Realizing the importance of yoga
Yoga, the spiritual, mental and physical discipline that aims to transform one’s body and mind, has been accepted as a way of life in countries around the globe. The practice, which started in India centuries ago, is now a multi-million dollar industry in the West. In a bid to give back and popularise yoga in India, Ganesh events and Om shanti yoga recently organised the second edition of the India Yoga festival in Goa.
While the festival attracted over 200 people from various countries across the globe, the event saw a handful of Indians participating. The three day festival included teaching of over 20 styles of yoga by 25 renowned yoga instructors and artists from India and abroad, with the teaching being spread over 50 yoga classes. Sunset kirtans, hanuman chalisas, traditional fire pujas, as well as aartis were also conducted at the festival. Some of the activities included the Ganesh Puja, Anusara Yoga, Hatha Vinyasa, Vinyasa Yoga, Freestyle Jivamukti Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Vedic astrology, Tibetan yoga, Yoga 108, Bhagvad Gita, Kundalini yoga, Acro yoga and dance, hatha yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga Sutras Patanjali, Satyananda Yoga, bhakti workshop, Thai yoga massage, traditional hatha yoga, yoga in bhakti, Bollywood yoga, Pranayama and Yoga Nidra etc. While the festival was a ticketed entry, some activities were offered free of charge.
According to yoga instructor Helen Say, a former Business Consultant from England who used to work with Cisco Systems, she took to yoga after realising its importance. “It’s disturbing to see that today’s youth of India have very little knowledge of the importance of yoga,” she says. Unlike the West, she rues, Indians are neglecting their home-bred treasure in an attempt to ape the Western culture. Helen said that the goal of the festival was to have a feeling of love, contentment and exploration of different styles of Yoga. “I truly hope that those thinking of doing Yoga, take it up. It will really change their lives for the better,” she says.
Patrick Broome, a noted American-German yoga instructor who rose to prominence, after coaching the national German football side for the 2014 world Cup held in Brazil, was of the opinion that yoga helps soccer players in many ways – from making the body flexible, and strengthening muscles to calming the mind during the intense moments of the match. Having practiced yoga for the past 20 years, he said he learned the art of Yoga after several visits to India and various sessions in Rishikesh, Varanasi, Kerala and other parts of the country. At the India Yoga Festival, participants benefitted from his in-depth knowledge of freestyle Jivamukti yoga and how effortlessly it could be practiced.
All in all, the enriching experience at the India Yoga Festival could not have been better matched. The participants were truly in for a wholesome experience amidst the swaying palms trees and perfect tranquil surroundings. After tasting success, the organisers of the festival hope to keep the flame alive for years to come and spread the benefits of yoga.
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