May 2014 The call of the Ganga this Shivratri brought together around 600 participants from 46 countries to the 15th International Yoga Festival 2014 organised by the Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh. A seven-day long event, from March 1 to 7, it resembled a perfect global village in every sense. Hundreds of yoga enthusiasts from across the world attended this pilgrimmage of yoga and spiritual discourses, in colourful cottons, and sporting vibrant yoga mats on their backs. The festival was inaugurated with a Shiva abhishek prior to the evening Ganga arati on February 28. Following the arati, the participants were treated to a special cultural song and dance performance by Smt. Sharmila Bhartari who was joined by girls from several of the local schools. The dance was dedicated to Lord Shiva. The overseas participants were thrilled to see the great creative flow and expression of the Indian dance. “Even though we may not understand the words in Hindi or Sanskrit, the meaning is so deep and profound that we can feel it and understand it in our hearts,” said David Rogers from USA. What followed from the next morning onwards were seven days of exemplary yoga experiences with more than 50 yogacharyas, presenters and experts from more than 15 countries around the world. Kundalini yoga, Iyengar yoga, Bharat yoga, Deep yoga, Shintoh yoga and Somatics yoga were just a few of the more than 60 different offerings throughout the week. International masters like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Radhanath Swami, Mooji, Jack Kornfield, Jeffrey Armstrong and therapists like Rujuta Diwekar, Matthew Sweeny, Maa Gyaan Suveera were prominent faces of the festival. “The best asana is to have your mind in your heart,” said Mooji, the renowned Jamaican spiritual master.
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