As we are celebrating the first International Yoga Day worldwide today, that is 21st June 2015, I heard this question pop out in one of the media out there and it set my mind thinking -
What is Yoga? And how can we incorporate it in our daily lives?
For me, the idea of Yoga meant doing all kinds of postures and asanas, the rhythmic inhaling – exhaling routine, bodily flexibility and attaining stillness through meditation. Personally, I have never had the stamina to do all these sort of exercises, so I thought I was not a yoga person. This - until I attended the International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, March 2015 which helped changed my perception and pushed me further in the world of ‘Yoga’ and what all it actually entails.
The Yoga festival had approximately 1000 participants from more than 55 countries and more than 60 revered saints, yogacharyas, presenters, seekers and teachers from nearly 20 countries gathered from all over the world explaining the true sense of Yoga, in their culturally unique ways.
Below is a photo story trying to decode and delve into the true essence of Yoga through a compilation of some quotes I jotted down while attending the various Yoga classes in the festival along with the corresponding pictures. Sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy!
1. The Art of Freeing your Voice.
The best healing music is your own voice.
A voice that travels beyond space and time - loud and clear in the heart.
So sing your own song in your voice.
Then, offer it as a selfless service to the Divine.
~ Daphne Tse, Singer.
2. Divine Discourses. Satsangs by Radhanath Swami, Dayanand Saraswati, Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati, etc.
Forgiveness and compassion are the crest jewels of a true Yogi.
These can be cultivated by connecting to the Divine Grace –
that frequency of Grace that is everywhere. And also within us.
~ Radhanath Swami.
3. Appreciation - The Highest Meditation in the Aquarian Age.
Love gives you power to Merge and touch your own infinity.
~ Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa.
4. Meditation from Hand.
Hand exercises that heal the body. ~ David Mei and Team.
5. Osho Style Dynamic Meditation – Letting Go ~ Chris Miglino.
A very energizing session with no talking:
All we did was scream, dance, jump and empty our hearts out - let go!
6. Exploring the Frontiers of Consciousness.
Happiness is a natural state of consciousness. Everything else is disease. Everything else is imbalance. Happiness is who we are, what we are. This is our birthright.
7. Shinto Japanese Yoga.
The Universe wants to give you its blessings right now. Accept them with grace.
~ Hikaru Hasimoto, Japanese Shinto Yoga Instructor.
8. Salutation to Ma Ganga.
"There are few things on which Hindu India, diverse as it is, might agree.
But of the Ganges, India speaks with one voice.
~ Diana Eck.
9. Color dissolves color ~ Holi Celebration.
Look at yourself. Look at each other.
Can you spot any difference?
All look One. All are One.
This is Yoga.
~ Ramdev Baba, on the eve of Holi.
10. And, Finally … The Eternal Mystic Yogi ~ Lord Shiva.
Through Yoga - Indian culture gives you visa for living.
A lifetime visa that sustains life after life.
Do not only learn Yoga - live Yoga, breathe yoga - YOU are Yoga!
~ Swami Chidanand Saraswati.