AYUSH Ministry’s Two Day International Yoga Fest in Delhi

The inauguration of the two day International Yoga Festival, organised by the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga with the support of the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, was graced by HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Muniji, HH Yogrishi Baba Ramdevji, Hon’ble Urban Development Minister, Shri M Venkaiah Naiduji, Hon’ble AYUSH Minister, Shri Shripad Naikji, Dr H R Nagendraji, Chancellor SVASYA, Smt Hansa Jayadev Yogendraji, Director of The Yoga Institute and many other eminent yoga experts and yoga institutions at the Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi.

During the opening ceremony, Hon’ble Urban Development Minister shared, “Yoga is the key to health and health is the true wealth in our lives. It is time that yoga is not just something we do but something we live. It is time that yoga becomes a people’s movement and everyone, everywhere incorporates it into their lives. In this way, not just one day but really every day truly becomes International Yoga Day, freeing us from being slaves to our sensual pleasures, thereby liberating us from disease and depression.”

Pujya Swami Ramdevji gave a riveting speech sharing, “Yoga is not part of life, it is all of life. Today on International #WomensDay the best way to celebrate is to honour Bharat Mata (Mother India) in our lives and commit ourselves to a path of Yoga.” He shared in the special afternoon session also how important it was to start yoga in whatever capacity one could. He emphasized that one need not be a yogi or a sanyasi/ saint but even a common person should incorporate some pranayama and asana into their everyday lives. He urged all yogis and yoga practitioners to model characters and lives that would inspire others to dedicate themselves to a path of yoga, while maintain the standard and purity of the discipline. He shared his vision of a world where the most successful people in every sphere of life would be those who truly practiced and lived yoga.

Pujya Swamiji shared so beautifully, “Yesterday, we were all together, Pujya Swami Ramdevji and Shri Shripad Naikji, with people from 101 nations, nearly one half of the world, on the banks of Mother Ganga for the International Yoga Festival in Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh), and it was so incredible to see the Ganga, the river, of Yoga flowing in everyone’s lives. I shared with all participants and I share again with you today, ‘Yog Karo, Roj Karo aur Mauj Karo’ means ‘Do Yoga, Be Yoga, Learn Yoga, Live Yoga and Love Yoga.” He shared on the occasion of Women’s Day that ensuring our sisters, daughters and mothers were free from anemia, undernourishment and waterborne illnesses as well as ensuring that they have access to safe and sufficient toilets is the greatest way of celebrating and honouring the divine feminine. He inspired everyone to raise their hands and pledge to build toilets for women and girls in need of them and that to Him that was Yoga in Action.

Jaggi Vasudevji shared in a video message, “Yoga should come as naturally to us as brushing our teeth or washing our hands, it must be part of our daily practice. The skill of managing our mind, body and soul must be taught and spread world over. My support and blessings are always with this noble mission of spreading and sharing yoga with all.”

Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji also sent his regards and message through an Art Of Living representative. In the afternoon session He inspired everyone to commit to a path of Karma Yoga or Yoga in Action and shared that to Him working for a Swachh Bharat was also Yoga.

The valedictory ceremony concluded with Pujya Swamiji’s blessing the next day, with the Hon’ble Member of Parliament Smt Meenakshi Lekhiji, presided by Hon’ble Shri Shripad Naikji and filled by inspiring words of Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji and many other inspiring yoga experts and heads of institutions.

Smt Meenakshi Lekhi shared, “It was so great to hear about the conclusion of the week long International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) bringing together more than 100 countries. This is really a testimony that our soft power is truly our strong power. Our spiritual and cultural heritage teaches us that yoga is crucial for maintaining and sustaining peace within ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nations and our worlds.”

Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji shared so beautifully, “Yoga is beyond just asana. Yoga means union of not just our nose to our knees but ourselves to the Divine. Even if we just commit ourselves to the foundational niyamas and yamas, even just practicing ahimsa in thought and action that in itself has the power to transform the world.” She urged all Indian yoga institutions to uphold their great heritage of yoga with pride but to understand the great responsibility that they had to truly reflect yoga in their thoughts, words and actions.

The Hon’ble Minister of AYUSH lauded all yoga institutions and organizations for their contributions and for coming together in great enthusiasm and excitement to celebrate the International Yoga Day. He urged everyone to strive to make every day a yoga day. He also shared the great strides the Ministry was taking to popularize yoga, to get it to reach every household as well as to incorporate it into the education and health care system.

Everyone also lauded Dr Ishwar Basavaraddii, Director of Morarji Desai, for his dedication, commitment and conviction for bringing everyone together in true Yoga, true union.

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