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09 Apr 2024


IYA organizes International Yoga Summit 2023
Cover Story

IYA organizes International Yoga Summit 2023 

at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, Shantikunj

Indian Yoga Association in first-of-its-kind of initiative and to bring together all the dimensions and traditions of yoga and for creating an ideal space for sharing of ideas, learnings, open-hearted discussions, and profound philosophical exchanges organized the International Yoga Summit 2023 from November 17-19, 2023 at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Shantikunj, Haridwar. The theme of the Summit was ‘Uniting Minds and Bodies through Yoga’.

With participation from around the world, the Summit gave all the opportunity to understand and experience varied interpretations of the ancient wisdom. Esteemed Yoga Gurus from across the world graced the event with their divine presence, making it an unparalleled gathering of yogic minds.

Members from more than 20 State Chapter Committees of IYA took part in the Summit. More than 400 people registered for the conference.

Day 1
The purity in the air, the holiness that surrounds Shantikunj and warmth of the rising sun as we get to hear the mantras during the early morning aarti of Maa Ganga was a perfect beginning to the most-awaited International Yoga Summit 2023.
The first day began with welcoming the Gurus, seeking their blessing and getting all prepped up for the Inauguration.

Held on November 17, 2023, the inauguration of the International Yoga Summit 2023 was marked by the divine presence of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, *-Chairman, IYA (online), Maa Dr Hansaji Yogendra, President, IYA, Guruji Dr H R Nagendra, Governing Council Member, Shri Pranav Pandya (online), Governing Council Member, Swami Bharat Bhushan, Governing Council Member, Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Governing Council Member and Shri Ishwar Basavaraddi, Governing Council Member. Shri Subodh Tiwari, Secretary General, IYA and Dr Chinmay Pandya, Vice President, IYA were also present.
Inauguration commenced with lamp lighting by the IYA Gurus. All the honorable Governing Council Gurus were felicitated by Dr Chinmay Pandya ji. Swami Bharat Bhushan ji in his opening address said, “Yoga gives us to opportunity to come out of mirage. We all should be proud that we are a Yoga Sadhak and we should not lose this identity.”

Thereafter, Guruji Dr HR Nagendra started by congratulating IYA and Dr Chinmay Pandya ji for organising International Yoga Summit 2023. In his speech he said, “Yoga is a science of holistic meaning. The aim should be to attain Kaivalya as mentioned in Patanjali Yog Sutras. Kaivalya is the state of infinite bliss, infinite power, infinite knowledge and infinite freedom. We feel fortunate enough to be able to attend International Yoga Summit 2023 at Dev Sankskriti Vishwavidyalaya which has been extensively working towards spreading peace with Gayatri Mantra.”

He was followed by Dr Chinmay Pandya who explained in detail about the importance of Yoga. He said, “This life can be seen as an opportunity. You can become a higher being or may plunge to behave like animals. Scientifically, there is only a difference of .1% in the genome of human and chimpanzees. We all should be thankful to be born on the land where Yoga originated.

“Yoga is the method of awakening the Indian essence, our spiritual pride, our awakening. We are born in a country where spiritual aspiration, elemental knowledge, vedanta, sankhya, yoga, tapa, gyan, vigyan, astha, vishwas agreed to flow even when humans were unaware of their identity.”

Further, he thanked all the Gurus for marking their divine presence to make the Summit successful.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Chairman, IYA in his online address explained, “It is important to understand that we are one family- Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Yoga Karmasu Kaushalam— we should refine our skills for better actions. Amalgamation of Gyan Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga is yoga. Yoga is being restricted to asana and pranayama. We should combine Yoga with our spiritual inheritance.”

He requested all the Yoga teachers to retain its authenticity and make efforts to reach every single village to promote and propagate Yoga.

