International Yoga Festival, Parmarth Niketan Ashram

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Time Required : March

International Yoga Festival, Rishikesh Overview

Indulge in a week-long rejuvenation ritual at the International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. Held every year in the month of March, this week-long event is hosted at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram and helps ensure health, wellness and peace. With workshops, demonstrations, cultural shows and much more, the Festival is an international extravaganza. The International Yoga Festival is slated to be held from 1 March to 7 March 2019. Physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing is assured to a dedicated follower of this art. Be it for a beginner, an experienced Yoga practitioner or a mildly curious tourist, the best place to discover the glory of Yoga is at the International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh. 

Dates of the International Yoga Festival

This Yoga festival is held every year in March. Since the year 2017, the celebration has been held for a week starting from 1 March. This year, the event is slated to begin from 1 March and extend till 7 March 2019

Venue of the International Yoga Festival

Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh

Entry fee and accommodation at the International Yoga Festival

Daily passes are priced at INR 2140.05 (USD 30), while the weekly pass costs INR 14981.40 (USD 210). This grants access to all events, workshops and performances. Meals and accommodation are not included in this package.

You can opt for accommodation at the premises itself, for prices ranging between INR 24969 - INR 39237 (USD 350 - 550) for seven days. Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned rooms are available at the ashram complex. If you want to stay outside the ashram, there are luxurious themed resorts that offer spa and yoga packages as well. The Aranyam River Retreat, Ananda in the Himalayas and River Resort are a few options you can look into. If you are one for budget accommodation, there are many hotels and homestays available in Rishikesh and Haridwar that start from as cheap as INR 713.40 (USD 10) a night. It is advisable to book your stay beforehand, as the region gets very crowded around this time and you may not find appropriate accommodation.

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What to Look Forward to at the International Yoga Festival

Prepare to have your mind and body rejuvenated as you practice the divine art of Yoga. The International Yoga Festival is a week-long festival that features more than seventy hours of Yoga classes from renowned instructors. You can take your pick from different styles of yoga, including Kundalini, Hatha, Iyengar and Power Vinyasa. Workshops and presentations are also held, featuring famous instructors and Gurus like H.H. Pujya Shankaracharya Swami Divyanand Teerthji, H.H. Pujya Swami Ramdevji, H.H. Radhanath Swamiji, Siddhartha Krishna, Ananya, Parvati Baul, Swami Radha Bharati and H.H. Dr Pranav Pandyaji. Satsang events are also held in the evening. Revered seers, priests, gurus and rishis are all in attendance for this unique confluence by the banks of the holy Ganga. From 4:00 AM till 5:00 PM., these events are held by the Vedic calendar.
Woman doing Yoga
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Activities and Fests at the event

In the evening, cultural programs are conducted to put on display the unique culture of India. The Ganga Aarti is also held to pray to the river goddess. Singing, dancing and ecstatic chants ring in the air as the celebrations last till 10:00 PM.     

The Bhakti Fest and the Uttarakhand Haat are two events that you must attend while at the festival. While the former takes you through the different aspects of the religion-transcending religious movement, the latter shows you around the various attractions of Uttarakhand.

Enlighten yourself about Ayurveda, nature therapy, acupuncture, astrology, Neurotherapy, Pranic healing, tarot card reading, Chakra healing and other esoteric practices at the many stalls put up around the arena.
People performing Yoga
People performing Yoga
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How to reach Rishikesh

Located in the serene banks of the River Ganga, Rishikesh is not called the Yoga capital of the world for nothing! This stunning city has been home to the fantastic art of Yoga for thousands of years.The International Yoga Festival is held in the Parmarth Niketan Ashram of Rishikesh. The city is well-connected by road, rail and air. 

The Dehradun Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest domestic airport, at a distance of 35 kilometres from Rishikesh. This is connected to the metropolitan cities including Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore. International tourists can land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi and take a connecting flight to Dehradun. Buses and private taxis ply the route between Dehradun and Rishikesh.

