Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Mar 5 (AI): More than 400 foreign yoga practitioners from over 35 countries are taking part in a weeklong international yoga symposium in Uttarakhand.
The seven-day long 8th annual International Yoga Festival has been jointly organised by the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and the Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh was kick started from March 1.
The ongoing festival is drawing a large number of foreign tourists especially from west.
"The yoga festival has a very good mixture of teachers from all over the world. It also brings people to the Ganga (River) and puts them in touch with the whole spirit of India. So it's a very wonderful feeling of bringing yoga students to the homeland of yoga," said Davis Frawler, a tourist from USA.
Large numbers of visitors and yoga practitioners are coming every year to attend the yoga sessions and perform yoga exercises. Most of them attend this festival to introduce the culture of their country to the people from rest of the world who are present here.
"I am teaching Shinto Yoga in this festival. I want to introduce Japanese culture to the other countries' people. I would also like to share the ancient wisdom of Japan, said Hikaru Hashimoto, a tourist from Japan.
The festival is held on the banks of the river Ganga, it offers a wide variety of yoga asans including Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Reiki, Pranayama, Power Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Pranic Healing, Music Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Nada yoga, Meditation and special satsangs (prayer meetings).
The question-answer sessions with prominent exponents of Yoga are one of the highlights of the Yoga Week.
"Yoga is for all. It is beyond region and religion, beyond caste creed and colour.
The motive of this festival is to make the people from both India and western countries realize the importance of Yoga," said Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President and Spiritual Head of the Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh.
Yoga is helpful not just for physical health, but it also helps to overcome mental problems like stress, depression and frustration. First organised in 2001, the festival has since been held every year. By Ashish Goel (ANI)