Maa Dr Hansaji Yogendra, President, IYA urged all to be careful about our actions, what are we doing, why are we doing it and what is the purpose of our actions. We are all individual personalities. We should all follow Samatvam Yoga Uchyate— Equanimity is Yoga. Take care of yourself, if you are feeling upset or disturbed, it is important you fix that first. Yoga Sashtra is the science of discipline.

Swami Chidanand Saraswati in his address urged all to act consciously because one action can make someone’s day or can change somebody’s day or may be life. In these time when people have started challenging Sanatan Dharma, they should understand that Yoga exists because of Sanatana Dharma and peace is because of Sanatana Dharma. Sanatana Dharma declares that as a country India does not require war, it needs yoga. Further remembering Pt. Shriram Sharma Acharya and Mata Bhagwati Devi, he also talked about their journey and simplicity.

More than 500 people attended the Inauguration. Inauguration concluded with the Shanti Path.

Plenary Session and Workshops
The first day of the Summit saw Maa Dr Hansaji Yogendra and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Parmarth Niketan in the Plenary Session. The day also witness workshops on various topics including Yoga Nidra, Deeply experiential understanding of Yoga, Yoga Chikitsa: Wholeperson Approach to Health and Healing and Swara Yoga – Importance and Application.

Day 2
The second day picked up the momentum with the Yoga workshops on Yoga in Daily Practice for Students, Yoga Anatomy and Yoga for Obesity Management. The day also saw 8th General Body Meeting being held where discussions were held regarding the initiatives being taken by Indian Yoga Association to promote Yoga, activities being held, state chapter committees and others.

Thereafter, Panel Discussion was held on Yoga and Mental Health with Yogacharya S Sridharan, Vice President, IYA, Krinamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Joint Secretary, IYA and Institute of Salutogenesis and Complementary Medicine, Pondicherry and Smt Fharzana Siraj, Founder, Orange Ray as the panelist. The discussion was moderated by Dr Hemant Bhargava, NIMHANS.
The second Panel Discussion on Application of Yoga Philosophy and Ethical Values had Dr Ganesh Rao, Director, Standing Academics & Accreditation Committee, IYA, Shri KC Jain, Treasurer, IYA, Acharya Birju Maharaj, Gujarat State Chapter and Shri Rajiv Terwadkar, Indian Council for Cultural Relations on the panel and was moderated by Ganga Nandini, Parmarth Niketan.

The third Panel Discussion on the topic ‘Yoga as a therapy: Interdisciplinary approaches’ had Dr Ganesh Rao, Director, Standing Academics & Accreditation Committee, Shri Hiroshi Aikata, Life Member (Foreign), IYA and Co-director – Thai Yoga Institute, Delegates from Japan and Dr Satish Pathak, Kaivalyadhama. The session was moderated by Yogacharya Hemlata Sharma, Yogasthali.

The fourth Panel Discussion on ‘Yoga Asana Competition – Pros and Cons had Shri Mayur Karthik, Art of Living, Swami Ulhasa, Isha Foundation and Prof. Elangovan, Tamil Nadu State Chapter. Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Joint Secretary, IYA moderated the session.

Paper Presentations and Posters Presentations were as well conducted on the second day under the supervision of Dr Meena Ramanathan, Institute of Salutogenesis and Complementary Medicine (ISCM), Pondicherry and Dr Kamta Prasad Sahu, Assistant Professor, Yog Department, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya on the topics including Effects of Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy on Psychophysiological health of Elderly People, Interaction of the Shatchakras with Endocrine Glands for activating 3 Nadis (Ida, Pingla and Sushmana), Yogic Therapy for Fibromyalgia Disease – A case study, Cultivating Yogic Mind, Impact of Various Yoga Therapy Styles on Non-specific Chronic Low Back Pain (NCLBP): A Review, Light of Yoga as observed in Bhagwat Geeta, Impact of Yoga on anxiety, stress and sleep quality among health care professionals during public health crisis, Effect of Anahata Nada Yoga Meditation on Stress, Chakra Energy and alignment as assessed by Electro Photonic Imaging technique in oral cancer patient undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy-A single case study, Effect of Yoga on Police Personnel’s Patience and Behavior When Added to Their Fitness Training, Nature of Niyama in Yoga Philosophy, Science in Ancient Yogic Text, Unlocking the Philosophical Insights of Nāthamuni’s Yoga Rahasya: The Hidden Wisdom of a Healthy Pregnancy, Effect of Adjuvant Yoga Therapy on Stress & Quality of Life in Patients with Psoriasis, Yoga as Medicine and A simple and easy mind body technique for relaxation and rejuvenation and others.

