Rishikesh is all set to host the week-long 29th international yoga festival (IYF) beginning on March 1 at Parmarth Niketan. Aside from the Parmarth Niketan based in Rishikesh, the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam are jointly hosting the programme. The festival, being observed since 1999, has been drawing the eminent exponents of yoga and yoga enthusiasts from across the world.

This year too, IYF will see congregation of   over 70 spiritual personalities and Yogacharyas and also over 1,200 participants from 100 countries.  Besides, the Prime Minister, himself a Yoga enthusiast, instrumental in spreading it across the world, would address the participants during the programme through video conferencing.  Uttarakhand being deemed as the place of origin for Yoga, the festival, being held in a hallowed place of pilgrimage, enjoys a special significance for the yoga enthusiasts from across the world, said the organisers.

The week-long festival on the banks of the holy Ganga river will witness demonstrations of various Yoga disciplines like Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bharat Yoga, Deep Yoga, Shintoh Yoga and Kriya Yoga, Somatic Yoga and Leela Yoga. Osho style dynamic meditation, Rumi love meditation, Buddhist meditation are some of the Yoga techniques which would be part of the activities during the programme.

Speaking to The Pioneer, the director of the festival Sadhvi Bhagwati said, “The festival being a platform of mixing of myriad cultures from across the world would be deified with the graceful presence of the seers.

While it would be inaugurated by the Governor of Uttarakhand Krishan Kant Paul, Shankaracharya Divyanand Teerth, Swami Chidanand Saraswati and Ven Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche are among the host of personalities who would grace the occasion with their presence. This  aside, the PM would address the participants through video conferencing.”

Head of Parmarth Niketan Swami Chidanand Saraswati said, “Yoga is not just a therapy but a way of living, helping one to increase the power of concentration, to squarely face the growing stress of life. Uttarakhand being lauded as the birth place of Yoga, the fest beckons the interested people from across the world and it helps the world turn into one vibrant family, sans any distinction of races and religions.”