Yoga Propagation

Bharat Yoga Yatra 2015 – Know Yourself Yogotsav

Assam

From 8th to 11th October 2015, Swami Niranjanananda conducted the fifth ‘Know Yourself Yogotsav’ at Vrindavan Garden, Shri Guwahati Gaushala, Athgaon, Guwahati, Assam. It was jointly organized by the citizens of Guwahati; Bihar School of Yoga, Vishwa Yogapeeth, Munger; and Satyananda Yoga Darshan Peeth, Tryambakeshwar, Nasik.

In his satsangs Swami Niranjan emphasized the need for inner effort to transform and uplift life. In the discharge of responsibilities, one should follow the tenets of dharma, which implies appropriateness in thought, behaviour and action. One should remain committed to the higher values of life and pursue them with seriousness and sincerity. There should be continuous effort to reinforce one’s strengths and eliminate one’s weaknesses.

Swamiji spoke on the branches of yoga, presented the yoga capsules and encouraged the audience to practise the morning mantra sadhana.

Swamiji also addressed the army officers at the 51 Sub-Area headquarters, Narangi, and the railway executives at the Officers Club of N.E. Railway. He provided them with yogic clues to a stress free, efficient and happy life.

On 11th October, thirty-seven participants were initiated into mantra and two into jignasu sannyasa.

Thousands of people participated in the yogotsav. They had never had such a holistic approach to the teaching of yoga and to life and were impressed by the depth of Swamiji’s teaching.

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

Assam

From 26th to 29th March, the Dakshinapat Satra (ashram) in Majuli, Assam, organized a yoga shivir ‘Adhyatmik Yuva Sammelan’. Majuli, an island in the river Brahmaputra, has 22 Vaishnavite ashrams. Out of the 800 participants attending the program, 700 were in their twenties. With little prior knowledge of yoga, all were interested in the satsang and talks on the various branches of yoga, and the practices.

Swami Sivaraj and Swami Gyanbhikshu conducted the daily sessions; they were assisted by Kunal and Gaurav of the Yuva Yoga Mitra Mandal.

From 6th to 13th December, a yoga shivir was held at the Narangi Military Cantonment, Guwahati. Swami Kaivalyananda conducted classes for soldiers and officers and their wives, for the medical staff of the Base Army Hospital and the soldiers of the Electrical Mechanical Engineering Unit.

Yoga sessions were also conducted at the Kendriya Vidyalaya for 600 children of classes 6 to 10, and at the APS Army Public School for 150 students.

A total of 1330 participants benefitted from the yoga classes, and it was requested that similar seminars be organized every 3 to 4 months.

Bihar

From 15th to 20th May, a yoga shivir was organized by Vir Kunwar Singh Maheshwari Academy in Katihar. Two daily classes of APMB and satsang on the tradition of Satyananda Yoga were conducted by Swami Kaivalyananda. Over one hundred participants took part in the shivir. Many expressed the desire to visit Ganga Darshan.

On 16th October 2015, a program was held at Soochana Bhavan, Munger, in the memory of Acharya Laxmikant Mishra. The discussion covered the views of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Satyananda in relation to public and social responsibility of the media. Swami Niranjanananda was chief guest and his talk focused on the importance of positive attitudes. He said that one should have a clearly defined goal for the larger good of society which can be achieved through complete dedication. The event was well attended by members of the press and social workers.

From 26th to 30th October, a yoga seminar was held at Chamaria Maidan, Balia. More than 650 participants attended the morning and evening sessions. Swami Kaivalyananda conducted the APMB classes, the meditation and kirtan sessions.

From 26th to 29th November, a yoga shivir was conducted at the Yoga Dhyan Kendra at the Barauni Oil Refinery. Swami Tyagraj introduced the Yoga Capsule for Total Wellbeing in a morning class for males and in the afternoon for ladies. The evening session consisted of relaxation practices and kirtan.

The Training and Development department organized a lecture on the role of yamas and niyamas for attaining excellence in life. Around 100 participants attended the various sessions.

Chhattisgarh

Several advanced yoga sadhana shivirs were conducted in Chhattisgarh in April and May.

From 27th April to 3rd May, the shivir was organized by Sivam Yoga Samiti in Jagdalpur and was attended by 195 aspirants.

From 3rd to 9th May, the shivir at Dantewada was attended by 70 participants.

