Rishikesh, March 2 : The ongoing International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh is drawing a large number of foreign tourists.
The seven-day long festival that started on March 1 has been jointly organised by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and Parmarth Niketan Ashram.
The festival was first organised in 2001 and since then it is being held every year.
A large number of visitors are coming every year to attend the yoga sessions and perform yoga exercises.
"The environment is such that people can learn, enjoy and also listen to speeches of big people. There is serious study and exposure," said Birju Mehta, a visitor.
The participants said that attending the festival has been an enriching experience for them.
"I am coming from Singapore. This is my eighth Yoga Festival. I have been coming here since it started in 2001. It has been a real gift and it is very important for me to come here every year because for me as Swamiji says, it is like coming home," said Rebecca, a tourist from Singapore.
The festival is held on the banks of the river Ganga, it offers a wide variety of yoga including Kundalini Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Reiki, Pranayama, Power Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Pranic Healing, Music Therapy, Yoga Therapy, Nada yoga, Meditation and special satsangs.
The question-answer sessions with prominent exponents of Yoga are one of the highlights of the Yoga Week.
"Our aim is to make people aware about yoga, which is an inherent part of our culture. Yoga is helpful not just for physical health, but it also helps to overcome a number of mental problems like stress, depression, frustration," said Swami Chidanand Saraswati, President and Spiritual Head of the Parmarth Niketan.
The Yoga festival has been uniting people of different cultures and faiths as it promotes the unity of the body, mind and soul.