IYF History

2014

Get Up & Go in the Morning

  • Kundalini Morning Sadhana with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa
  • Kriya Yoga with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Lila Yoga Sun Salutations with Erica Kaufmann
  • Power Pranayama with Yogiraj Vishwapal Jayant
  • Odaka Warrior Yoga with Roberto Milletti
  • Sukshma Yoga with Swami Yogananda
  • Tai Chi & Qi Gong with David Wei
  • Pranayama & Yoga Therapy with DPS Bhardwaj
  • Deep Yoga Awakening with Laura Plumb
  • Submerged Yoga with Chandanni Miglino

Yoga Asana Classes – Work Your Mind and Body

  • Hanuman Namaskar with Laura Plumb
  • Iyengar Yoga with H.S. Arun
  • INDEA Flow Vinyasa with Bharath Shetty
  • Bharat Yog with Padmashri Bharat Bhushan
  • Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
  • Movement Vinyasa with Tommy Rosen
  • Hatha Yoga with Mohan Bhandari
  • Yoga & Pranayama with Yogi Cameron
  • Somatics Flow with Brian Siddharth and Gayatri
  • Jivamukti Yoga with Gabriela Bozic
  • Vinyasa Yoga with Akira Watamoto
  • Ashtanga Yoga with Deepika Mehta
  • Shinto Yoga with Hikaru Hashimoto
  • Ganga Sadhana with Laura Plumb
  • The Dance of Fire & Bliss with Kia Miller
  • Power of Yoga with Sherri Baptiste
  • Yuvaa Yoga with Yuva Dayalan and T.A. Krishnan
  • Chandra Krama with Matthew Sweeney

Find the Centre of Peace Within Yourself

  • Kundalini Meditation with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa
  • Ci Plus Meditation with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Mantra Meditation with Chandresh Bhardwaj
  • Yoga Nidra with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Zen Yoga Meditation with Akira Watamoto
  • Svadhyaya:  The Psychology of Yoga with Jeffrey Armstrong
  • Yoga of the Awakened Heart Meditation with Jack Kornfield & Trudy Goodman
  • Meditation Using Taoist Principles with David Wei

Satsang/Lifestyle/Healing – Learn Techniques for Lifestyle Balance

  • Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita & Other Scriptures with Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji
  • Living Yoga in Daily Life with Pujya Madhavpriyadas Swamiji
  • A New World Emerging – Inspiration for the Visionary with Shanti Mayi
  • Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras with Dr. T.S. Rukmani
  • Satsang with Pujya Mooji
  • Yoga of Love Discourse with Pujya Radhanath Swamiji
  • A Divine Balance – From Stress Management to Self Management with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Path of the Heart with Prem Babaji
  • Spiritual Satsang and Question/Answer with Spiritual LeadersAyurveda as Support for Daily Sadhana with Yogi Cameron
  • Yoga & Mental Health with R.S. Bhogal
  • Reiki with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Sacred Mudras for Health & Wholeness with Siddhi
  • Mitahar – The Yoga of Eating with Rujuta Diwekar
  • Indian Spices for Healthy Living with Dr. Anjana Bhagat
  • Glandular & Metabolism Kriya with Bhavini Kalan

Mantras, Kirtan & Music Therapy

  • Daily Havan and Ganga Aarti
  • Bhakti Yoga with Vaiyasaki and Kishori Das
  • Vedic & Devotional Chanting with Anandra George
  • Dance of Prana with Deepika Mehta

Cultural Events

  • Ecstatic Drumming & Dance with Sivamani
  • Special Dance Performances by Padmaja Suresh
  • Ganga Dance Performance with Arushi Nishank

Yoga Off the Mat

  • Yogis for Ganga Event:  Ganga Yoga, Clean-Up at the Banks of Ganga and Sacred Bath in Ganga with Parmarth and the Ganga Action Parivar Team

Click here to view photos from IYF 2014 >>

2013

Find the Centre of Peace Within Yourself

  • Yoga Nidra with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • CI Meditation with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Special Meditations with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Pranayama & Prayer with Ranjit Bhogal
  • Kundalini Meditation with Gurushabd Khalsa