From 10th to 14th May, the shivir was organized by Satyam Yoga Kendra in Kondagaon for 100 participants, and the shivir conducted by Yoga Sadhana Kendra, Kanker, was attended by also over 100 participants. At the outset of each shivir the aspirants were given the sankalpa to remain positive and unaffected by any negativity.

From 27th April to 2nd May, a yoga program was conducted at the Central Women’s Jail, Jagdalpur.

Swami Gorakhnath guided the programs and meeting the youth he spoke on the importance of mantras and samskaras to over 100 children at Sivananda Ashram and over 80 students at Gayatri Vidyapeeth, Jagdalpur.

Jharkhand

Swami Kaivalyananda was in Jamshedpur from 20th to 28th June where he conducted yoga shivirs for over 100 advanced students, about 100 beginners and 80 children at the Golmuri club. He conducted a program at the club on the International Day of Yoga which was attended by over 250 yoga enthusiasts. He also gave talks on yoga and mind management to 70 employees of Tinplate Company of India, 150 employees of Tata Robins Fraser Company and 100 employees of Tata Motors Ltd. He addressed 100 participants at the Graduate College for women, and spoke on the importance of yoga to 500 students of Little Flower High School and 100 students of DAV School.

From 1st to 7th July, a yoga shivir was conducted at Central Coal Field Limited, Kargil, Bokaro. Over 100 officers and their wives attended the program and experienced relief from work-related stress. Swami Gorakhnath, head of Bokaro centre, conducted the program.

Maharashtra

From 23rd to 28th February, Swami Vigyan Chaitanya conducted a yoga shivir at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai. The morning and evening sessions of mantra chanting, asana, pranayama, satsang, yoga nidra, antarmouna and kirtan were attended by over 120 participants. One evening was dedicated to the screening of the film Satyam, depicting the life of Sri Swami Satyananda.

From 27th to 30th December, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, hosted their 8th international conference on ‘Yoga in Education’. Eminent speakers from India and overseas spoke on the subject. Swami Nirmalananda presented a paper on an integral approach to yoga in education and gave a workshop on yoga nidra. Swami Yogabhakti from France also shared her experiences of many decades and delighted all with her lively presentation.

Odisha

From 7th to 11th January, Swami Goraknath conducted a shivir in Rourkela, Odisha, which was organized by the Maharaja Agrasen Seva Sangha. It was the first yoga shivir of the Bihar School of Yoga in Rourkela. Among the 65 male and 80 female participants were many yoga teachers from different organizations. The classes consisted of the practices of asana, pranayama, meditation and yoga nidra.

From 11th to 23rd May, a children’s yoga camp was organized at Bargarh ashram. For the 55 children, APMB, drawing and semi classical dance classes were conducted. The English language sessions were based on Swami Sivananda’s stories and instructions from Divine Life for Children. The children were at the ashram from 7.30 to 10.30 every morning.

On 25th and 26th November, Tata Steel offered two yoga sessions to senior leaders during their annual Global Leadership Development Program (GLDP) organized in Bhubhaneshwar. Swami Vigyan Chaitanya conducted the classes for the third year. Participants from Europe, South East Asia and India appreciated the scientific methodology and holistic approach.

From 30th November to 5th December, a yoga shivir was conducted at TRL Krosaki Ltd., Belpahar. Swami Vigyan Chaitanya conducted the program for the senior executives and their families.

Besides the morning class of APMB, special sessions were conducted at the school for 400 students of classes 6, 7 and 8, for doctors and nurses of the Jehangir Gandhi Hospital, and for nurse trainees at RSETI, (Rural Self Employment Training Institute).

Uttar Pradesh

From 17th to 19th April, the Bankers Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Lucknow, organized a yoga shivir for Senior Officers of the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD). The morning classes, attended by about 50 participants, were conducted by Sannyasi Gurupremanand and assisted by Sannyasi Poornapragya and Sri R.C. Adhikari. The organizers expressed the desire to hold more yoga shivirs for local officers, staff and their families.

From 25th April to 5th May, Swami Kaivalyananda conducted various programs in Kanpur. At the gun factory, 15 officers attended the morning classes. At the Chintels Higher Secondary School, in total 600 students and 100 teachers attended the mid-morning classes. A separate satsang was organized by Sannyasi Karunamurti at Yashodanagar in Kanpur. The participants and organizers of the various programs expressed the wish to have regular yoga classes and visit Ganga Darshan.

