Yoga Propagation

Mumbai

From 10th to 15th April, Swami Niranjanananda was in Mumbai initiating his 2014 Bharat Yoga Yatra with the theme 'Know Yourself and Find Divinity in Life'.

For the first three days, the program took place at NSCI (National Sports Club India) Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium, Worli. The morning sessions included asana, pranayama, yoga nidra and ajapa japa with more than 500 participants attending the sessions.

In the mornings and afternoons, informal satsangs were held where Swamiji met with various groups of devotees. Between 100–400 delegates attended. The evening sessions were attended by over 1,000 delegates.

Swamiji initiated 133 aspirants into mantra, 26 into jignasu and 10 into karma sannyasa.

From 13th to 15th April, the program took place at the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizer Grounds, Chembur.

Over 500 delegates participated in the morning sessions. The two informal satsang sessions for the general public were held at the Loreto Convent School and were attended by 200–300 delegates. In the evenings, over 800 delegates came to hear Swamiji speak.

In Chembur, Swamiji initiated 111 aspirants into mantra, 23 into jignasu and 14 into karma sannyasa.

Swami Sivadhyanam conducted the asana and pranayama components, Swami Nirmalananda and Swami Gorakhnath the yoga nidra and Swami Vigyan Chaitanya the meditation component of the morning sessions. Amargeet, BYMM Munger, and Sivankari from Chennai inspired all with their joyful and uplifting kirtan. On two evenings, a group of children from a local blind school in Worli enthralled all with their soul-stirring kirtan.

In his lectures and satsangs, Swamiji developed the theme of the Bharat Yoga Yatra. Over the six-day period, Swamiji explained that after spreading yoga for 50 years, the new chapter of Bihar Yoga is dedicated to the total development of the human personality.

All aspects of yoga and spiritual life were covered, from asana practice to kundalini, chakras and the koshas, stress and health management, the history and application of yoga, the practices of Swami Sivananda's 18 ITIES, pratipaksha bhavana and pranayama, as well as the mandates given by Sri Swamiji and his own vision of yoga for the future. Swamiji emphasized the need to change one's attitude to yoga by developing sincerity, seriousness and commitment.

Kathmandu, Nepal

From 4th to 7th June, Swamiji took the Yoga Yatra to Kathmandu, Nepal. In the heart of the city, the large ground of Tudi Khel was the venue of the morning and evening programs.

The morning classes of APMB were conducted by Swamiji and attended by up to 1,500 participants. The pandal could only accommodate half the number, and the grounds around had to take in the other half. On the last day, Swamiji invited participants up to the stage as there was no other space available. Swamiji introduced chakra awareness to the asana practice. Swami Sivaraj and Sannyasi Satchidananda (ST) gave the yoga nidra, and Atmaprem from Delhi demonstrated the asanas.

The evening sessions consisted of satsang on hatha yoga, raja yoga and bhakti yoga, Q&A sessions and meditation. On the first evening, panchakanyas, five young girls, from the Hindu Vidyapeeth School welcomed Swamiji, and local devotees sang beautiful kirtan at each session. Over 600 participants attended the evening program.

The response at each session was overwhelming, and Swamiji announced he would come back to Kathmandu in two-year's time. In total 545 participants received mantra initiation.

On 6th June, Swamiji was invited by the Indian Ambassador to Nepal and met dignitories of the Government of Nepal. On 7th June, Swamiji was guest to the President of Nepal. At both functions, a keen interest in Bihar Yoga and its integration into Nepalese society was expressed. One school chose to develop a pilot project for introducing yoga into the education system, and one hospital will be conducting research into yoga in the medical field.

Swamiji visited Pashupati Mandir, Buddha Neelkanth, and had darshan of Guhyeshwar Devi. After the program in Kathmandu, Swamiji travelled to Pokhara and on his way had darshan of Mankaamna Devi and then went to the Gupteshwar Mahadev caves and Guru Gorakhnath Temple.

Kolkata

From 25th to 30th July, Swamiji conducted yoga programs in Kolkata with the theme 'Know Yourself and Find Divinity in Life'. A three-day program was conducted at Swabhoomi Rangamanch in Salt Lake City, followed by a two-day program at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, Netaji Subhash Stadium.