Satsang/Lifestyle/Healing – Learn Techniques for Lifestyle Balance

  • Inspiring Talks with Andrew Cohen
  • Reiki with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Mind Yoga with Janet Attwood
  • Yoga Philosophy with Swami Tattvarupananda Saraswatiji
  • Somatics Yoga Therapy with Brian Siddharth
  • Satsang with Pujya Swami Chidanandji
  • Satsang with Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji
  • Satsang with Pujya Mooji
  • Inspiring talks with Ranjit Bhogal
  • Spirituality & Happiness with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Ancient Science of Yoga with Padmashri Bharat Bhushanji

Get Up & Go in the Morning

  • Iyengar Yoga with H.S. Arun
  • Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
  • Sivananda Yoga with Swami Tattvarupananda Saraswatiji
  • Yogasanas with Yogi Krishnan & Yuva Dayal
  • Dance of Prana Yoga with Deepika Mehta
  • Jivamukti Yoga with Gabriela Bozic
  • Deep Yoga Ayurvedic Yoga & Ganga Yoga with Bhava Ram & Laura Plumb
  • Ancient yogi fitness with Swami Yoganandaji/li>
  • Kundalini Sadhana with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa
  • Kriya Yoga with Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji
  • Power Pranayama with Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayant

Yoga Asana Classes – Work Your Mind and Body

  • Japanese Shintoh Yoga with Hikaru Hashimoto
  • Arkaya Yoga with Yogacharini Maitreyi
  • Hatha Yoga Adjustments, Alignment & Yoga Therapy with Mohan Bhandari
  • Kundalini Namaskaram Flow with Bhavini Kalan
  • Tulasidalam Yoga with Sindu Ma
  • Anandam Yoga with Satya Kalra
  • Ashtanga Mysore practise with Deepika Mehta
  • Omkar Morning Recitations with Ranjit Bhogal
  • Vinyasa Namaskaram Morning Flow with Bhavini Kalan

Mantras, Kirtan & Music Therapy

  • Ganga Aarti daily
  • Vedic Chanting with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati

2012

Satsang/Lifestyle/Healing – Learn Techniques for Lifestyle Balance

  • Satsang with Pujya Swami Chidanandji
  • Satsang with Pujya Shankaracharyaji
  • Inspiring talk by Swami Dayanandaji
  • Yoga & Ayurveda with Dr David Frawley
  • Spirituality & Happiness with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Reiki healing with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Nutrition & Yogi Living with Rujuta Diwekar
  • Find your Passion & eliminate Obstacles with Janet Attwood
  • Shakti panel with Swati Chopra, Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati & Chandanni Miglino
  • Find your True Point for Emergence with Stephen Norval
  • Simple practise for Living Yoga with Satya Kalra
  • Interact on Eastern Western spiritual practices with Chandanni Miglino

Get Up & Go in the Morning

  • Ancient yogi fitness with Swami Yoganandaji
  • Morning Yoga with Chandra Bhandari
  • Kundalini Sadhana with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa
  • Power Pranayama with Yogiraj
  • Astanga mysore practise with Deepika Mehta
  • Vinyasa morning Namaskarams by Bhavini Kalan
  • Radiant meditation with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Rejuvenating Mudra Pranayama Asana Ritual with Siddhi

Yoga Asana Classes – Work Your Mind and Body

  • Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa Prana Vinyasa with Shiva Rea
  • Iyengar Yoga with Marla Apt
  • Prana Dance Flow Yoga with Deepika Mehta
  • Vinyasa Yoga for your Body Constitution with Bhavini Kalan
  • Odaka Dance Flow Martial Arts Yoga with Roberto Milletti
  • Kapha Hara Vinyasa with Kishan Shah
  • Jivamukti Yoga with Gabriela Bozic
  • Deep Yoga Ayurvedic Yoga with Bhava Ram & Laura Plumb
  • Japanese Shintoh Yoga with Hikaru Hashimoto
  • Hatha Yoga Adjustments & Alignment with Mohan Bhandari

Yoga Off the Mat

  • Yoga Aid Challenge India with Kasey Luber & all the Yogacharyas

Mantras, Kirtan & Music

  • Bhakti Yoga with Vaiyasaki & Kaisori
  • Vedic Chanting with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Ganga Aarti daily

Find Peace Within Yourself

  • Yoga Nidra with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • CI Meditation with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Special Meditations with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati

