International Yoga Festival, March 1-7, 2020, Day 6


On Day 6, hundreds of yoga practitioners at Parmarth Niketan for the 31st Annual International Yoga Festival woke to a rainy morning on the banks of Mother Ganga, but still took to their mats for a full-range of activities.  Asanas were the order of the day, with Katie B. Happyy’s Vinyasa class and Ganga Nandini’s Yoga for All – Mantras, Asanas and Meditation, continuing through Dr. Indu Sharma’s Traditional Hatha Yogasana and Sensei Sandeep Desai’s Mysore-Style Ashtanga Yoga practice to Mohan Bhandari’s Flow of Yogi – Improving & Expanding and Anandra George’s hugely-popular Sunrise Nada Yoga on the Ghat, postures and poses and practice created health and happiness for all the participants.

Other offerings included trauma was healing through yoga, by Beth Shaw, Asanas led to Tadasana by HS Arun, awakening of the Kundalini by Kia Miller, poisonous Dvesa and Avhiniveshah presented in a modern context by Stewart Gilchrist and the spine getting harmonic by Joseph Schmidlin.

Stewart Gilchrist who is famous for his boot-camp style classes in London, shared, “the style in which I teach is a reflection of who I am and where I came from as a person.  I’ve been teaching for over 20 years which in itself is a reflection of who I am. My style of teaching is a selfless service, where the physical dynamic of the class, the physical tapas of the class, the austerities and the discipline of the class, results in people who are in-service, and never need to be looked after….always strong in body, strong in mind, fit in body, fit in mind, so that they can be of service to the rest of the community, so that they can be in a place of giving and not of taking.”

This was followed by the day’s Spiritual Lecture Series – The Frontiers of Wellness Techniques – with a focus on building resilience during this time of unprecedented systems collapse. Speakers included, Rev Dr Michael Bernard Beckwith, Dr. Alejandro Junger, MD, Founder of the Clean Programme, New York Times bestselling Author of Clean, James Maskell, Founder of Functional Forum, Dr. Smita Naram, founder of Ayushakti and a renowned ayurveda expert who has helped more than 1 million people from 108 countries, Uplift Connect Organic India Founder Bharat Mitra and Director of the International Yoga Festival Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji.

According to Dr. Smita Naram, “trauma is one of the main reasons for getting so many health issues.  Ayurveda mentions that shock and fear plus anger create a major shutting down of the immune system and the digestive system.  As a result, what we eat is not processed by the body, which leads to so many degenerative issues. For these reasons, it’s important to take care of your emotions on a daily basis. Just applying ghee in circular motion to your temples, or rubbing your feet with ghee, can help so much in grounding you and your nervous system becomes stronger and abler to handle traumatic situations.”

According to Dr. Smita Naram, “trauma is one of the main reasons for getting so many health issues.  Ayurveda mentions that shock and fear plus anger create a major shutting down of the immune system and the digestive system.  As a result, what we eat is not processed by the body, which leads to so many degenerative issues. For these reasons, it’s important to take care of your emotions on a daily basis. Just applying ghee in circular motion to your temples, or rubbing your feet with ghee, can help so much in grounding you and your nervous system becomes stronger and abler to handle traumatic situations.”

Bharat Mitra offered his take on the current state of wellness in the world by sharing, “Stress and loneliness are inevitable outcomes of deep confusion.  When we buy into the illusion we are disconnected from reality, from the simple reality that we are all interconnected and that each and every one of us is a unique expression of the glorious mystery – God, divine consciousness, self-awareness. The source of our stress is our inner confusion. It’s not about changing the world, it’s about changing ourselves.”

When sharing about her experience at the Festival, Sianna said, “This festival is a true sanctuary of yoga with an indefatigable spirit of welcoming, inclusivity, and diversity.  Every day is a celebration of life and together we co create the resonant field of love. This grand gathering of yoga is one that recharges, renews, and re-calibrates the entire being. The atmosphere is charged with tremendous Blessing Energy and one can feel the living flame of love that permeates the entire festival.  I Am Blessed. We Are Blessed.”

Rohini Manohar enthused, “To come to Parmarth and teach is like coming home to divinity. Every face, every class, every word, every idol in the ashram is a signpost to something higher and I am eternally grateful to be here and share my love for yoga.”

Following a beautiful Water Blessing ceremony and group photos and another round of the Festival’s Kirtan Family Hour, Day 6 of the International Yoga Festival revved-up before winding-down with a lively and energetic special Sufi music concert by award-winning and world-renowned Sufi Singer Kailash Kher, whose singular talents and charismatic personality charmed the audience and created beautiful memories for all the audience present.

Other highlights of the day

  • Nrityavali’s Indian Classical Dance Workshop by Joanna
  • Joy of Sargam: A Beginner’s Vocal Playshop by Faso
  • Erica Kaufman’s Lila Yoga class,
  • Rohini Manohar’s YINcredible offering
  • Eden Goldman’s Chikitsa Vinyasa Therapeutic Flow,
  • The Yoga of Business with Andrew Hewitt
  • Recognizing the Other Person is You by Tommy Rosen
  • Smita Naram’s recipe for living 100 years full of energy, vitality and health
  • Maa Gyaan Suveera’s blending of intelligence and faith, science & tradition
  • Sianna Sherman’s Rasa Yoga: Magic of Mudra class

 

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