In the morning classes, Swamiji covered a wide spectrum of practices of hatha and raja yoga. He also provided a taste of kriya yoga through chakra visualization and akashi mudra. Between 800–1,000 delegates participated. The evening satsang sessions were attended by over 1,200 delegates. Swamiji also held three informal satsangs for devotees and a special satsang at Eastern Railway headquarters for railway officers and their families.

Over the course of the program Swamiji in­it­iated 116 aspirants into mantra, 29 in­to jignasu and 7 into karma sannyasa.

In his satsangs, Swamiji spoke on the history of BSY and the teachings of Swami Sivananda and Swami Satyananda. He explained the different yogas and the signi­ficance of using integral yoga to 'know yourself'. This is done in two stages, firstly, to experience oneself and unfold one's potential through the practice of hatha yoga, raja yoga and kriya yoga. Hatha yoga brings harmony to annamaya and pranamaya kosha, raja yoga harmonizes manomaya and vijnanamaya kosha, and kriya yoga allows one to get in touch with anandamaya kosha.

Once there is experience of oneself and unfolding of one's potential the second stage begins, reflecting this experience in one's behaviour and expression in society. It is the ability to live the yamas and niyamas, the 18 ITIES, the ideals of 'serve, love, give' and the harmony between 'head, heart and hands'.

Delhi

From 18th to 21st September, Swamiji conducted programs at the Tyagraj Sports Stadium in Delhi.

In the early morning sessions, Swamiji gave the asana and pranayama classes and explained the origin, theory and purpose of yogasanas, pranayama and hatha yoga. He said that the three stages of asana practice are: 1. to make the body supple; 2. to make the body healthy, the therapeutic purpose; and 3. for inner growth.

In the mid-morning Q&A sessions, Swamiji received a broad spectrum of questions concerning life, the spiritual quest, yoga for children and mothers, and sannyasa.

On the first evening session, the former Vice Chancellor of Delhi University, Professor Upendra Baxi, spoke on yoga as technique, culture and sadhana. In his satsang, Swamiji developed the various branches of yoga and referred to the chief propagators of yoga in the 20th century. Over the next days, Swamiji developed the satsang topics on tantra, the spiritual journey through the chakras, Sri Krishna's teaching in the Bhagavad Gita; disciples and true discipleship; and answered questions ranging from obtaining good sleep to the concept of destiny and free will. He said that success is correct action plus correct thinking plus belief that one will achieve.

Between the programs at the Tyagraj Sports Stadium, Swamiji conducted sessions at CAG, Ministry of Finance; the PHD Chamber of Commerce; and the Railway Officers Club. He gave satsang and explained the relevance of yoga in daily life.

On the last day, Swamiji initiated 288 aspirants into mantra, 53 into jignasu and 19 into karma sannyasa.

Between 700 to 1,500 participants attended the program. At the concluding session, a ten-minute-long standing ovation expressed their appreciation and gratitude.

Other than the Bharat Yoga Yatra the following programs were conducted.

Bihar

From 6th to 11th January, a six-day yoga camp was organized at NTPC Ltd., Eastern Zone-I, Head Quarters, Patna. Three sessions were held daily, two for men and one session for ladies. The camp was conducted by Swami Atmabhishek who was assisted by sannyasa trainee Mantramurti and the local yoga teacher, Neelam Varma.

In addition to this camp, two more were held, one at IAS Bhawan and another at the clinic of a senior orthopaedic consultant. Both sessions were conducted by Swami Atmabhishek.

From 18th to 22nd January, a five-day yoga shivir was conducted at NCC National Integration Camp, Barauni. About 600 National Cadet Corps together with their ANOs (Associate NCC Officers, college professors with honorary army ranks who conduct NCC activities in their respective institutions) from about 20 states participated. The shivir was conducted by Swami Sivadhyanam and assisted by Gautam, Kunal, Saurav and Bhanu from YYMM.

From 7th to 21st February, an intensive yoga training program was conducted for inmates of Munger District Jail. The participants were taught most of the components of integral Satyananda Yoga, including mantra chanting, asana, pranayama, relaxation, meditation and shatkarmas. In addition, some of the men were trained to teach the practices to other participants so that the classes could continue after the initial training program.