On 16th and 17th May, a yoga workshop was organized at the Railway Electrification Officers Club, Allahabad. About 110 officers and their family members attended the morning and evening classes. Sannyasi Gurupremananda conducted the shivir; he was assisted by sannyasis Poornapragya and Krishnajyoti.

On 15th November 2015, Yoga Anusandhan Sansthan organized a workshop on ‘Yog Se Vyaktitwa Vikas’ at Shakti Club Indiranagar, Lucknow. Sannyasi Gurupremananda, president of Yoga Anusandhan Sansthan, introduced the subject of the workshop and explained the basic features and importance of the Satyananda Yoga tradition for the modern society.

Chief Guest of the program was Sri B.K. Maurya, ADG Police Training Directorate, Uttar Pradesh, who spoke on particular aspects of yoga and the need of training the police force of UP. About 100 yoga sadhakas, yoga teachers and guests participated. Seven papers were submitted by speakers on various topics of Satyananda Yoga.

Nepal – Kathmandu

From 5th to 7th July, a shivir was held at Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospital. Doctors, residents and nurses attended the morning and afternoon classes. The shivir was jointly organized by the hospital and Nepal Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, NESOG.

From 6th to 8th July, a shivir was conducted at Ullens School, for the primary school teachers.

On 8th July, a shivir was conducted at the Kathmandu Engineering College for about 50 nursing students from BP Memorial Health Institute and Research Centre.

On 10th and 11th July, a program was held at Sooriya Wellness Studio; it was attended by around 35 Nepalese, Indian and overseas participants.

From 12th to 14th July, a shivir was conducted at Reliance International School which was attended by about 25 school teachers.

The programs were organized and conducted by Jignasu Gyanmala (Dr. Rashmi Yadav), by sannyasis Premananda (Kathmandu Yoga Centre), Sivgiri (Ananda Yoga Centre) and Satchidananda. At each shivir the participants requested that classes be continued on a regular basis, and many venues offered their space for future shivirs.

On 16th July, the above-mentioned organizers met the President of Nepal, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. He enquired about the status of a yoga centre or ashram in Nepal and mentioned areas of Nepal which would benefit, especially areas with high rates of social violence and disorder. He also expressed a deep concern that spiritual movements and organizations be free from any bias, particularly political, and he suggested that the ancient spiritual sciences be blended with modern medical science.

Yoga Propagation in the Middle East

Egypt

From 29th to 31st May 2015, we visited Cairo for the second time and gave a workshop on the topic of ‘Purification through Yoga’. The program was held at a quiet property, AL-Fayoum, at the outskirts of the city where 26 participants stayed for three days in seclusion and in a perfect atmosphere for doing yoga practices. Some participants had previous yoga experience and some were beginners. All of them were very enthusiastic about learning and doing Satyananda Yoga which was a system completely new to them. We introduced shatkarmas: neti, jihvashodhana, kunjal and laghoo shankaprakshalana which they embraced with great optimism.

Participants, ranging from their early twenties to their late sixties, and representing various religions joined together in the spirit of yoga. Egyptian Muslims and Orthodox Christians (Copts) were joined by some foreigners from Canada, and together they lived and did yoga from morning to evening. Clothing ranged from modern western style and jeans to traditional Muslim burkas.

Egyptian people left a deep impression in our hearts, warm and friendly and open as they are. A thought came to mind that these are probably the simplest and warmest people we have met in all programs we gave in different countries and regions. They listened attentively, were open to new ideas and concepts, had lots of sensible questions, and were ready to do all yogic practices with full gusto. Maybe the only ‘flaw’ was what they call the ‘Egyptian sense of time’. It actually manifests in their time management which sometimes was so fluid and floating that we had to remind them occasionally that time does not wait for anyone, and that yoga programs follow a precise time routine.

Apart from that, the participants maintained proper discipline and a lively, friendly, relaxed and supportive atmosphere throughout the seminar. It was a fulfilling experience to spend time with them and see them all doing yoga together.

Lebanon

On 2nd June, a one-day workshop was conducted in Beirut which was attended by 38 participants.

From 4th to 8th June, a four-day retreat was held at a Christian monastery. The theme was ‘Purifying with Yoga’ and the 38 participants practised shatkarmas, antar mouna and antar darshan, and the 18 ITIES.

On 9th June, a one-day workshop was organized in Beirut at Krishnateertha’s Yoga Centre for 17 participants.

Swami Omgyanam and Swami Mudraroopa, Serbia