THE seven-day long International Yoga Festival (IYF) at Parmarth Niketan at Rishikesh, India, concluded on Sunday (8) with the celebration of International Woman’s Day on the banks of river Ganga.
More than 1500 participants from 76 countries and 20 states of India have attended the event which included yoga and wellness classes, lectures and workshops from world-renowned presenters and teachers.
On Sunday, the participants bade farewell to HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Pujya Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji.
Many yoga enthusiasts also attended women’s day yoga asana classes taught by Yoga Instructors Kia Miller, Katie Be Happy, Aleah in addition to special sound healing and meditation session with Vrinda and Hyon Ja followed by Chakra Dance by Tara Maniar.
Besides, a special water blessing ceremony and bhandara were organised mid-day on the Parmarth Niketan Ganga Ghat. In the evening, a special Ganga Aarti and Satsang dedicated to Shakti (divine feminine) was conducted. As part of the celebrations, many female Yogacharyas and sevaks were honoured for their contributions in various fields.
Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswati ji, President of Parmarth Niketan, said, “It is time for women to rise and shine. Its time for them to be and do the change they want to see in the world. Its time for women to revision and co-create a future in which they are revered, respected and celebrated for all that they contribute to and sustain in our world- whether as full-time professionals, housewives and/or entrepreneurs they need to be empowered, given access to education and resources to allow them to be active agents of change in their societies.”
Pujya Sadhvi Bhagwati Saraswati, Secretary-General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, President of Divine Shakti Foundation, said, “Let every day be women’s day- let every moment be one that we respect and honour the divine feminine. The Indian spiritual culture teaches us to not just respect but to revere women. At the same time in many places across India, we must reflect upon why these values are not visible in our communities. Whether its child marriage or lack of menstrual hygiene management its time that women are empowered to encourage the nation to progress and prosper.”