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17th Annual International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh (1st – 7th March 2016)

Yoga, the magical word for fitness today sprouted in India centuries back. Over the years, Yoga has gained irrevocable popularity and is considered today as the epitome of fitness across all continents. All sects of society have accepted this universal truth and are today most keen to learn, adopt and practice this form of training for fitness. Besides physical it also helps in fine tuning one's mind and soul which in today's world is most important to survive. Yoga, being an ancient science leads to health of the body, peace in the mind, joy in the heart, and liberation of the soul. Truly, it helps us all to "Live Long and Prosper" the famous salutation used by Mr. Spock in Star Trek.

Last year, in his speech at the UN General Assembly, the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narender Modi had said, "We need to change our lifestyles…... It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with you, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climatic change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day." A unanimous support of 170 Nations thus announced 21st June as International Yoga Day.

The International Yoga Festival is truly grounded in the authentic origin of Yoga. One can practice and learn from masters representing the Traditional Yoga Lineages from India, as well as masters of International well known yoga schools & styles. During this one-week Festival, one gets an opportunity to participate in over 60 hours of Yoga classes of teachers practicing multiple styles of Yoga that include Kriya Yoga , Kundalini Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, and Iyengar Yoga.

The participants will also be blessed with the presence, satsang and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters from within India, including H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, and more.

Yoga literally means "Union" – union of breath with the body, union of the mind with the muscles, and most importantly union of the self with the divine. Yoga is not a religion. It does not require you to believe in a certain God or chant certain mantras.

The International Yoga Festival explores the eight limbs of Yoga and how they apply to our lives whether we consider ourselves Yoga students or not. Please join us as we breathe in the sights and wonders of India and meet one another on this path of discovery and awakening.

The 17th International Yoga Festival will be hosted at the Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

Rishikesh – Also known as the "City of the Divine"- is a spiritual center to which sages; rishis, saints and pilgrims have flocked for millennia.

Parmarth Niketan is a true, spiritual heaven, lying on the holy banks of Holy River Ganga, in the lap of the lush Himalayas. It is also the largest ashram in Rishikesh. Parmarth Niketan provides its thousands of pilgrims – who come from all corners of the Earth – with a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere as well as abundant, beautiful gardens. With over 1000 rooms, the facilities are a perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional, spiritual simplicity. Connectivity is no problem as Rishikesh is just 30 minutes a drive from Jolly Grant Airport (DED), Dehradun.

Each morning would begin at 4 am. Thereafter at 6.30 am there would be an hour long Yoga session, followed by a simple breakfast specially designed to detoxify the body. At 8.30 am one has the option of joining several two-two hour yoga sessions. At 11.00 am, before lunch there would be divine and inspiring lectures from revered saints and yogacharyas on a variety of uplifting and inspiring subjects.

The afternoon starts shortly after lunch with instructional classes, followed by three Yogasana classes from 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm. From 6.00 pm to 7.00 pm everyone would attend the special light ceremony, Aarti, on the banks of the Holy River Ganga.

Dinner is served at 7.00 pm followed by a special evening program comprising of satsang (chants) with spiritual leaders, cultural song and dance events, campfires and more, before the day finally sums up at 9.30 pm.

During this one week program (1st – 7th March'16), each participant will receive not only the gift of wonderful teachings, but also the gift of divine touch, through which all will be transformed.