Call of the Ganges

The world has recently woken up to the benefits of yoga. Yoga is a treat for both the body and the mind. It works on the principle of unifying our souls and bodies. Its benefits include increased physical fitness, concentration and peace.

For access to breathtaking yoga classes in multiple styles for over seventy hours, the International Yoga Festival, is a must visit. Held in Rishikesh annually, there are classes taught by globally renowned teachers. This year the IYF takes places during 1 March to 7 March. Tourists and travellers are guaranteed peace and self-introspection here. Routines start as early as 4.30 am and there are classes, lectures and presentations to keep you absorbed. With special benefits such as a traditional Indian meal, the awe inspiring evening aarti on the banks of the Ganges and the cultural programs, this festival promises to be a unique experience. A grand lunch is provided between 12.30 and 3.30 pm for participants. Alongside, the river aarti experience is guaranteed to put you in touch with your divine self. Post the 7.30 pm dinner, the cultural program comprises campfires, dancing, songs, satsang and even more! The day is rounded off by 9 pm.

Rishikesh will be sparkled with people from nearly 50 countries across the globe, drinking cup after cup of yummy chai, floating flower-filled leaf boats with burning camphor on the waters of the Ganges, purchasing strings of indigenous rudraksh seeds to wear around their wrist or neck and upon which to do their “japa” or spiritual chanting. However, although they certainly will shop for traditional religious ornaments and accessories, drink tea in the small marketplace and spend time on the banks of the holy river, it is not this which draws them here.

Yoga students, practitioners, teachers and even raw beginners of every religion, every culture and every language flock from every corner of the Earth to come here and learn asana (exercises/postures), pranayama (breath control) and meditation from the top yogic experts of dozens of lineages. They will immerse themselves in the richness of Indian philosophy. They will dance and sing, chant and sit at the feet of some of India’s most revered spiritual masters. They will wave burning oil lamps at sunset as the last rays of the sun dance on the waters of the Mother River Ganga, to the sound of Vedic mantras.

This festival will give you a chance to find out the eight limbs of yoga practice. There are reputed teachers dealing with multiple schools of yoga. These include Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga and Kriya Yoga among others. This festival also gives you an opportunity to learn and interact with divine spiritual healers and saints.

This annual event is the brainchild of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, which is just an hour away from Dehradun by car. You will also get comfortable accommodation at the ashram itself. This comes coupled with modern amenities which are sure to make this a special experience for tourists. So, be prepared to soak in a unique travelling odyssey at the International Yoga Festival.

Team Veena World