Celebrate India - International Yoga Festival with yatra.com
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It is believed that after Bollywood, India’s greatest export to the rest of the world is Ayurveda and Yoga. I certainly cannot contend that claim, especially after visiting Parmarth Niketan Ashram ...

It is believed that after Bollywood, India’s greatest export to the rest of the world is Ayurveda and Yoga. I certainly cannot contend that claim, especially after visiting Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh during the week-long International Yoga Festival. Believe it or not, during the festival I found myself surrounded by so many tourists from around the world of so many varying colours and races I felt as if Indians had become a minority in the bounds of the Ashram.

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Celebrate India - International Yoga Festival with yatra.com Document Transcript

  • 1. Celebrate India - International Yoga Festival with Yatra.comIt is believed that after Bollywood, India’s greatest export to the rest of the worldis Ayurveda and Yoga. I certainly cannot contend that claim, especially after visiting ParmarthNiketan Ashram in Rishikesh during the week-long International Yoga Festival. Believe it or not,during the festival I found myself surrounded by so many tourists from around the world of somany varying colours and races I felt as if Indians had become a minority in the bounds of theAshram.However, I relished that opportunity tointeract with so many people from allsorts of backgrounds with interestinglife stories of their own. Until then I hadpictured foreigners practicing Yoga intheir respective countries as somethingexotic that they might have liked toindulge in. However, after several discussions I grasped from several tourists how deep theculture of Yoga has penetrated all over the world. Therefore, it was not surprising to findseveral foreigners whose knowledge of Yoga far exceeded that of most Indians present. All inall I can say that the experience of this festival far exceeded my expectations and I came backhome with a lot more than just an improved knowledge of this Yoga culture.Rishikesh hardly needs an introduction for it is one of the most popular Indian touristdestinations and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually from around the world. It’sfamous for rafting, camping, water sports, temples,ashram, meditation and last but not theleast, Yoga. It has become extremely crowded over the years due to the ever increasing influxof tourists but one can still find plenty of spots around the river Ganges which can provide ameasure of peace and space for contemplation and meditation that the tourists come lookingfor.However, if it’s absolute peace that you seek then this festival might not be for you. It doestend to get crowded but it has its own advantages to balance the scales. To begin with, thelocation of the ashram is right on the banks on Ganges and on top of that the ashram isbeautiful and huge because of which even with the huge crowd it doesn’t feel suffocating.Then there is the exceptional Yoga program that includes over 70 hours ofYoga sessions in allthe eight limbs of Yoga, delivered by the most experienced Yoga gurus from around the world.As expected Yoga sessions are accompanied by spiritual discourses by eminent spiritual leaders
  • 2. of the country. But don’t worry because this is not all that’s offered, every evening thereis aarti on the banks of the Ganges followed by a true Rishikesh experience. In the true spirit ofRishikesh there are campfires accompanied by song and dance. This was the time I used tointeract with all those amazing people.Having individuals from so many cultures gather in the same place results in a mixed culturaloutpouring. I heard and saw and learnt so much that the stories I gathered there could go onand on for weeks but since I have neither the time nor the energy to narrate the entireexperience I would like to end by mentioning just one thing.As mentioned earlier you might not find that absolute sense of peace while you are there butbeing exposed to so many myriad perspectives over such a short period of time will definitelytransform you as a person. And, that I think is an experience as valuable as any other.This is Joy signing off,You lot take care,As always, Travel Safe and Travel Happy,Until next timeCiao