Poster Presentations were done under the supervision of Dr Uddham Singh, Assistant Professor, Yoga Department, Gurukul Kangari University. The day concluded with the cultural performance by the students Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya.

Plenary Session and Workshops
The second Plenary Session saw
Yogacharya S Sridharan speaking about ‘Life of Krishnamacharya’ on the dias.

The day also witnessed workshops on
various topics including Yoga in Daily Practice, Yoga Anatomy and Yoga for Obesity Manager.

Day 3
The last and the final day of the International Yoga Summit commenced with the Yoga workshops on the topics Yogic Sukshma Vyayama: A Better Way to Health, Rediscovering Health and Happiness through Yoga, Yoga for Balancing our Life, YIN Yoga, Peace and Health and Essential elements of yoga practice in KYM tradition.

Thereafter, the Valedictory ceremony was held to conclude the 3 day Summit.

Award Ceremony
During the award ceremony on Day 3, Shri Vinay Siddaiah, Smt Geetha K, Acharya Birju Maharaj, Smt Srimathi S, Yogachemmal Dr R Balaji, Yogachemmal G Dayanidy, Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Dr Kausthub Desikachar, Prof Dr Meena Ramanathan, Smt Fharzana Siraj, Shri Durgadas Shamba Savant, Smt Neha Abhimanyu Kerure, Dr Karuna Nagarajan, Yogacharya Jnandev Giri, Shri Vinod Joshi, Dr Nisha Thakker, Shri JK Swapna, Smt Bandana Dhirendra Singh, Dr N Ganesh Rao, Dr R Elangovan, Shri Mahesh Natarajan, Smt Nrithya Jagannathan, Shri V M Janakiraman, Dr Nidheesh Kumar Yadav, Dr Shankerbhai Bhikhubhai Patel, Shri V Srinivasan and Smt Brindha D were felicitated with Yoga Chikitsa Acharya.

During the Summit Yoga Chikitsa Ratna Awards were given to Shri OP Tiwari, Dr Pranav Pandya, Dr HR Nagendra, Dr R Nagaratna, Maa Dr Hansaji Yogendra, Swami Bharat Bhushan, Ammaji Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Smt Menaka Desikachar, Shri S Sridharan, Dr RL Bijlani, Dr Madanmohan, Dr Latha Satish, Swami Ritawan Bharti, Shri Vishwas Mandlik, Dr Ishwar Basavaraddi, Dr Dilip Sarkar, Dr Stephen Parker (Stomaji) and Dr Ishwar Bharadwaj.

The best paper presentation was bagged by Smt Pragya Jain, Smt Radhika Wazalwar and Shri Dayanidy G who presented the paper on Impact of Yoga on anxiety, stress and sleep quality among health care professionals during public health crisis, Effect of Anahata Nada Yoga Meditation on Stress, Chakra Energy and alignment as assessed by Electro Photonic Imaging technique in oral cancer patient undergoing adjuvant radiotherapy-A single case study and Effect of Adjuvant Yoga Therapy on Stress & Quality of Life in Patients with Psoriasis respectively. Shri Pankaj Sarda got the Best Poster Award for the Poster Presentation on the topic Cohesive, broader, sustainable and scalable impact of Yoga.

International Yoga Summit was a grand success and Indian Yoga Association plans to organise many more such events and conferences to take Yoga to every corner of the world.

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