2011

Satsang/Lifestyle/Healing – Learn Techniques for Lifestyle Balance

  • Satsang with Pujya Swami Chidanandji
  • Satsang with Pujya Shankaracharya, Swami Divyanand Teerthji
  • Satsang with Pujya Swami Dayanandaji
  • Inspiring Talk by Acharya Balkrishnaji
  • Satsang with Pujya Radhanath Swamiji
  • Inspiring talks with Andrew Cohen
  • Spirituality & Happiness with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Reiki healing with Maa Gyaan Suveera
  • Yoga Meridian Therapy with David Wei
  • Ayurveda with Sri V Vasudevan
  • Ayurveda & Marma Therapy with Dr. Avinash and Bharati Lele
  • Nutrition, Lifestyle & Yogic Living with Rujuta Diwekar
  • Yoga Tradition in Ancient Times and Kundalini Tantra with Sri V Vasudevanji
  • Ancient Science of Yoga with Padmashri Bharat Bhushanji
  • Yogic teachings with Emy Blesio
  • Radiant Health & Abundant Energy with Kishan Shah
  • Shakti panel with Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati, Satya Kalra & Chandanni Miglino

Get Up & Go in the Morning

  • Ancient yogi fitness with Swami Yoganandaji
  • Kundalini Sadhana with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa
  • Kriya Yoga with Sadhvi Abha Saraswatiji
  • Power Pranayama with Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayant
  • Ashtanga Mysore practise with Deepika Mehta
  • Vinyasa morning Namaskarams by Bhavini Kalan

Yoga Asana Classes – Work Your Mind and Body

  • Iyengar Yoga with Manouso Manos
  • Kundalini Yoga with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
  • Meditative Asana with Akira Watamoto
  • Iyengar Restorative Yoga & Pranayama with Marla Apt
  • Dance of Prana Yoga with Deepika Mehta
  • Vinyasa Yoga for your Body Constitution with Bhavini Kalan
  • Odaka Yoga with Roberto Milletti
  • Prana Vinyasa Flow with Kishan Shah
  • Jivamukti Yoga with Gabriela Bozic
  • Deep Yoga Ayurvedic Yoga with Bhava Ram & Laura Plumb
  • Japanese Shintoh & Wa Yoga with Hikaru Hashimoto
  • Hatha Yoga & Raja Yoga with Sri V Vasudevan
  • Hatha Yoga Adjustments, Alignment & Yoga Therapy with Mohan Bhandari
  • Yoga & the Art of Life with Chandinni Miglino
  • Healing with Mudras with Siddhi
  • Anandam Yoga with Satya Kalra

Mantras, Kirtan & Music Therapy

  • Mantra Yoga with Dr David Frawley & Yogini Shambhavi
  • Vedic Chanting with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Music Soul Therapy with Daphne Tse
  • Kirtan and chanting with Satyaa & Pari
  • Kirtan fusion with Bhava Ram
  • Sufi soul-lifting music with MoMo Loudiyi
  • Ganga Aarti daily

Find the Centre of Peace Within Yourself

  • Special Meditation with Swami Veda Bharatiji
  • Yoga Nidra with Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Kundalini Meditation with Gurushabd Singh Khalsa
  • Special Meditations with Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Vajra Meditation with Demetri Velisarius

Yoga Off the Mat

  • Clean Green Serene, Yoga & the Sacred Environment with Pujya Swamiji
  • Yoga Aid Challenge India with Clive Mayhew
  • Yoga Energy Activism with Shiva Rea

2010

The year 2010′s festival coincided with the divine and auspicious occasion of the Maha Kumbha Mela in Haridwar and Rishikesh, so the participants were able to partake in the divine Festival of the Nectar of Immortality! The participants were blessed with the presence, satsang, and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters, as well as the great teachings of world-renowned yogacharyas including:
  • Swami Chidanand Saraswati
  • Swami Dayananda
  • Acharya Balkrishan
  • Swami Parmatmananda
  • Dr. David Frawley
  • Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
  • Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Marla Apt
  • Maa Gyan Suveera
  • Prakash Singh
  • Yogini Shambhavi
  • Hikaru Hashimoto
  • Siddhi
  • Kishan Shah
  • Shankarcharya Swami Divyanand Teerth
  • Swami Avdheshanand Giri
  • Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
  • Swami Yogananda
  • Andrew Cohen
  • Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayant
  • Janet Attwood
  • Bhavini Kalan
  • Robert Milletti
  • Mohan Bhandari
  • Gabriela Bozic
  • Shyamdas
  • Petra Klein
The Inaugural and Valedictory Sessions were also graced by the presence of the Uttarakhand Government and Tourism Department, including the Honorable Chief Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal (Nishank), Tourism Minister Shri Madan Kaushik, Chief Secretary Shri Napalchyal, and Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture Shri Rakesh Sharma. The auspicious occasion of Holi fell during the Festival and participants had the opportunity to travel to Haridwar, into the heart of the Kumbha Mela for a divine Holi celebration!

