The International Yoga Festival held at Rishikesh during the first week of March, is the grandest of yoga festival welcoming yogis across the globe.
Rishikesh being the yogic capital of the world is considered to be a great place for this holistic practice as the sacred river of India- The Ganges flows through the land and for ages, this place has been visited by many saints, yogis and spiritual people.
This place is an attractive small town situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and has many temples and ashrams where tourists visit frequently through the festival season.
Besides various temples and ashrams, this place is also witnessed to have many yogic centers that become a main attraction for tourists around the world.
About the International Yoga Festival
This year, the 17th edition of International Yoga Festival is held between the 1st and 7th March in 2017 at Parmath Niketan ashram. This festival has mainly been accredited to keeping the legacy of yoga and ancient science alive with yogic gurus and saints practicing yoga in the serene sanctified lands.
Every year the tourism department in Uttarakhand takes effort to bring in yoga practitioners from all around the world for this festival where they get together to learn various traditions and authentic yoga lessons.
This is a week long annual International Yoga Festival happening at the paradise located on the banks of Holy Ganga. Since the spiritual haven lies on the holy banks of mother Ganga one can not only experience the complete bliss of rejuvenating mind, body and soul but also feel the divine connection.
The festival brings great opportunity for beginners to learn and practice different yoga styles from reputed yogic gurus and also learn about various yoga philosophies, interact with other yogis, explore the wide facets of Yoga.
The International Yoga festival is one of the biggest platforms for yoga lovers around the world to learn and share their insights about yoga. Some of the prominently practiced yoga styles during the festival is the Kundalini Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kriya Yog and Iyengar Yoga.
The festival lasts for a week and the yoga classes is almost for around 60 hours led by prominent yoga gurus and saints.
Ashrams to visit in Rishikesh this season
There are many yoga ashrams in Rishikesh that occupies tourists who visit the place for the festival. These ashrams are best known for their stay facilities and provide full residential facilities with food, lodging, laundry and other requirements.
Most of the ashrams in Rishikesh do not charge anything for stay and are mostly run on donations by pilgrims and visitors. Listed below are few of the Ashrams that provides yoga classes, meditation and other cultural, arts and spiritual classes to suit every yogi type.
The Parmath Niketan ashram, located near Swargashram is one among the famous ashrams in Rishikesh that has over 1000 rooms and are well equipped with modern amenities.
One main highlight of this festival at the Parmarth Ashram is the Ganga arti in the evenings, the satsangs and music. During the International Yoga Festival, classes start around 4.30 in the morning and have sessions on various styles of yoga, meditation, arti, satsang, cultural dance, song events, campfire and much more.
The festival encompasses teachings of all the eight limbs of yoga and the environment is suitable to follow yamas and niyamas. The teaching goes beyond just practicing the asanas and throws light on next four stages of deep involvement in yoga.
The Yoga Niketan Ashram is located a little above the main Badrinath Road. The place is completely green and has a yoga hall cum Samadhi hall. This place is great for practicing asanas and pranayams. Kriyas are done once a week and there is a big platform outside the hall for the same.
Another notable place in Rishikesh for tourists to visit is the Swami Dayananda Ashram in the banks of Ganges. This place is to take a break from stress and strain from everyday life and to spend some time by themselves.
The place has also been a centre for teaching Sanskrit and Vedic learning.
The centre is focused in exploring and bringing together the yogis interested in the arts of Iyengar yoga, Vedanta, meditation and Sanskrit studies.
Sivananda Ashram is positioned in the banks of the Holy Ganges at the foothills of the Himalayan ranges. The ashram was promoted with the main interest of promoting spiritualism and to provide spiritual practice for devotees. Yoga classes are conducted every day for the public in the Ashram.
The Omkarananda Ashram is run by a group of Sanyasis and is found by the banks of the river Ganges.
The Ashram is run under dynamic leadership of Shri Omkarananda, a recipient of many awards and is engaged in many social activities for the accomplishment of spiritual and physical well-being of the society.
The activities provided here are mostly in the fields of cultural, social, religious and educational grounds.
Apart from the above listed ashrams and yoga workshops, the Yoga Capital in India is also famous for its adrenaline activities like river rafting, camping, kayaking and also to visit the Beatles ashram located by Swarg Ashram.