We welcome participants and presenters from over 50 countries!

29 February 2020 RISHIKESH INDIA: On this beautiful and sunny morning, the energy at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, which is home to the International Yoga Festival, is vibrant and electric with yoga experts and practitioners arriving from all over the world, blessed upon arrival with a traditional Indian tilak that awakens the Divine connection for a week of sacred healing, learning, and celebration!

Under the brilliant leadership and with the blessings of HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President and Spiritual Leader of Parmarth Niketan, and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji, Director of the International Yoga Festival, the 31st Annual celebration of union – the International Yoga Festival – debuts tomorrow, 1 March, for 7 days of visionary enlightenment, peace and harmony that is so vital and needed in this troubled world. With over 700 practitioners from more than 50 countries, this year’s Festival promises to be an enriching and elevating experience for all participants.

The International Yoga Festival is organized in partnership with Incredible India, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. Tomorrow’s Festival inauguration, on 1 March 2020, will be led by the Hon’ble Union Minister of Tourism for the Government of India, Shri Prahlad Singh Patelji, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawatji, Hon’ble Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Shri Prem Chand Agarwalji, Hon’ble AYUSH Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Harak Singh Rawatiji amongst many others.

With over 2000 participants from over 100 countries last year, the International Yoga Festival is a world-renowned unique Festival of true yogic union – of cultures, countries, colors and creeds – coming together for total oneness and wellness, of ourselves, our communities, our nations and our world! Our teachers and presenters alone represent a communion of nations, coming from two dozen countries across the globe. Our festival has been featured in such prestigious international publications as TIME magazine, the NY Times, CNN, CNBC, Vanity Fair and others. You may access the festival schedule online and through our app, available from Google Play and the App Store as well as our website www.InternationalYogaFestival.org

In the spirit of Athithi Devo Bhava and in line with the Parmarth’s tireless contributions to a Clean Rishikesh, Clean India – a morning interfaith clean-up of the banks of Maa Ganga was amongst the preparations for the arrival of the hundreds of guests registered for this year’s divine event. Parmarth Niketan Rishikumars and Sevaks, as well as some of our beautiful Buddhist monks and students along with community residents joined in the effort to create a beautiful environment for our visitors from across India and around the world.

As guests arrived at the Registration tent this morning, exuding joy and a feeling of excitement and enthusiasm, for many a coming back home, the promise of divine union and connection with each other and with all of creation was palpable, both in the energy levels and in the radiant faces of the participants and dedicated volunteers of the Festival.

Presenter Kia Miller offered her impressions of the day and the event: “Whenever I come to Rishikesh it feels like coming home. And it feels important to me as a yoga student and teacher to come here to the source of the teachings. To be in this unified field in an environment that’s conducive to the exploration of what it means to be a conscious human being on this planet. One of the most important things that we can do as human beings is elevate our energy, set our frequency and stabilize ourselves in a neutral state so we can really be a light to ourselves and be a light to those around us.”

In describing their own feelings about the event and about Rishikesh and Parmarth Niketan, Elena and Gabriella from Frankfurt, Germany shared: “As soon as you enter the Ashram, the energy changes. It’s a feeling of deep trust…you feel that everything is right. It’s like being in the womb, in the arms of the Mother…you know nothing can go wrong. There’s no feeling of separation. We’re all connected! And Pujya Swamiji…when He comes to Aarti, we just get tears of bliss!”

Pujya Swamiji figures prominently in presenter Tommy Rosen’s memories of IYF, Parmarth Niketan and Rishikesh, as well: “The first time I came to Rishikesh, Pujya Swamiji looked at me in the eyes and told me ‘Welcome Home, this is your festival.’ After 5 seconds I saw that he wasn’t kidding. He was opening up this opportunity. The International Yoga festival is a doorway of great possibilities, oneness, love and connection. People often think ’can it be that great, can you really have that all in one’ and I tell them yes, all you have to do is walk through the archway. Don’t wait another second, just come and be here to have the experience for yourself.”

At the press conference opening the highly-anticipated event, HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji shared: “Parmarth’s International Yoga Festival illustrates that the time has come for yogis and yoga practitioners to take yoga off the mat and into the world, becoming the solution to the challenges that ail our planet and all of humanity. From the banks of Ganga, the message is: Become the rivers of conscious action, thinking not merely of ‘what for me’ but ‘what through me’. Becoming soldiers and stewards of peace is what Yoga is all about.”

Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawatiji said: “It’s so beautiful to be celebrating the 31st Anniversary of the International Yoga Festival, and this year, to be emphasizing the aspect of Yoga in the World, the concept of yoga as union, whether it’s with our sisters and brothers from the Americas and across Europe, whether it’s union with Mother Earth, or union with future generations. In addition, and with excitement, we are focusing this year on how to be a yogi, a saiyogi (a helpful person), and an upyogi (a useful person). In the face of everything that’s going on in the world today, we realize how much we need yoga; yoga is the answer to everything that is afflicting our world.”

Check out the schedule and list of presenters from this years festival: www.InternationalYogaFestival.org

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