Swami Niranjan visited the program along with senior district administration officials. In his address he elaborated upon the 'Ashram-Prison Project' being conducted in Europe and America and how it could prove to be a role model for prisons in India as well. Swami Shankarananda and Swami Sivadhyanam addressed the students on the last day of the program and exhorted them to make yoga a part of their lives in order to achieve physical health, mental peace and spiritual fulfilment. Swami Shankarananda gave yogic literature to the participants and for the prison library. The program, attended by over 40 participants, was conducted by Bal Yogesh and Chandrashekhar of the Yuva Yoga Mitra Mandal (YYMM).

From 8th to 13th February, a yoga camp was held for 65 participants in Dharahara, District Munger, at the Madhya Vidyalaya campus. The camp was conducted by Swami Atmabhishek who was assisted by Uttam Kumar Singh and Vickay Kumar of the YYMM.

From 9th to 16th February, a yoga shivir was organized by the Yoga Dhyana Kendra at the Barauni Oil Refinery Township, Begusarai. Four classes were conducted daily by Swami Gyanbhikshu for men, school children and ladies. He was assisted by Gautam Kumar and Bhanu Anand of the YYMM.

From 3rd to 5th April, a yoga program was organized at Notre Dame Academy, Munger. Sannyasa trainee Harishraddha conducted APMB and yoga nidra sessions for 250 students from classes 9 and 10.

On 5th April, Swami Niranjanananda inaugurated the 35th District Convention of the Lions Club Munger. He spoke on the difference between charity and daan: charity being a temporary solution while daan is a means towards empowerment of a person in need, helping them convert their selfishness into a selfless and caring nature.

From 24th August to 4th September, a yoga shivir was conducted for the Police Lines, Munger. Classes of APMB, yoga nidra, meditation and mantra chanting were attended by over 350 officers and policemen trainees. Sannyasi Dharmavijay was assisted by Kunal, Ashwini, Ashish, Roshan and Rahul, all members of YYMM.

Chhattisgarh

From 8th to 14th February, Dhyan Yoga Sadhana Kendra, Kanker, organized an advanced yoga sadhana shivir for 90 participants. Swami Gorakhnath, Acharya of Shanti Darshan Ashram, Bokaro, conducted the classes of meditation. The evening sessions consisted of yoga nidra, kirtan and satsang.

From 16th to 19th February, a yoga sadhana shivir was held at the Satyam Yoga Kendra, Kondagaon. Swami Gorakhnath conducted classes similar to the shivir in Kanker. Also, around 1,000 students of different schools were introduced to yoga and its techniques.

From 22nd to 24th March, a work­shop on developing efficiency at the workplace through yoga was organized at the Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited (HSCL), Bhilai. Swami Gorakhnath conducted the program explaining how the various components of yoga can be integrated into one's lifestyle. Over 150 participants attended.

From 19th to 25th May, a yoga shivir was organized by the Yoga Mitra Mandal, Bilaspur. Swami Vigyan Chaitanya conducted classes in four venues: at the Guru Nanak School Hall for 100 participants; at the Indian Railways Electric Loco Training Institute, Uslapur, for 40 loco drivers; at the Central Jail for around 80 participants; and at the E. Raghavendra auditorium for around 50 participants.

The Satyananda Yoga style was appreciated by all participants who felt the benefits of peace and renewed energy. Two Yuva Yoga Mitra Mandal members, Gautam and Kunal, ably assisted in the programs, and had the opportunity to conduct part of the sessions at the Electric Loco Training Institute and at the jail.

From 7th to 13th November, the Yoga Mitra Mandal, Pharasgaon, organized a special yoga sadhana shivir under the banner of the Vivekananda Youth Motivation Program. Pharasgaon is a village situated in a remote forest area. The shivir was conducted by Swami Gorakhnath.

Morning classes were open for everyone, the afternoon classes were for ladies, and the evening sessions were again open to all. The focus was mental peace and spiritual upliftment. In the evening, yoga nidra, meditation and mantra sadhana were taught. Bhajan, kirtan and satsang touched the hearts and minds of all. The shivir was attended by 100 men and 50 ladies.

Apart from these sessions, Swami Gorakhnath visited three educational institutions, the Adarsh School Pharasgaon, the Higher Secondary School Langoda and the Modal School Badedonga. He spoke to over 2,000 students on how to improve their physical, mental and intellectual development with asana and pranayama. He also said that it is important to introduce yoga in their daily lives to awaken their natural talents. Students and teachers listened with open hearts and enjoyed his talks thoroughly.