2009

The participants were blessed with the presence, satsang, and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters, as well as the great teachings of world renowned yogacharyas including:
  • Shankarcharya Swami Divyanand Teerth
  • Swami Yogananda
  • Shantimayi
  • Swami Aprokshananda
  • Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati
  • Janet Attwood
  • Hikaru Hashimoto
  • Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayant
  • Mohan Bhandari
  • Gabriela Bozic
  • Siddhi
  • Swami Chidanand Saraswati
  • Dr. David Frawley
  • Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa
  • Sadhvi Abha Saraswati
  • Sri Raya Uma Datta
  • Rohini Khatri
  • Yogini Shambavi
  • Bhava Ram
  • Laura Plumb
  • Bhavini Kalan
The Festival was graced by the presence of the Honorable Governor of Uttarakhand, Shri B.L. Joshiji. Uttarakhand Government and Tourism Department were represented by Shri Indu Kumar Pande, Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand; Shri Trivendra Singh Rawat, Minister, Animal Husbandry; Shri Utpal Kumar Singh, Secretary, Tourism & CEO, Uttarakhand Tourism Board; and Shri Rajive Bhartari, Additional Secretary, Tourism & CEO Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. We also had a special ballet on Ganga by Sharmila Ganguly & Arindam Dasgupta.

2008

The International Yoga Festival 2008 was inaugurated on March 1st in a huge ceremony performed by the hands of the Honorable Chief Minister, Shri B.C. Khanduri. The concluding ceremony was performed by the hands of the Governor of Uttarakhand, Honorable Shri B.L. Joshi and Shri Prakash Pant, Tourism Minister, with a special nauli demonstration by Pujya Swami Ramdev. This year’s festival was the largest festival yet, including 500 participants from 32 countries across the world, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK and USA and many more. During the one-week festival, the participants imbibed the nectar of: Kundalini Yoga, lyengar Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Meditation, pranayama, kriya yoga, yoga nidra, nada yoga, reiki and more. Further, there were special cultural events organized by Uttarakhand Tourism each evening. The participants also heard inspiring and uplifting discourses and satsang with many saints and teachers including Pujya Sri Shankaracharya, Swami Divyanand Teerth, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, Pujya Swami Ramdev, Dr. David Frawley, Swami Vishwananda, Sadhvi Suhrad (Premben) and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati. Yogacharyas included Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Birijoo Mehta, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati, Duncan Peak, Saul David Raye, Bhavini Kalan, Hikaru Hashimoto, Brahmachari Bishwapal Jayant, Maa Gyan Suveera, Janet Attwood, and many, many more. This year, a wonderful new program was established by Clive Mayhew and Eriko Kinoshita called Yoga Aid. Inspired by Pujya Swamiji’s talks on “Giving is Living,” they established a program through which yoga teachers and yoga students raise money for charity by joining together to perform 108 sun salutations. It has grown to a great success around the world.

2007

The annual International Yoga Festival was officially inaugurated in a huge ceremony performed by the hands of the Honorable Governor of Uttarakhand, H.E. Shri Sudarshan Agarwal. The concluding ceremony was graced by the presence of numerous spiritual leaders from Rishikesh and Haridwar including M.M. Swami Asanganand Saraswati, Swami Chinmayand Saraswati, Swami Chidanand Saraswati, M.M. Swami Hans Das, Acharya Balkrishan, Swami Prem Varni, Swami Hari Chetanand, and Swami Rishishvaranand. This year’s festival included more than 350 participants from 38 countries across the world, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, UK and many more. During the one week festival, the participants imbibed the nectar of: Kundalinin Yoga, lyengar Yoga, Vinysa Yoga, Meditation, pranayama, kriya yoga, yoga nidra, nada yoga, reiki and more. This year they also had special classes in Indian vegetarian cooking, as it was emphasized that it is just as important to practice yoga OFF the mat as yoga on the mat! The participants were blessed also with the presence, satsang and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters, including H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, H.H. Pujya Sri Shankaracharya, Bhanpura Peeth, Swami Divyanand Teerth, H.H. Pujya Swami Hans Das and H.H. Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

