The International Yoga Festival, Rishikesh is a celebration of Yoga, the age old Indian science of health and wellness. The great sage Patanjali, penned down the science, laid down the minute rules and techniques of the activity. Yoga was primarily developed as a medium to attain harmony of body, mind and soul. Yoga is not just different yogic postures or breathing techniques, it is a way of life. Around the world, Yoga has changed lives with its holistic techniques. International Yoga Festival is a wonderful opportunity to introduce Yoga in one’s life. The week-long event detoxifies and purifies the body, mind and soul.
History of International Yoga Festival
International Yoga Festival was started in the year 1999 in Rishikesh, Parmarth Niketan Ashram. The early meditative classes were held under the guidance of Pujya Shri Swami Veda Bharat Ji, while the Yoga asanas were taught by Yogacharya Shri Bharat Bhushan Ji.
Since its inception, there has been no looking back. The popularity of the yoga festival grows every passing year. The 2010 edition became the most successful event as it witnessed a maximum number of participants. The credit for the success of the festival coincides with the auspicious event of Maha Kumbh Mela which took place during the same time of the year. The popularity of the festival keeps growing as more and more discover the benefits of yoga.
When International Yoga Festival will be held in 2019?
1st to 7th March 2019.
Where is International Yoga festival organized?
The International Yoga Festival is celebrated in Rishikesh, Parmarth Niketan Ashram on the banks of River Ganga.
How is International Yoga Festival celebrated?
The celebration of Yoga, International Yoga Festival is a harmonious event organized on the shores of River Ganges amid a spiritual ambience, created by the holy River Ganga. The festival seeks to promote harmony of the body, mind and soul. It practices some of the very ancient techniques and sessions of the art of yoga and meditation. It prominent features include sessions on Pranayama, Hatha Yoga and Yog Nidra.
Along with all branches of Yoga, there are numerous meditative sessions of Agnihotra, Ajapa Japa, Antar Mauna, Chakra Sudhi, Chidakasha Dharma. All sessions are carried on by experienced yoga practitioners in the ashram complex.
Besides learning the ancient art of unifying the body, mind and soul, the festival provides the perfect occasion to explore aspects of Indian culture. Sattvic food, amiable people, humble lodging cleanse your system guiding you on a spiritual path.
The true religious spirit of Rishikesh is further celebrated as evenings of the weeklong festival are spent at the riverside gardens amid ‘Bhajans and ‘Kirtans’. Experience bliss permeated in the air of Rishikesh.
Grounded in the authentic origin of Yoga, the International Yoga festival encompasses all traditional yoga lineages of India. Masters of yoga schools and styles impart their knowledge to the participants of the festival.
The one-week Festival covers over 70 hours of Yoga classes under world-class Yoga teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga including Iyengar Yoga, Kriya Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Power Vinyasa Yoga. Satsang, divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters add to the holistic wellness derived from yoga. The schedule of the International Yoga Festival week varies from day-to-day. The general daily program of IYF includes:
- Classes start from 4 AM.
- One-hour yoga class at 6.30 AM, followed by a simple breakfast.
- Several two-hour hour yoga sessions start at 8.30 AM.
- Inspiring lectures from revered saints and yogacharyas at 11:00 AM.
- Traditional Indian lunch from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.
- After short rest, three Yogasana classes from 3.30 PM to 5.00 PM.
- From 6.00 PM to 7.00 PM, attend the Aarti, on the banks of the river Ganga.
- Dinner at 7.00 PM.
- Special evening programs of satsang, cultural song and dance performances, campfires, etc.
- Lights out at 9.30 PM.
Places to visit around Rishikesh
Rishikesh is one of the holiest places in Uttarakhand. The gateway to Garhwal Himalayas, the town is blissful. Along with attending the International Yoga Festival, visit Laxman Jhula, Neelhantha Mahadev Temple, the ashrams, temples and so many more places including Haridwar. You can also make Rishikesh your base and go for a visit to the Char Dham and other pilgrimage sites high up in the Himalayas. Also Rishikesh is one of the best destination for adventure activities in India. Some of the activities you could indulge in includes white water rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, trekking, flying fox and camping among others.
How to reach Rishikesh
Nearest airport to the spiritual lands of Rishikesh is Jolly Grant Airport, which is located in Dehradun. The airport connects regular flights from New Delhi and numerous other cities off India. From Dehradun, one can hire taxi/cab to reach Rishikesh, for these two are only 35 km away from each other.
If traveling by train, the nearest you can travel till is Haridwar. Haridwar railway station is only 25 km away from the town of Rishikesh. The railway station has a good connectivity with Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow and Varanasi.
Driving to Rishikesh on your own is also a nice alternative. The town is properly connected to the nearby cities with a good network of roads and highways. From the capital city of Delhi, it takes around 6-7 hours to reach Rishikesh.