The nearest railway station is located at Haridwar, which is about 25 kilometres away. Haridwar Junction Railway Station is connected to all major Indian cities including New Delhi, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow, Varanasi, and Chennai. Famous trains that ply in this route include Dehradun Shatabdi Express, Dehradun New Delhi Janshatabdi Express, Haridwar Dehradun Madurai Superfast Express, Howrah Superfast Express and Lokmanyatilak AC Express. From Haridwar, you can take a bus or hire a private taxi to reach Rishikesh. 

You can take a bus or hire a taxi to reach Rishikesh by road from places like New Delhi, Dehradun and Haridwar. Daily buses are available in the morning and evening. While government buses are cheaper, private buses are more comfortable. Prices range upwards of INR 50 and increase based on the level of luxury. Hiring private taxis are more expensive but give you the luxury of time so that you can explore the sights in between as well.
Group Yoga
Yoga at Parmath Niketan Ashram
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The Dress Code at the International Yoga Festival

It is essential to keep the religious sentiments of the locals in mind while dressing up for a yoga festival. Comfort and fluidity are the most important things to keep in mind, as your clothing should be able to let your body move and breathe. Be respectful and dress modestly. Light colours are preferred to dark, bright ones. Opt for fabrics like cotton, linen, hemp and khadi. Tight clothing is not allowed. Wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders at all times.

Men can opt for tunics, kurtas, shirts or tees that are light and breezy. Pyjamas or loose-fitting trousers can be worn. Shorts are not allowed.

Women can wear kurtas, long tunics or salwars. Shawls and other drapes are not compulsory. Mini-skirts and shorts are not allowed within the premises.

For the Ganga Aarti in the evening, make sure to dress modestly, keeping in mind Indian customs and traditions. Consult with ashram authorities and make an informed decision. Indian clothing is available for purchase installs within the ashram.

Dos and don'ts at the International Yoga Festival

  • Footwear is not allowed inside the premises to respect the sanctity of the area, so leave your footwear in designated places
  • If you want to greet someone, fold your hands to your chest and say ‘Namaste.’ Avoid PDA.
  • Abstain from cursing, swearing and speaking very loudly as the event aims to harbour peace and brotherhood.
  • Non-vegetarian food and eggs are not allowed inside ashram premises. Abstain from eating non-vegetarian food for the week.
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other intoxicants are strictly prohibited inside ashram premises. Avoid these intoxicants as this is the time for your body to detox and rejuvenate.
  • Use electronic devices minimally as this is the time for you to connect to yourself, nature and people around you.
  • Bring a reusable bottle of water along, so that you can stay hydrated.
  • Avoid littering and keep your surroundings clean. Segregate your waste.
  • You can bring your yoga mat, or purchase one from the ashram stalls.
  • Remember to secure your spot for the festival by booking your slot online well in advance.
  • Things to keep in mind
The focus of the festival is in simple living, by Satvic rituals. This means that the food, accommodation and amenities are to be clean. Keep this in mind while visiting the area. When in doubt, always consult with local authorities when it comes to rituals and other eclectic practices.
Parmarth Niketan
Parmarth Niketan
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History of the International Yoga Festival

Patanjali, the ancient Indian seer, has been hailed as the founder of Yoga. The miraculous powers of Yoga in healing the mind, body, and soul. For centuries, tourists from all over the globe have come to India to experience the transformative powers of yoga. Parmarth Niketan Ashram is one of the largest in India and sees thousands of pilgrims every year who throng the region in pursuit of spiritual bliss. Spread over a large area, the ashram houses ponds, lawns, gardens and other abodes where you are free to detoxify your mind, body, and soul. The first edition of the International Yoga Festival was held in 1999, under the directions of Pujya Shri Swami Veda Bharat and Yogacharya Shri Bharat Bhushan. Ever since the festival has been growing every year with new leaps and bounds. Today it is a week-long festival that hosts a plethora of events to cater to your every need.

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