2006

The 2006 Festival included nearly 300 delegates from 28 countries across the World, including USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Russia, China, Korea, Romania, Italy, Argentina and South Africa. There were 16 esteemed yogacharyas who also came from across the world. During the one week festival, the participants imbibed the nectar of: Kundalini Yoga, lyengar Yoga, Meditation, pranayama, yoga therapy and pranic healing, yoga nidra, nada yoga, reiki and tai chi. The participants were blessed with the presence, satsang and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters, including H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, H.H. Pujya Sri Shandkaracharya, Bhanpura Peeth, Swami Divyanand Teerth, H.H. Pujya Swami Veda Bharti and H.H. Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The yogacharyas included Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa from Hollywood, USA, Birjoo Mehta from Mumbai, Sensai Sandeep Desai from Mumbai, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati from Rishikesh, Maa Gyan Suveera, special guest renowned Vedantist Dr. David Frawley (Pt. Vamadeva Shastri) from USA, and many more. Uttarakhand Government and Tourism Department was represented by the Honorable Minister, Tourism Lt. Gen. T.P.S. Rawat, Honorable Chief Secretary Shri Ramanchandran, and Principal Secretary of Tourism Shri Alok Jain. The Valedictory program was graced by the presence of H.E. the Governor of Uttarakhand, Shri Sudarshan Agarwal. We also had a special dance performance by renowned dancer Smt. Sonal Mansingh.

2005

The International Yoga Festival 2005 was inaugurated on the 1st of March by the hands of the Honorable Governor of Uttranchal, H.E. Shri Sudarshan Agarwal. This year’s festival included over 250 participants from 33 countries across the world including the USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Russia, China and South Africa. The expert yogacharyas came from India and many other countries, offering classes in Kundalini Yoga, lyengar Yoga, Meditation, Pranic healing, Pranayama, Reiki, Vedic Astrology and much more. Further, the participants had the opportunity to have satsang and question-answer sessions with Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President and Spiritual Head of Parmarth Niketan, Pujya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, Shankaracharya Bhanpura Peeth, Pujya Swami Gurusharananandji, and Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji. The Chief Guest at the concluding session was the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Government of Uttranchal, Shri TPS Rawat. Famous actors Vivek Oberoi and his father Suresh Oberoi were also present for the festival. The participants were blessed with the presence, satsang and divine words of revered saints and spiritual masters, including H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati, H.H. Pujya Sri Shandkaracharya, Bhanpura Peeth, Swami Divyanand Teerth, H.H. Pujya Swami Veda Bharti and H.H. Pujya Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The yogacharyas included Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa from Hollywood, USA, Birjoo Mehta from Mumbai, Sensai Sandeep Desai from Mumbai, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati from Rishikesh, Maa Gyan Suveera, special guest renowned Vedantist Dr. David Frawley (Pt. Vamadeva Shastri) from USA, and many more. Uttarakhand Government and Tourism Department was represented by the Honorable Minister, Tourism Lt. Gen. T.P.S. Rawat, Honorable Chief Secretary Shri Ramanchandran, and Principal Secretary of Tourism Shri Alok Jain. The Valedictory program was graced by the presence of H.E. the Governor of Uttarakhand, Shri Sudarshan Agarwal. We also had a special dance performance by renowned dancer Smt. Sonal Mansingh.

