists.
Indigenous and interfaith leaders present during the lecture series joined together in a collective pledge in Yoga as a union of religions and a celebration of unity admist diversity. The pledge symbolised their commitment to work together for the protection of the environment, conservation of India’s sacred rivers and fresh water bodies. Percussionist Sivamani also joined the gathering along the banks of the flowing river Ganga to pledge for this noble cause.
The Sunday evening featured Ganga Arti, with Nrityavali adding the flavour of Indian culture and heritage to the art. The participants sharing the experience of the International Yoga Festival said, “Traditionally Holi falls after the festival but this year, we had requested a pre-Holi celebration admist the music of drummer Sivamani which was enjoyed by one and all including ascetics.”
Other highlights of the third day were harmonic spine: music as medicine with Joseph Schmidlin, teacher, sound practitioner and osteopath physician from New York and an energising session with Dana Flynn at the Sacred Sound Stage. Gabriela Bozic said “Hip, hop and holy session of Yoga is not about the shape your body can make. Yoga is about deep healing and making a connection within and without. It is an internal experience not an external physical form.”
Paula Tapia, Yoga therapist and mindfulness advisor, had special yoga class in Spanish. Participants also had the opportunity to attend sacred sound healing with Michelle Button Vrinda Devi, president of the Institute of Music and Healing Arts for Peace and a session on ‘Soothe Your Insides: Mindfulness, Meditation, Pranayama, and Yogic Storytelling’ with Eden Goldman, Yoga, Mindfulness, and Wellness lifestyle expert from Los Angeles, California.
Anandra George led Nada Yoga musical meditation alongside a Ganga sunrise. Anandra, who studies Hindustani classical music from Pundit Baldev Raj Verma, said, “If singing to God has always been a deep wish of yours, but you tell yourself you “can’t” sing, it’s time to change that. The spiritual roots of Indian classical music invite us to sing for connection and not for performance. This is a critical reorientation that can help you release your authentic devotional expression. I can’t tell you how many people who can’t sing have fallen in love with the sound of their own voices through the vocal meditation methods I teach. I always say “If you can speak, you can sing,” she said.
Yoga for de addiction was also held on the day. The two-hour Asana classes began with Tommy Rosen, founder of online program Recovery 2.0, which uses the values and energy of Yoga to help those struggling with addiction. Tommy said, “Through this River of Kriya class, anyone can access the supreme state of yoga and be free. It simply requires steady practice and constant surrender.”
On the Ganga Ghat, Seane Corn of New York led the Yoga of Awakening, inspiring students with her words of reflection, “I didn’t know the ways in which Yoga would hold a mirror up to my humanity, challenge my perspective, and ask me again and again and again, can you love now?” At the sacred sound stage, Karen Neumann, Reiki Master, Nada Yoga teacher and medium who channels Oneness and Unconditional Love to her followers and pupils, offered the great healing mantra: Maha Mrityunjay for those interested in beginning their day united in mantra.
The participants had the opportunity to experience Kundalini Yoga with Jai Hari Singh, teacher and healer from Mexico City. Of his sacred practice, Jai Hari said, “Kundalini Yoga is a technique that allows each of us, if you practice, to relate to your inner greatness and to your divine talent, as to face your everyday life, with courage, grace and devotion”.
Monday, 04 March 2019 | PNS | Haridwar