Participants of this shivir expressed that they had felt great joy and lived a unique experience. People of every strata of society appreciated the shivir and expressed their desire to organize shivirs again and again. They took the resolution to start daily yoga classes.

Jharkhand

Satyananda Yoga Kendra, Jamshedpur, organized two programs conducted by Swami Vigyan Chaitanya at the Gujrati Sanatan Samaj, Bistupur, Jamshedpur.

From 6th to 12th October, an advanced yoga sadhana shivir was held. The shivir comprised the meditative practice of asana, sagarbha pranayama, pranayama with mantra, kaya sthairyam, ajapa japa and mantra meditation. A total of 97 participants attended the shivir.

From 6th–8th and 9th–11th October, two three-day 'Mind Management for Executives' shivirs were conducted. Asana, pranayama, yoga nidra, meditation and the chanting of mantras comprised each class. Over the three days, awareness of the energy dimension, relaxation and release of tension, relaxed concentration and awareness of the dimension of the mind was developed. A total of 170 participants attended the two programs.

Madhya Pradesh

From 1st to 15th April, Satyananda Yoga Kendra, Jabalpur, organized a yoga shivir for officers, staff and family members of the Central Bureau of Investigation. The programs were conducted by Rahul Awasthi.

On 22nd April, Swami Nirmalananda delivered a one-hour lecture on the 'Role of yoga on health and samskaras of a child during pregnancy'. The lecture was arranged by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the Kasturba Hospital run by BHEL, Bhopal, for pregnant mothers. About 30 expectant mothers attended and the talk was well received.

On 23rd April, another lecture was organized for the doctors and paramedical staff of Kasturba Hospital, by their Research Director. The topic was 'Chakras and their role in behaviour and diseases'. About 25 participants attended the one-hour session, conducted by Swami Nirmalananda.

The research centre run by BHEL, Bhopal, organized a three-day shivir for their regular participants. 40 to 45 people of mixed age group and gender attended. Swami Nirmalananda and Sannyasi Vasundhara conducted the one-hour sessions which included the practices of mantra, asana, pranayama and yoga nidra.

From 15th to 30th May, a yoga shivir was conducted for officers and employees of West Central Railway, as well as their family members. Special classes were held for their children. The venue of the camp was at the Rail Ullas Bhavan, Rail Colony, Jabalpur. The shivir was organized by Satyananda Yoga Kendra, Jabalpur, and classes were given by Rahul Awasthi (Sannyasi Gyangiri).

Maharashtra

From 5th to 9th February, a yoga shivir was conducted at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), Churchgate, Mumbai. Almost 300 participants attended the morning and evening sessions which were conducted by Swami Vigyan Chaitanya.

Uttarakhand

On 2nd March, during the International Yoga Mahotsava organized by Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh, Swami Gorakhnath represented the Bihar School of Yoga, introducing the Satyananda Yoga system, karma yoga and bhakti yoga. He spoke on the importance of awareness, discipline, yogic lifestyle and health-related issues.

West Bengal

From 24th to 28th August, Swami Gorakhnath conducted a shivir at the Haldia Refinery. About 200 Refinery family members participated. Yogic lifestyle as a means to reduce stress and improve general health was emphasized.

European Yoga Tour 2014

Swami Satyadharma toured Europe in August and September. She first visited the Satyananda Yoga Ashram in Hungary. This ashram was inaugurated by Swami Niranjanananda in 2008, and Swami Satsangi visited on her European tour in June 2011. Swami Satyadharma conducted a three-day seminar on 'Yoga and the Intuitive Mind'.

In Bulgaria, she gave an in-service training session on 'Introducing Meditation' for the new teachers at the Satyananda Yoga Center in Sofia, and a public lecture at a conference hall in the inner city on 'Yoga in Modern Society'. Afterwards she conducted a three-day seminar on the 'Psychological and Symbolic Significance of the three Lower Chakras' for over 300 aspirants.

In Southern Germany she conducted satsangs and a public lecture on 'Karma and Destiny' and a weekend seminar on the subject of 'Opening the Heart'.

In Northern Italy she conducted a public lecture on 'Yogic Awareness' and a weekend seminar for over 50 aspirants on 'Yoga, Meditation and the Mind'. In Sardinia she conducted a public lecture on 'Kundalini Yoga' and a weekend seminar on 'Chakra Shuddhi'. In Turin she gave public satsang and a weekend seminar on the topic of 'Prana Vidya'.