2004

This year was the Ardh Kumbha Mela in Haridwar and Rishikesh so the atmosphere was particularly exuberant and divinely charged! The Festival was graced by Pujya Sri Shankaracharyaji, Swami Divyanand Teerthji, in addition to the other saints and yogacharyas. The inauguration was also graced by the presence of Pujya Swami Munishanandaji. More than 150 students came from over 20 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, Nepal, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, USA and Zambia. There was a wide variety of yoga offerings including Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Reiki, Pranayama, Power Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Pranic Healing, Music Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Nada yoga, Meditation and special satsangs & question-answer sessions with H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji. The teachers included: Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, who taught Kundalini Yoga; Maa Gyan Suveera, reiki master from Hyderabad who taught Reiki; Brahmachari Vishwa Pal Jayanti who taught Power Yoga, Pranayama and Ayurveda; Pujya Swami Veda Bharati led a special meditation session; Laxmi Narain Joshi taught Pranic Healing, Dr. K.L. Seshagiri Rao gave lectures on philosophy; Sadhvi Abha Saraswati taught Yoga Nidra and Nada Yoga; Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati taught meditation and gave lectures on spirituality; Karin O’Bannon, senior teacher of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of Los Angeles taught Hatha Yoga and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali; and Kiran Porat, famous Indian classical vocalist, offered music therapy. Uttaranchal Tourism Department was led by Shri N.N. Prasad, Principal Secretary of Tourism and Culture. The valedictory program was graced by the Honorable Governor of Uttarakhand, Shri Sudarshan Agarwal.

2003

2003 was the first year with more than 100 participants. We had hearly 130 participants this year and the number of classes also increased significantly. Kundalini Yoga was taught by Gurumukh Kaur Khalsa and Karmen Kamla. Yogasanas were taught by Sadhvi Abha Saraswati, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Mohan Bhandari and Laxmi Narain Joshi. Power yoga was taught by Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayant. Vedic Chanting was taught by Sadhvi Abha Saraswati and we introduced Reiki also, taught by Maa Gyan Suveera. Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Swami Veda Bharati, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati and Brahmchari Rama also gave divine discourses, and we also had beautiful devotional singing led by Gurudass Singh Khalsa.

2002

From 2002, the Festival truly started growing and blossoming in size and scope. Discourses were given by Pujya Swamiji Dayanandaji, Pujya Swami Sakshatkritananda, Brahmachari Rama, Sadhvi Bhagawati and Dr. Anne Glasier. Classes on yoga, meditation and pranayama were led by Pujya Swami Veda Bharti, Sadhvi Abha Saraswati, Gurumukh Kaur Khalsa, Brahmachari Vishwapal Jayant and Margo Velog.

2001

Late in the year 2000, the State of Uttarakhand (first by the name of Uttaranchal) was formed out of Uttar Pradesh in the area from Roorkee up into the Himalayas, which included Rishikesh as well. Hence form 2001 onward, the Yoga Festival has been jointly organized by Parmarth Niketan Ashram alongside Uttarakhand Toursim.

2000

The participants loved the ashram environment in 1999 so much that in the Millennial year 2000, Uttar Pradesh Tourism offered an “Ashram Package,” giving the participants the option of staying at the ashram instead of the hotel. Nearly everyone chose the ashram option! That year was the last year with a “hotel” option. As it is a Festival of Yoga, everyone understood that the ashram environment could not be matched in a hotel. For the inauguration in 2000, Dr. Karan Singhji came as the Chief Guest. Inspiring discourses were given by Pujya Swamiji, Pujya Swami Veda Bharati, Pujya Swami Sakshatkritananda, and Brahmachari Rama. Shantimayi led devotional kirtan programs, and classes were taught by Yogacharaya Bharat Bhushanji. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department and Government was led by Shri Ravindra Singh, Shri B.M Vohra and Shri S.P Singh.

1999

The International Yoga Festival was originally a creation of Uttar Pradesh Tourism, in the days when Rishikesh was still part of Uttar Pradesh. Held at Hotel Ganga Kinare in the first week of February, the Festival ran for many years and attracted a small number of participants. In 1999, the Government of Uttar Pradesh approached Parmarth Niketan Ashram to host the Festival at the ashram. Participants were still staying at the hotels, but their classes and programs were held at Parmarth. Pujya Swami Veda Bharatiji gave inspiring discourse and led mediations. Yogasanas were taught by Yogacharya Bharat Bhushanji and his team. The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department was led by Shri Ravindra Singh, Director General Tourism, Shri B.M. Vohra, Commissioner, Garhwal and Shri R.C. Pandey, Assistant Director, Tourism. What began with a handful of people in a hotel, studying under one or two yogacharyas has grown into one of the most renowned Festivals in the world, attracting several hundred participants from more than 30 countries across the globe to learn from dozens of yogacharyas in an innumerable variety of styles and forms.
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